Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class, Type 2, concave
reverse variation (Leningrad Mint), #437492, with a
document, awarded on 6 May 1945 to Esenakun Arzamatov.
The order is in silver, 14 K gold (hammer & sickle emblem)
and enamels; measures 48.0 mm tall x 45.6 mm wide. This
Leningrad Mint variation has distinctive "deep dish" shape
and is noticeably larger than other varieties. Sub-
variation featuring rudimentary ray under the blade of the
saber, near the hilt. In excellent condition. Aside from a
few microscopic contact marks, the red enamel is perfect,
free of flaking or rubbing, and shows beautiful luster.
There are a couple of miniscule surface flakes on the white
band, but they are practically unnoticeable to the naked
eye. Nice toning to silver on both sides. The screw post is
over 15 mm long, has not been shortened. Includes original
screw plate of WW2 era.
The order booklet was filled-out on 1 July 1947. It
contains three entries, two of which, the Patriotic War 2nd
cl. and a Medal for Combat Service, were made at the same
time. A post-war Order of the Red Star was added to the
document later, as was customary at the time. Note that
there is a correction to the serial number of the Patriotic
War made by the clerk who issued the document. We are
certain that the entry is legitimate and guarantee it. The
document is in very good condition. There is moderate wear
to the cloth binding at the corners, but it remains sound.
The internal pages likewise have wear to the edges and
minor stains, but all the pages are still present and
completely legible. The staples are rusted as usual but
still hold the pages well.
An ethnic Kirgiz native of the mountainous Tian Shan
region, Esenakun Arzamatov joined the Red Army in 1942 at
the age of 20. He was in combat staring from October 1943
as a private with the 18th Combat Engineers Brigade of the
1st Belorussian Front. In August 1944, he distinguished
himself when he with a team of engineers working under
enemy fire in incredibly short time rebuilt a bridge blown
by the Germans during their retreat. For this feat, he was
awarded with a Medal for Combat Service in September 1944.
Judging by a hiatus in his frontline service, during the
following month he probably went to a junior officer
Arzamatov was at the front again in March 1945, now with
the rank of Junior Lieutenant as commander of a combat
engineers platoon with the 2nd Separate Assault Engineers
Brigade. At the opening of the Battle for Berlin, his unit
was assigned to the 1st Belorussian Front to clear passes
in enemy antitank minefields on the west bank of the Oder.
During the early morning hours on the first day of the
offensive, Arzamatov with his platoon under heavy fire
removed 643 mines and made 4 passes for the tanks near the
town of Podelzig, short distance southeast from Seelow. He
and his men thus made it possible for the Soviet 88th Rifle
Division to advance skirting on the south the Seelow
Heights where the German resistance was strongest.
Arzamatov completed the task in such a thorough manner that
there was not a single case of a Soviet tank being blown up
by mines in that sector.
In pre-dawn hours of 19 April, Arzamatov accompanied a
group of reconnaissance men on a daring raid into enemy
rear. When crossing the frontline, he with another soldier
used hand grenades to destroy a German machinegun nest and
two soldiers and thus opened a passage for the rest of the
scouts. The recon group advanced 10 km deep in the
direction of Muncheberg and spent 36 hours behind the lines
wreaking havoc on the enemy territory. Arzamatov and the
other scouts cut telegraph lines in five different
locations. They discovered a weapons dump where they
sabotaged a large number of rifles by removing their bolts.
During the same raid they found 500 Panzerfausts in another
warehouse and disabled a part of them.
For his bravery and contribution in the operation,
Arzamatov was recommended for a "humble" Order of the Red
Star. The recommendation by the assault battalion
commander was then uncharacteristically upgraded to an
Order of the Patriotic War, which was bestowed upon
Arzamatov on 6 May by the 28th Guards Rifle Corps. This
award comes with a truly amazing recommendation!
Research Materials: copy of the award commendations for
the Medal for Combat Service and Order of the Patriotic
War, 2nd cl.