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 school.
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.