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Order of Glory, 3rd class, Type 2, Variation 1, #86401, awarded on 1 August 1944 to Private Vladimir Tumanov, reconnaissance man of the 193rd Combat Engineers Battalion, 22nd Army, 2nd Baltic Front, for bravery shown during the July 1944 offensive that brought the Red Army into Latvia.

Silver, enamel; measures 48.6 mm in height (incl. eyelet), 46.9 mm in width; weighs 25.0 g not including the suspension and connecting link. Note the low, 5-digit serial number. Features early version of the medallion with the Kremlin tower touching the edge of the red scroll, arch under the clock without the horizontal bar in its upper portion, and the "windows" on the left and right of the arch having small vertical lines not reaching the bottom of the windows.

Very fine to excellent condition. The enamel is nicely preserved having only minor amount of rubbing and a single miniscule surface flake on the scroll which is completely unnoticeable to the naked eye. There are some small dings and scratches, mostly on the upper left arm that obviously came from contact with other decorations while being worn on a uniform. The center medallion shows only minimal wear to the high points; its details are still well preserved and crisp. There is beautiful even toning on both sides of the medallion. Comes on original WW2 era suspension, a two-layer model in steel and brass with self-locking pin; interestingly, the pin is a smaller-sized replacement likely added by the recipient himself in exchange for the broken original pin. The ribbon is old, possibly original ribbon is perfectly preserved and very clean. The connecting link appears to be original and its ends are still joined with solder.

Vladimir Tumanov was born in 1916 in the city of Moscow. Prior to the Patriotic War, he received only elementary school education. He enlisted in the Red Army on 22 July 1941, exactly one month after the German invasion of the Soviet Union, initially served with the Western Front and in all likelihood, took part in the Battle of Moscow.

Although he had been at the front uninterruptedly since the first weeks of the Patriotic War, Tumanov still had the rank of private three years later. In July 1944, he earned his first decoration of the war during the Second Belorussian Front's Rezhitsa (Rēzekne) - Dvina Operation that came in the wake of the sweeping Soviet offensive in Belorussia and had the goal of breaking into Latvia. At the time, Tumanov served as reconnaissance man in the 193rd Combat Engineers Battalion, 22nd Army. In the pre-dawn hours of 10 July, the date planned for the start of the offensive, he made two forays over the kilometer wide no man's land to the barbed wire entanglements directly in front of the enemy trenches. On his first trip, he thoroughly reconnoitered the rather complex system of obstacles and determined the type of barbed wire used there making the task of defeating it much easier. On the second trip, he cut an eight meters wide lane through the wire. The Soviet attack started at 19:00 and quickly achieved overwhelming success in this sector. This was later credited in Soviet sources to a large extent to very thorough preparations conducted by combat engineers such as Tumanov. In the subsequent award commendation, the battalion commander also stated that he was highly effective during the follow-up pursuit of the retreating enemy. On a number of occasions, Tumanov rode on a leading tank far ahead of the infantry and then brought back to his command valuable information about the possible route of advance.

On 1 August 1944, the 22nd Army awarded Tumanov with the Order of Glory, 3rd cl. His first combat award wouldn't be the last. Just days later, on 8 August, he distinguished himself during the forced crossing of a river. He and another soldier were the first to reach the river and promptly began assembling a pontoon bridge under enemy fire. When this immediate task was completed, Tumanov used available unutilized portions of the bridge to ferry infantry to the opposite bank. He was subsequently recommended for an Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd cl. The battalion commander's recommendation however was downgraded to an Order of the Red Star which was bestowed upon Tumanov by a decree of the 26th Separate Engineers and Sappers Brigade on 11 August 1944.

Tumanov's next decoration was a Medal for Valor awarded on 4 December 1944 for reconnoitering enemy defenses in the Lestene district of Latvia, south of the city of Tukums. His final award of WW2 was Order of Glory 2nd cl. (#2922) bestowed on 18 January 1945 for conducting over 25 reconnaissance missions, showing bravery under fire on numerous occasions, and cutting lanes in German wire entanglements. In May 1946, Tumanov was discharged from the military having the rank of corporal and returned to his native Moscow. As of July 1946, he was a civilian employee of the Dzerzhinsky Military Academy where he worked as a wall painter.

Research Materials: photocopy of the award record card and award commendations for the two Orders of Glory, Order of the Red Star and Medal for Valor.

Item# 36333

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