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Old 04-13-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
Ruiz
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Doubt.

Hello, I would like to know which are the equivalent of the German decorations over the Soviet Union.
Iron Cross First and Second Class, Military Merit, German Cross ....

For example:

Iron Cross First Class / Great Patriotic War First Class.???

Best regards.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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Re: Doubt.

This is somewhat like asking to equate the colour Red with the sensation of wetness.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #3
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Re: Doubt.

These comparisons almost never work, especially if you are merging two very different political/social systems. It is easier to look a specific cases of what a particular award was given for (and keep in mind that these changed over time). This is rather easy for Soviet awards, less so for for those Hitlerite things.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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Re: Doubt.

The reason of this question is because many collectors of German militaria tend to think that the Soviets gave awards in large quantities, and I think quite the opposite, they gave less decorations have a vastly larger army.

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Old 04-13-2012, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Doubt.

It would be interesting to do a "number of each decoration per 1000 men in uniform" computation, year by year, for each country in WWII. It would be a major research project and perhaps would not even be possible. I have seen some numbers for Canada, with comparative WWI figures.
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #6
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Re: Doubt.

It is true that some Greater German awards were awarded only once but that does not make them "elite" or the such.

There could be an absolutely endless debate conducting comparisons of warring nations but their is far more personal agendas than facts aired during such debates.

All wars are very different for all nations participating in them. The number of awards and also their "purpose" will vary throughout the entire spectrum.

In a purely non-political and non-campaign award for reaching a quota (be it production or kills) a comparison may well be able to be conducted in a rational fashion. These may be items such as marksmanship awards or long service awards.

The Soviets issued long service awards for 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 etc years service. The Greater Germans did not mark service in 5 year periods, they marked 4, 12 and 25.

Comparison made?
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Old 04-13-2012, 02:57 PM   #7
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Re: Doubt.

I just tried running some very imprecise numbers in a very imprecise method to make a very imprecise comparison.

The very imprecise result:

Soviet - "Commander" orders, OPW, OG, ORB, ORS, OL, BM, CMM, Ushakov/Nakhimov medals, Partisan medals:
12,500,000 awards

German - Knight's cross, German cross, Iron Cross, War Merit Cross and medal:
18,700,000 awards

Obviously this isn't a good comparison. But maybe it's enough to suggest Ruiz's hypothesis has merit.


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Old 04-13-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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Re: Doubt.

How about running those numbers and modifying them with the additional factors of;

Area of "pre-war" border nation which fell into enemy hands during the conflict in a percentage.
Area of territory "captured", "liberated" etc. as a percentage in comparison to the "pre-war" border.

Percentage wise the Germans expanded a greater area under their command in comparison to the nation's original size, also a vast percentage higher of their territory was lost by the end of it all.

The war was very different for the two nations and when thinking of awards we also have to factor in more than the Orders and Medals. The Germans and Soviets also awarded Badges for action taken during the conflict. The Germans also have other portable and non-portable awards, such as Shields and Sleeve patches. Then you have the truly vast number of congratulation certificates issued in Stalin's thankful name.


We must all bare in mind that awards are not just metal chest decoration and also it takes resources and labour and the rest to produce them all no matter what the material they are constructed from.

The Germans were also issued with awards for conflicts with many other nations other than the Soviet Union. If you added up the number of awards issued by the Allies and compared with those issued by the Axis things will look very different again. Greater Germany was at war continuously from September 1939 to May 1945. The Soviet Union was at war on and off during this period with their main "Patriotic War" lasting from June 1941 to May 1945.

So many factors that make both situations so completely different that rationality doesn't obviously show itself.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Re: Doubt.

I remember listing the TR award numbers in a thread I did about the Soviet awards numbers. Lemme go see if I can find the link.

Here it is: http://soviet-awards.com/forum/sovie...html#post92915
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