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     ORDER OF THE PATRIOTIC WAR

Given to service men, units and institutions for valor exhibited in combating the German invaders during the Great Patriotic War.  There are two classes for this order: 1st (gold) and 2nd (Silver) with the earlier version hung on a suspension and the latter version screwed in place.   The reverse sides of both orders come in various designs, particularly in the second class.  Replicas of both classes were issued in 1985.

     First Class

Established: 1942;  No. Issued:  314,058;  Metal Content (gr):  gold: 8.3;  silver: 14.5

  # 19,617

    Issued: 1943

    # 33,044

   Second Class

Established: 1942;  No. Issued:  970,001;  Metal Content (gr):  gold: .33;  silver: 21.8

Issued: 1943

    # 28,873

Order # 463 above is the first variation manufactured, and is one of the earliest awarded.  It has a ring soldered to the silver ribbon holder.  Only about 700 of these variations were manufactured in 1942 - 43. The clip is used to fasten the order to the shirt so it won’t swing.  Issued 1942.

    # 118,893

   Issued: 1944

Order # 1,405 is the second variation manufactured. The star is attached to the ribbon holder by a loose ring. Issued 1942.

  # 271,674

   Issued: 1945

The subsequent variations of this order abandoned the ribbon and the order was screwed to the clothing.  There a several different variations of the reverse side of the second class order.

    # 463

Early variations of the Order, such as # 19,617 above,  were attached to a silver ribbon holder. Later variations were screwed in place, as # 28,873 below. Note the difference in design of the reverse side between the two.  The Hammer & Sickle emblem and star-burst background are of solid gold.   The red star is of silver with enamel overlay.  The solid gold hammer and sickle was separately attached to the center of the order.

The recipient of # 28,873 on the left also received the HSU gold star # 7,348 on the preceding page.

# 118,893 is a peculiar model of the order since it has an off-center post.  These were produced for a short period of time.

The gold hammer and sickle are separate from the medal and attached to the face with two bolts as indicated above.

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Russian pilots not only wore their orders and medals into combat, they would also paint them on their aircraft as this crew of a PE-2 bomber has done.  This aircraft has received three Orders of the Red Banner and survived - quite an achievement considering the intense combat against the Germans. 

Issued: 1944

Motherland is Calling”

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   PETLYAKOV PE-2

The PE - 2 was one of the best light bombers of WW II.  When the Lend-Lease British Hurricane fighters arrived in Russia they had a difficult time keeping up with the PE - 2 bombers because they cruised at such a high speed.  The PE - 2 was another one of those nasty surprises for the invading Germans who naively underrated Russian military power to such an extent that they believed the war would end successfully within a few months.  Not long after invading Russia, the German officers and soldiers began to realize that their Berlin war-planners had seriously underestimated Russia’s ability to mass-produce effective weapons.  Nor, did they consider the possibility of Russian ingenuity in moving whole factories east the Urals - beyond the range of  German medium bombers.  Germany had overlooked the necessity for long range bombers.  Almost 12,000 PE - 2s were produced during WW II. The 587th Air Regiment was an all female unit that flew PE - 2 bombers in combat.


The left photo below shows that the cockpit seems to have sprung a leak. The Germans would have commissioned a team to study the problem.  The Russians just slapped some white tape on it and took off.

“Motherland”, Russian Army Chorus. The theme of the song: “This is Russia, my Motherland”. A very patriotic  and emotional song praising the glory of Mother Russia.

  SOVIET ORDERS - PE-2

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