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Red/Soviet Army Award Groups Award Groups of Red/Soviet Army Personnel of the Great Patriotic War, Cold War and other conflicts.

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Old 11-25-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
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Kulishenko, Vladimir Vasil'evich, Battery Commander, 156th Guards Artillery Regiment

A nice beginning-to-end group.

While I have mostly translated research, the best way to present this group is the write-up of the previous custodian. (C.f. Schwind, No Deed Forgotten, pp. 11-12, 77-79, 105, 183-84.)

Order of the Red Star, 76373, Prikaz of 173rd Rifle Division, 24 Dec 1942
Order of the Red Banner, 91783, Prikaz of 61st Army, 14 Oct 1943
Order of the Red Banner, 213110, Prikaz of 69th Army, 1 Apr 1945
Order of Aleksandr Nevsky, 31243, Prikaz of 69th Army, 26 May ...
Medal for the Defense of Stalingrad, Ukaz of 22 Dec 1942
Medal for the Defense of Moscow, Ukaz of 1 May 1944
Medal for the Victory over Germany in the GPW, Ukaz of 9 May 1945
Medal for the Capture of Berlin, Ukaz of 9 Jun 1945
Medal for the Liberation of Warsaw, Ukaz of 9 Jun 1945
Medal for 30 Years of Soviet Army and Fleet, Ukaz of 22 Feb 1948
Defence of Kiev, 1967
OPW 1, Jubilee, 475002, 1985

Captain Vladimir Vasilievich Kulishenko was a True Hero of the Patriotic War. He joined the Red Army on his 18th birthday in September 1940. After training as an artillery officer, he was sent to the 173rd Rifle Division, 979th Artillery Regiment, as commander of Number 2 Battery.

Shortly after his arrival to the division, the Germans attacked in June 1941. His unit fought valiantly, but suffered massive losses. Fighting from their initial position near the Border, all the way back to Moscow left his Regiment with killed in action ratio of nearly eighty percent! Even he had been severely wounded on 14 February 1942. Starting with over 500 men, only 109 survivors were left in the Regiment upon its arrival in Moscow, less than one year from the start of hostilities.

They were placed in Reserve, and were reformed. Lieutenant Kulishenko remained as the commander of Number 2 Battery. In August 1942, they were transferred to the Don front, just in time for the epic battle of Stalingrad.

While at Stalingrad, the Division displayed bravery and valor. Here, Lieutenant Kulishenko was earned his first award, the Order of the Red Star, with the following citation:

“He is brave, decisive and dynamic in the battles against German the fascists. In the battle for height 108.4 he located three heavy machine-guns, one mortar and one artillery battery. With his battery’s fire, he destroyed these targets, allowing our infantry to improve their positions.

“In the battle for the height known as Kazachii Kurgan on 14 December 1942, comrade Kulishenko set to fire one tank, destroyed three heavy machine-guns, one watch post, two trenches and one fortified command post.

“On 14 December 1942, from 1500 to 1700 the battery defended themselves from two intense enemy attacks. During these attacks, the battery exterminated over 150 German soldiers and officers.

“For the period from 05 September to 15 December 1942, while on the Donskoi Front, comrade Kulishenko’s battery exterminated 500 enemy soldiers and officers, destroyed four artillery batteries, two ammunition depots, ten heavy machine gun emplacements with their personnel, and much additional enemy material…”

For their valiant showing, the elite title of ‘Guards’ was bestowed upon the division and they became the “77th Guards Rifle Division”, and his regiment, having been additionally awarded the title of “Order of the Red Banner”, became the “156th Guards Order of the Red Banner Artillery Regiment.”

Their fight did not end at Stalingrad, however. As one of the combat-hardened Guards divisions, they pursued the German forces in their withdrawal through the Ukraine.

For the entire next year, the Division maintained a constant pressure on the German forces, continually maintaining their position on the Front. In September 1943, he earned his second award, the Order of the Red Banner:

“On 17 September 1943 in the battle for the village of Kireevka, comrade Kulishenko was directing fire and destroyed a heavy machine-gun in the northwestern outskirts of the village.

“By his own initiative, comrade Kulishenko requisitioned ?? liters of gasoline from two captured enemy tractors. Using this fuel, he was able to move his battery to Berezka, 35 km away.

