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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Order of the Patriotic War

    Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl, Type 2, "Starback" variation (Krasnokamsk Mint), #377453, awarded on 21 March 1945 to Guards Sergeant Aleksandr Panevin.

    Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl, Type 2, "Starback" variation (Krasnokamsk Mint), #377453, awarded on 21 March 1945 to Guards Sergeant Aleksandr Panevin.

    Silver, 14K gold (hammer and sickle emblem), enamels. Measures 47.0 mm tall, 44.8 mm wide; weighs 29.2 g without screw plate. The reverse is relatively flat with a faint pentagon "star" counter-relief. This piece is among the late war "starbacks" made by the Krasnokamsk Mint. According to the website, it was made from November 1944 - January 1945 (currently known serial number range for this series is 340505 - 402434.)

    In very fine to excellent condition. The enamel is very well preserved and, shows beautiful luster. There are a few minor scratches and contact marks to the arms, but the red enamel is completely free of flaking or any significant wear. The white enamel on the band has some surface flakes that are nearly unnoticeable to the naked eye, otherwise perfect. Very attractive dark patina to silver on both sides. The screw post is over 14 mm long, has not been shortened. Original WW2 era screw plate is included.

    Aleksandr Panevin joined the Red Army in January 1943, and was in combat starting in December of that year at the age of 18. During the following year, he was twice decorated with a Medal for Valor and by the early 1945, had been promoted to Guards Sergeant. In February 1945, Panevin served as gun commander of a T-34 tank with the illustrious 67th Guards Tank Regiment of the19th Guards Mechanized Brigade, 8th Guards Mechanized Corps, 1st Belorussian Front. During the Vistula - Oder offensive in January 1945, his tank operated in the forward detachment of the regiment. From 15 - 30 January, he with his crew advanced over 500 km and 4 times forced major rivers without having to stop for a repair even once. On a number of occasions, their tank was the first to break into enemy-held towns and villages thus serving as an "inspiration for the other tank crews to perform combat feats."

    On 24 January, Panevin with his crew destroyed 5 large warehouses near Poznan storing artillery and aviation equipment. In that single engagement, they also destroyed 2 artillery pieces, captured 2 motor vehicles, and eliminated 30 German soldiers. In other engagements during the same two-week period, the crew destroyed an assault gun, 2 mortars and an additional 30 Nazi soldiers. Panevin's heroic ride ended on 30 January, when he was seriously wounded in combat. On 21 March, Panevin was awarded with the Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl. for his bravery and the damage he inflicted upon the enemy in the Vistula-Oder Operation.

    His injury none withstanding, Panevin was back in combat in time for the Battle of Berlin. From the beginning of the battle until the fall of Berlin, he once again operated in the leading detachment engaging the enemy at close quarters on the streets of the German capital. He and his crew killed over 30 enemy soldiers and destroyed 6 machine gun nests and 2 mortars. On 2 May, on the last day of the battle, his tank met in the middle of a street by a German antitank gun firing at point-blank range. Acting boldly and decisively, the tank crew maneuvered to smash the enemy gun with the tank treads. For the battle of Berlin Panvein was awarded with an Order of the Red Star, his fourth and final decoration of the Patriotic War.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendation and relevant pages of the award decree; photocopy of the relevant page of the archival serial number log confirming the identity of the recipient; photocopy of the award recommendation for the 1945 Order of the Red Star. Information about the 19th Guards Mechanized Brigade and 8th Guards Mechanized Corps can be found in Volume III "Red Storm" of the Charles Sharp's book series on Soviet Order of Battle in World War II.


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