Honorary Certificate for the 1960-1961 Academic Year awarded to the Suvorov Military School in Kiev; signed by the Chief of the Soviet Army Ground Forces, Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Chuikov, the WW 2 Soviet hero most frequently associated the battle for Stalingrad and the capture of Berlin.
Measures 30 cm x 37.8 cm (approx. 12" x 14 ¾"), single page. Lenin's portrait is embossed near the top of the sheet while Suvorov's portrait is printed across the bottom. The award certificate reads "To Kiev Suvorov Military School, For best results in instructional and educational work in 1960-1961 school year." The artwork for the presentation certificate was obviously first designed in 1950 on the 250th Anniversary of the death of Russian Field Marshal Alexander Suvorov and then used afterwards with appropriate new inscriptions being printed on them each time. In the scroll under the Suvorov's portrait is one of his famous quotes: " (If) training is hard, campaigning is easy; (if) training is easy, campaigning is hard". The conspicuous absence of Stalin's portrait leads us to believe that the document was probably partly redesigned in or around 1956.
The text on the bottom margin identifies the printing house, the number of the order and date it was placed (19 January 1957) and shows that 25 copies were made in total (apparently left partly blank for the name of the recipient school and signer to be typographically added later as appropriate).
Marshal Chuikov signed the document in blue fountain pen on 5 November 1961 next to his typographically printed full rank and position. He also entered the "5" in the date, just below the red ink stamp which reads "Supreme Commander of the Land Forces".
The certificate is in very good to excellent condition. Unlike vast majority of Soviet presentation documents of its type, it has never been folded for storage and has not been creased. The artwork is perfectly preserved; the colors are bold and strong. There are small clips along the edge of the lower margin which are not too detractive and will completely disappear from view under the matting when the document is properly framed. The printed text, stamp, and Chuikov's signature in particular are strong and completely legible.
As a historical sidenote, Suvorov military boarding schools were created in 1943 and named in honor of Alexander Suvorov (1729-1800) the Russian commander who was regarded by many historians as Russia's most successful general. Founded primarily as boarding schools for the orphaned sons of Soviet soldiers, by the height of the Cold War they were so esteemed that attendance at one of them was regarded as almost de rigueur for any boy who aspired to one day being a successful military officer.
As a young man, Chuikov fought for the Red Army against Admiral Kolchak in the Civil War. Later, he served as military advisor to Chinese Marshal Chiang Kai-shek during the period between the two World Wars, commanded the 62nd Army at Stalingrad from its worst plight to the ultimate victory, accepted the Nazi surrender of Berlin in 1945, commanded Soviet occupation troops in East Germany, and served as Deputy Minister of Defense. In 1955, he was promoted Marshal of the Soviet Union. He signed this document in 1961, the year after his appointment as the Chief of the Soviet Army Ground Forces. During his illustrious career, he was made Twice Hero of the Soviet Union and earned nine Orders of Lenin, three Orders of Suvorov 1st Class, plus many other Soviet and foreign decorations.
The wording used implies that not only was the Kiev branch of the Suvorov military schools superior in education and military training, but also in character education, too. A remarkable and attractive Soviet document.
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