Soviet era orders are the highest decorations bestowed by the government upon individuals and organizations for outstanding military and civilian achievements.  The orders of the Soviet period are some of the most exquisitely designed artistic masterpieces in the world, and many are of solid gold or silver.  The Order of Lenin, for example, is of gold and platinum.   They have become quite rare, as are most Russian WW II awards.           


These orders are individually numbered and documented to record the recipient and the deed for which the order was issued.  The documentation consists of an Order Book that records the type of order the recipient received, the number of the order, the date the order was earned, the date the order was received and the signature of the official under whose purview the order is issued.                                                                                                                                            


The statistics quoted for orders, medals, badges and other items on this website, with respect to number of items produced, issue dates, and metal contents, are approximations.  The views expressed with respect to the items in my collection, are my own personal opinions.  Various published sources were referenced in producing this website, including: The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals, Paul McDaniel and Paul J. Schmitt; Ордена СССР, Anatoly Kutshenko; “The Badges of the Soviet Armed Forces 1918 - 1991”, V.A. Borisov; and, the  ABEPC series of publications.  For a detailed analysis of Soviet Orders and Medals, please refer to The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals.

    LITERATURE ON SOVIET ORDERS, MEDALS, ETC

The best reference.

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Russian

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    ORDER AND MEDAL BOOKS

The Order Book and Medal Book was an indispensable part of the Soviet award system.  All orders were recorded in the Order Book.  The book consisted of several pages indicating the particulars of the order.  All the various orders awarded to the recipient were recorded in the book by name of the order and the respective number of the order.  Medals such as for “Bravery” and “Combat Service” were also recorded in the Order Book.  Several types of medals, such as the one issued for protecting the Soviet border have their own distinct booklets for recording the award.  Most of the Order Books and Medal Books come without photographs; however, once in a while it’s possible to come across a rare find with a photo of the proud recipient included.  Please refer to The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals for a detailed description and history of the various order and medal books.


Interestingly, despite German reputation for meticulous efficiency, they never utilized a designated numbering system for their military awards.  If a collector bought an Iron Cross, there would be no way to trace the award back to the respective recipient.  The Soviet system, on the other hand designated a specific number for each order and medal which could be used to identify the recipient.  The National Archive in Moscow has the ability to track a specific award by its number to the recipient and to the records documenting the deeds for which the award was issued. 

    Order Book

Names of orders and medals awarded and the number engraved on the respective order.  This recipient was awarded:


  1. -Red Star

  2. -Medal for Combat Service

  3. -Red Star

  4. -Red Banner

  Date privileges earned

Date book issued

Name of medal and respective number . Ushakov Medal # 11674

Date privileges earned

Date  book issued

Facsimile signature of the Secretary of the Soviet Presidium.

Facsimile signature of the Secretary of the Soviet Presidium

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  SOVIET AWARD SYSTEM

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“On The March”, Russian Army Chorus

Flag of USSR

Coat of Arms  of USSR

Certificate of Medals

  Russian

RUSSIAN PHOTO - LITERATURE ON “GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR”

“The Great Patriotic War” ( in Photographs and Commentary).  Published in Moscow in 1985 for the 40th Anniversary of “День Победа”, “Day of Victory”.  Each book covers one of the five years of the war.  Each page of these large heavy books is glossy and full of photographs.  The text next to the photographs is in Russian, but a picture is “worth a thousand words”.  This excellent set of heavy high quality books is out of print.  I was fortunate to have found a complete set of practically new books in Moscow.

                  “1941-1945 Great Patriotic War”


Published in 1984.  More of a Commie Party presentation.  Great color Commie Party posters through out this lavishly illustrated book.  A picture history similar to above, but condensed into one book.  Uniquely ties the battles to the awards given, with color paintings of heros in action. Contains excellent colored maps of battles and campaigns.  Russian

“Naval Warfare Victory 1941 - 1945”


Published in 1995. Russian naval warfare documented in text and photographs covering all naval branches including submarines and infantry.  Russian

“Death to German Invaders”

“Posters - War and Victory”


Published in 2005 by Russian Governmental Library. Contains full page color copies of posters issued by USSR for each year from 1941 - 1945. Russian

NOTE: The photographs of Russian personnel, equipment, banners, and posters incorporated into this website come primarily from the books on this page, or from other Soviet-era books that are in my collection.

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