“In the battle for the village of Moskali on 24 September 1943, the enemy attacking our position numbered a platoon, with support from three tanks. Comrade Kulishenko directed his battery to fire on the enemy, dispersing them and allowing our infantry to take the village.

“On 26 September 1943, two German tanks approached the village of Antonovichi. Fire from comrade Kulishenko’s battery dispersed the tanks and cleared the way for our infantry.

“A lack of fuel made it impossible for the mechanized transport of comrade Kulishenko’s battery. Thus, on 28 September 1943, using his initiative, he found horses and was able to move his battery forward, providing for the successful advance of our infantry…”

His Division pursued the German forces, recapturing lost ground in bloody fighting through Kiev, crossing the Dnepr River (where the Commander of the division was awarded the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union”) through to the Oder River in February 1945. He was wounded severely on 12 December 1943, and received minor wounds on both 28 August 1944 and on 29 November 1944.

By this time, he had been on the Front for three years, eight months; been wounded FOUR TIMES- and he had not yet turned twenty-three!

Here on the Oder, he earned his third award, his second Order of the Red Banner:

“On 5 February 1945, under heavy artillery fire, comrade Kulishenko’s battery, with a battalion from the 218th Rifle Regiment, reached the Oder River. He immediately deployed his battery and skillfully directed their fire. That day, his battery stopped five furious enemy attacks, enabling the infantry to establish and extend the beachhead. The battery destroyed six heavy machine guns and exterminated over seventy German soldiers and officers.

“On 7 February 1945, under murderous enemy fire, he transported the cannon, ammunition and soldiers of his battery to the western bank of the Oder. His battery was deployed immediately and opened fire on the enemy. His battery silenced two self-propelled artillery units, destroyed an anti-aircraft gun, which had been hidden under a bridge, firing on our crossing, and exterminated thirty enemy soldiers and officers.

“On 13 February 1945, after an intense barrage of the large caliber artillery, the enemy furiously attacked our forces, managing to drive a wedge into our troop positions. At the same time he was directing his battery in a counterattack, comrade Kulishenko organized an all-round defensive line, utilizing reconnaissance and observation troops. Because of these actions, the enemy attack was stopped and forced back to their original positions with an immense loss of personnel and equipment..."

The 77th Guards Rifle Division was on the ‘tip of the spear’, forcing the Germans all the way back to Berlin. On the edge of Berlin, now Captain Kulishenko earned his fourth award- the Order of Aleksandr Nevsky:

“On 18 April 1945 during the battle for Karpig and the height 66.3, the enemy launched a massive attack, placing our sub-units in a precariously dangerous position. With utmost speed, comrade Kulishenko deployed his battery and began firing on the Hitlerite soldiers using open sights. Despite heavy shelling on our positions, comrade Kulishenko’s battery never ceased firing. As a result of the battery’s well-aimed fire, the enemy’s attack was halted and over 30 German soldiers were exterminated.

“On 28 April 1945 on the approaches to Vendish-Buhgolz, while maneuvering with the infantry, the battery and infantry sub-units were attacked from the flanks. By his own initiative, Comrade Kulishenko deployed his battery, and dispersed the attacking enemy with well-aimed fire. Over 20 German soldiers were destroyed, and numerous enemy soldiers were taken prisoner...”

With ten days left in the Second World War on the Eastern Front, while fighting in the streets of Berlin, Captain Kulishenko was again wounded, on the same day he earned his Nevsky, 28 April 1945.

By the time the War ended, his unit had fought from the border in June 1941 to Moscow, down to Stalingrad, through the Ukraine, and finally into the very heart of the Nazi empire! He had been wounded FIVE TIMES, and no doubt proudly wore his Nevsky, two Red Banners and Red Star on his uniform. The final title of his unit is as follows:

“156th Guards Brandenburg, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Artillery Regiment, 77th Guards Chernigovskii, Order of Lenin, Order of Kutuzov, Order of the Red Banner Division.”
With the end of the War, he was demobilized in 1946 and returned home to his mother in the city of Pologi. He was twenty-three years old.
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Last edited by medals73; 11-25-2011 at 10:30 AM.
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