Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd class, Type 1, Variation 3, #19613, awarded on to Lieutenant Nikolai Ratkovskiy.
Silver, solid gold (hammer & sickle emblem), enamels. The medallion is 47.3 mm tall (incl. eyelet), 42.9 mm wide. The suspension measures 32.4 mm wide, 21.2-21.3 mm in height (not including the provision for connecting link at the bottom). The serial number is engraved in standard manner at 7 o'clock position.
In fine condition. The enamel is preserved better than on most other surviving Type 1 examples. The enamel is completely replaced on the top arm (as is often the case, the replacement is something that looks like nail polish, probably applied by the recipient himself and very easy to remove with solvent if desired). The enamel on the other arms is original and relatively well preserved. There are surface flakes near the tips of the arms, but no penetrating chips. The enamel also has many small contact marks and scratches; there is no excessive rubbing however, and the enamel on the four lower arms still has an attractive overall appearance. The golden hammer & sickle emblem is completely intact. There is nice, even dark patina to silver on the obverse and reverse.
This piece has not been converted and retains its original suspension device, complete with the retaining nut and rectangular back plate. The screw post is full length, over 11 mm long measured from the back plate, and includes original mint marked screw plate. The ribbon is old and in all likelihood, original as well; it is perfectly clean and sound showing only minimal wear to the edges. The connecting link appears to be original and although deformed from the weight of the pendant, remains intact; its ends are soldered shut.
Nikolai Ratkovskiy joined the military in 1939 at the age of 18, apparently as a cadet of a military school. He was at the front from February 1943 serving as topographer of the Southwestern Front. He immediately distinguished himself by providing valuable contribution to strengthening the defense lines being built by the Front at the time in anticipation of the German summer offensive. Ratkovskiy's specific responsibilities apparently encompassed finding best positions for the artillery batteries, the task he completed with utmost efficiency despite his lack of prior experience. The recommendation to award Lieut. Ratkovskiy with an Order of the Patriotic War - a relatively new and still uncommon award at the time - was submitted by the deputy commander of his topographic unit on 3 June 1943. It was soon approved by the Southwestern Front's Chief of Staff, and the award was officially bestowed upon Ratkovskiy on 22 June 1943 - the second anniversary of the German invasion.
Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendation and award record card.
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