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     Home > BOOKS and REFERENCE > Books on Medals and Badges of the USSR & Communist Bloc

    The Order of the Red Banner.

    The Order of the Red Banner. Subtitled "The History of Institution of the Award and the Evolution of Its Badge". Valeriy Durov, Nikolay Strekalov, C. 2006, Moscow. "Collector's Books" series. Hard covered, 223 pp, Russian text, hundreds of color photographs.

    This is one of the landmark reference books that appear infrequently and change an area of collecting forever. "The Order of the Red Banner" is an extraordinary book in many respects. First of all, importance of the subject can hardly be overestimated. Order of the Red Banner was the first of Soviet decorations and therefore had the longest history of all. Until the end of the Soviet Union it remained one of its highest military awards, at least technically. Some of its variations are virtually unobtainable to even the most advanced collectors. At the same time, the more common versions of the Red Banner are well known even to the beginners and are usually within easy reach.

    A unique feature of the book is the photographs. Photos in many reference books on medals and badges are of lamentable quality, and only a few have satisfactory close-ups. This publication sets an entirely new standard, with large number of magnified photos in exceptional detail. Special attention is given to mint marks, maker stamps, die characteristics and idiosyncrasies. In this respect this work surpasses even the excellent first publication of the "Collector's Books" series, "Order of Lenin. Order of Stalin". Its photographic quality can be compared perhaps only with The General Assault Badge by Frank Heukemes.

    Yet another great aspect is systematic approach which makes this work so easy to use and reliable. The authors organized it chronologically, starting with the first, rejected version of the RSFSR Red Banner by the Bovzey Workshop. Serial number ranges for each variation are accompanied by reference photos. The narrative explains even minute differences between the variations. In addendum, there are tables with precise production numbers by the mint location, dates of manufacture and detailed data on mint remakes and duplicates.

    Lastly, this book is truly a complete history of the award. It covers design stages, production and technical standards of the badges. At the same time it explains award requirements and how they evolved over the years. The text is dotted with examples of award citations and recipients, making this an interesting and captivating reading.

    Depth and quality of this publication are unprecedented. This book is a required reading for the serious collector of Soviet awards and is unlikely to be surpassed .

    Item# 13666


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