- Order of Victory
Order of Victory
The Order of Victory
Awarded by the Soviet Union Type Single-grade order Eligibility Military Generals and Marshals only Awarded for Conducting combat operations involving one or more army groups and resulting in a "successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favor of the Red Army" Status No longer awarded Statistics Established November 8, 1943 First awarded April 10, 1944 Last awarded February 20, 1978 Total awarded 20
Ribbon of the Order of Victory
The Order of Victory (Russian: Орден "Победa", Orden "Pobeda") was the highest military decoration in the Soviet Union, and one of the rarest orders in the world. The order was awarded only to Generals and Marshals for successfully conducting combat operations involving one or more army groups and resulting in a "successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favor of the Red Army." In its history, it has been awarded twenty times to thirteen Soviet leaders and five foreign leaders, with one revocation.
The order was proposed by Colonel N. S. Neyelov, who was serving at the Soviet Army Rear headquarters around June 1943. The original name that Colonel Neyelov suggested was Order for Faithfulness to the Homeland; however, it was given its present name around October of that year. The order was officially adopted on November 8, 1943. The first awarding of the order was on April 10, 1944 and it was presented to Marshalls Aleksandr Vasilevsky and Georgy Zhukov, and Joseph Stalin as Commander-in-Chief of the Soviet Armed Forces. The order was also bestowed to top commanders of the Allied forces. Every order was presented during World War II, except for the 1978 award to Leonid Brezhnev. Brezhnev's award was revoked posthumously in 1989 for not meeting the requirements for the award.
Like other orders awarded by Communist nations, the Order of Victory could be awarded more than once to the same individual. In total, the order was presented twenty times to seventeen people (including Brezhnev).
Unlike all other Soviet orders, the Order of Victory had no serial number on it, the number was only mentioned in the award certificate. After a holder of the Order of Victory died, the award was to be given back to the state. The awards are now preserved by the Diamond Fund in the Moscow Kremlin. Notable exceptions are Dwight D. Eisenhower's Order of Victory, which is on display at the United States National Archives Building in Washington D.C., and Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery's Order of Victory, which is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.
The Order is made out of platinum in the form of a pentangular star with rays between the arms, measuring 72 mm in diameter. The star is studded with 174 diamonds weighing a total of 16 carats (3.2 g), while the arms of the star are made out of synthetic rubies. In the center of the star is a silver medallion, with the Moscow Kremlin wall, the Spasskaya Tower, and Lenin's Mausoleum depicted in gold surrounded by bands of laurel and oak also colored in gold. The laurel and oak are bound with a red banner. The sky in the background is inlaid with blue enamel. Against the sky, the letters "СССР" (USSR) appear in gold centered on the top of the medallion, while the word "Победа" (Victory) is displayed on the red banner at the bottom.
Who the main designer of the order was remains uncertain; however, the current design was chosen by Joseph Stalin on October 20, 1943. Instead of being made at a mint, each Order was made in a jeweler's workshop.
Dwight D. Eisenhower had his star valued by an American jeweler; he told Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, who was interested in receiving such a prestigious award himself, that the stones were "fakes".
The ribbons of various Soviet orders have been combined to create the Order Ribbon. The total length of the ribbon is 44 mm and it is mostly worn on the field uniform. The following featured orders are depicted on the ribbon (read from outside towards the center):
- Order of Glory (Орден Славы/Orden Slavy). Orange with black center stripe
- Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky (Орден Богдана Хмельницкого/Orden Bogdana Khmelnitskogo). Light blue stripe
- Order of Alexander Nevsky (Орден Александра Невского/Orden Aleksandra Nevskogo). Dark red stripe
- Order of Kutuzov (Орден Кутузова/Orden Kutuzova). Dark blue stripe
- Order of Suvorov (Орден Суворова/Orden Suvorova). Green stripe
- Order of Lenin (Орден Ленина/Orden Lenina). Large Red stripe (center section)
List of recipients
# Date Name Died Summary 1 April 10, 1944 Georgy Zhukov June 18, 1974 2 April 10, 1944 Aleksandr Vasilevsky December 5, 1977 3 April 10, 1944 Joseph Stalin March 5, 1953 4 March 30, 1945 Konstantin Rokossovsky August 3, 1968 5 March 30, 1945 Ivan Konev May 21, 1973 6 April 19, 1945 Aleksandr Vasilevsky December 5, 1977 (2nd time) 7 April 26, 1945 Rodion Malinovsky March 31, 1967 8 April 26, 1945 Fyodor Tolbukhin October 17, 1949 9 May 31, 1945 Leonid Govorov March 19, 1955 10 May 31, 1945 Georgy Zhukov June 18, 1974 (2nd time) 11 June 4, 1945 Semyon Timoshenko March 31, 1970 12 June 4, 1945 Aleksei Antonov June 18, 1962 13 June 4, 1945 Dwight D. Eisenhower March 28, 1969 14 June 5, 1945 Bernard Montgomery March 24, 1976 15 June 26, 1945 Joseph Stalin March 5, 1953 (2nd time) 16 July 6, 1945 Michael I of Romania Alive Sole surviving recipient as of 2011 17 August 9, 1945 Michał Rola-Żymierski October 15, 1989 18 September 8, 1945 Kirill Meretskov December 30, 1968 19 September 9, 1945 Josip Broz Tito May 4, 1980 20 February 20, 1978 Leonid Brezhnev November 10, 1982 Revoked (posthumously)
- ^ Dmitry Markov, Order of Victory - 1943 (Russian-medals.net)
- ^ Voice of Russia, World Service in English (2005) The Order of Victory
- ^ Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands in an interview with H.G. Meijer, published in "Het Vliegerkruis", Amsterdam 1997, ISBN 90 6707 347 4 . page 92
- ^ (Russian) Awards and medals of the Soviet Union Орден "Победа"
- Decorated with the Supreme Military Victory Order
- Order of Victory - 1943
- (Russian) Orders and Medals of the USSR - Order of Victory
Hero Titles Civil and Military Orders Military Orders
Order of Victory • Order of the Red Banner • Order of Suvorov • Order of Ushakov • Order of Kutuzov • Order of Nakhimov • Order of the Red Star • Order of the Patriotic War • Order of Alexander Nevsky • Order of Bogdan Khmelnitsky • Order of Glory • Order for Service to the Homeland in the Armed Forces
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