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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > TOP Soviet Military Orders

    Order of Suvorov, 3rd class, Type 3, #8254, awarded on 2 December 1943 to Major Aleksey Borshchov, a motorized battalion commander with the 79th Tank Brigade, for the capture of the Turkish (Perekop) Wall, a key position that was later used for the liberation of Crimea.

    Order of Suvorov, 3rd class, Type 3, #8254, awarded on 2 December 1943 to Major Aleksey Borshchov, a motorized battalion commander with the 79th Tank Brigade, for the capture of the Turkish (Perekop) Wall, a key position that was later used for the liberation of Crimea.

    In silver and enamels; measures 47.4 mm in height, 50.0 mm in width; weighs 25.5 grams without screw plate. Features characteristic "wrinkles" to the reverse. The serial number is engraved in standard manner at 5 o'clock position.

    In outstanding, excellent condition. The enamel in the letters is perfect. The center medallion shows almost no wear apart from some tiny contact marks, mostly to its flat area. The details of the bas-relief portrait are exceptionally well preserved and crisp - far superior to the vast majority of the other examples of this order that we have handled. The rays are likewise beautifully defined having only a few tiny dings, no significant wear or scratches. There is very attractive even patina to silver on both the obverse and reverse. The screw post is approx. 14 mm long, has not been shortened. Original silver screw plate is included.

    Aleksey Borshchov was born in 1912 in the city of Orel. In 1926, he joined the military and became a professional army officer. He did not see combat however until October 1942, when he was appointed a battalion commander with the 48th Mechanized Brigade of the 41st Army, Kalinin Front. In December 1942, Borshchov distinguished himself in the fighting near Rzhev and Vyazma, in one of the series of exceptionally bloody and mostly unsuccessful Soviet offensives in that area. Collectively, these infamous offensives became known as "Rzhev Meat Grinder" among the veteran Soviet troops and later, military historians. None withstanding the overall development of the operation, Borshchov managed to inflict serious losses on the Germans in the areas of villages of Syromyatnaya and Korchevka. On 2 December, he jointly with another battalion commander led an assault on Syromyatnaya. He and in his troops killed up to 400 enemy soldiers, knocked out 5 tanks and captured the village. Throughout the skirmish, Borshchov took active part in fighting exterminating the Germans at close quarters with his revolver. He was wounded in the shoulder but remained on the battlefield in command of his unit. When ordered to withdraw, he organized a fighting retreat and managed to extricate a part of his troops and equipment. On 21 December, after being on the front lines for only two months, Borshchov was recommended for an Order of the Red Banner by the commander of the 43rd Mechanized Brigade. Early next month, the high award was approved by the commander of the 41st Army and on 28 January 1943, officially bestowed upon Borshchov by a decree of the Kalinin Front.

    In the fall of 1943, Borshchov took part in the battle for a bridgehead in the Crimea as a commander of a motorized rifle and machine gun battalion, 79th Tank Brigade, 19th Tank Corps. In the lead of his battalion, he was the first man to break into the German position at the Turkish Wall (aka Perekop Wall), an ancient fortification running across the narrow isthmus of Perekop that connects Crimean Peninsula with the mainland. The position had been overrun by the Nazis in 1941 during their drive to Sevastopol, and the Soviet high command was eager to get it back as a jumping off point for the upcoming liberation of Crimea.

    After breaching the Turkish Wall, Borshchov with his battalion followed the Soviet tanks into the rear of the enemy where they captured a bridgehead to the south of the wall. He then for three days defended his newly acquired position against incessant attacks of enemy tanks and infantry and managed to hold it until the arrival of the main Soviet forces. From 22 October through 3 November, Borshchov's battalion - with its commander constantly in the forward ranks - closely followed the tanks expanding the Soviet gains. During this period, the battalion eliminated several hundred German troops and destroyed massive amount of enemy equipment. For this extraordinary feat, Borshchov was recommended for the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union. The recommendation submitted on 12 November by the tank brigade commander was approved on the next day by the Commander of the 19th Tank Corps. Two days later, the Title of Hero was approved by Commander of the Armored Forces of the 4th Ukrainian Front, Tank Corps Maj. General Novikov. Inexplicably, the award was then downgraded to Order of Suvorov 3rd cl. by the command of the Front. The foothold at Perekop acquired by Borshchov and his men indeed proved to be invaluable later on: in April 1944, it was successfully used as a starting point for the whirlwind Soviet offensive in Crimea.

    Borshchov went on to earn two more decorations in WW2, Orders of the Patriotic War 2nd cl. and Red Star, both awarded during 1944. He remained on active duty after the war and also received two length of service awards, an Order of the Red Banner in 1950 and Order of Lenin in 1954. As of September 1945, he served as Deputy Commander of the 3rd School of Naval Air Force Pilots located in the city of Taganrog.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award record card and award commendations for the 1943 Order of the Red Banner and the Order of Suvorov 3rd cl. Ample information about the 19th Tank Corps and its 79th Tank Brigade can be found in Vol. II "School of Battle" of the Charles Sharp's series of books on WW2 Soviet Order of Battle.

    Item# 33118


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