Order of Glory was an enlisted man's
from the lowly
private to an aviation junior
lieutenant. There seems to have been prejudice towards enlisted
personnel when it came to high-end decorations. The Orders of
Red Banner were reserved for officers. There needed to be an
award for the enlisted men and women, which recognized great
military deeds leading up to the highest honor. While they were
still eligible for the HSU, the three classes of the Order of
Glory were created to solve this problem. When a
won all three classes, then he received the title of Cavalier.
The honoree was afforded the same status and privileges as the
Hero of the Soviet Union. If one were to compare the Order of
Glory to American decorations, the 3rd Class would be about
equivalent to our Bronze Star, the 2nd Class to the Silver Star,
and the 1st Class to the Medal of Honor.
the Great Patriotic War, over 11,500 Soviet soldiers won
the esteemed title of
Hero of the Soviet Union. As of 1967, 119 received the
honor twice and seven received it for the third time.
Additionally, 2,398 became Cavaliers of the Order of Glory
from 1943 through 1945, which had the same status and
privileges as the HSU. The rarest of these recipients
was the individual who became a Hero of the Soviet Union
and a Cavalier - there were only four!
Why were there only four Hero-Cavaliers from the Great
Patriotic War? They were due to delays in forwarding the award
recommendation up the chain of command or misplacement of the
recipient's records. Instances of multiple awards of the same
class were common. Quite a few soldiers received the Order of
Glory 1st Class long after the war when they learned that they
could turn in their duplicate awards for the next higher class.
The four Hero-Cavaliers
were Andrei Alyoshin (artillery), Ivan Drachenko (pilot), Pavel
Dubinda (Marine), and Nikolai Kuznetsov (artillery).
Andrei Alyoshin was born on June 3, 1905 in the village Novosyolki,
of the Kozelsk area of the Kaluga region (central part of Russia,
south of Moscow). His parents were peasant farmers. Young Alyoshin
only finished four grades of school and toiled as a farm laborer.
He began his military career when he joined the Army in 1938.
A year later, he was sent to fight in the Soviet-Finnish War,
which ended in 1940.
With the end of hostilities, Alyoshin returned to the
collective farm where he began his new career in bookkeeping.
However, on June 22, 1941, war came to Popelevo when the Germans
launched their attack upon the Soviet Union. The very next day,
Alyoshin said farewell to his wife and four children, and went
off to re-enlist in the Army. He was soon fighting the Germans
as they advanced towards Moscow. At first, Pvt Aloyshin served
as a gun layer. He was so dedicated in his task, he slept by
the artillery piece and never left