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The Researchers' Corner Research; the mysterious process which slowly sweeps away the passage of time to reveal the unique history within every award and unit.

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Old 09-04-2002, 07:13 AM   #11
Bill Dienna
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This is a great thread!
I know of a collector who purchased various items at an estate sale of a World War II American Naval officer who was attached to the American Embassy in Moscow during the war. Among the items was an Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class, that was still contained within a fine, small fitted red leather case. It also contained the Order Book, with the American Officer's photograph in it. A great piece!
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Old 10-03-2002, 04:14 PM   #12
Nota Bene
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Patton's Guards Badge

Gentlemen,

The following is from our favourite action site:

"On September 18th, 1941 the 110th, 127th, 153rd, and 161st Soviet Rifle
(Infantry) Divisions were renamed as the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Guards
Divisions for displaying extraordinary valour, gallantry, and discipline under hard combat conditions while inflicting crushing defeats against the Nazi hordes of fascist Germany.
These now special recognized units, and subsequent Guards designated units, were awarded a Guards Banner and the entire units personel, all ranks including general officers, were allowed to wear on their uniforms the prestigoius Guards Banner Badge - a metalic oval disk bearing in gilt Russian letters the word "GUARDS" on a red banner with a Red Army Star below in a laurel wreath. At the end of WW2 the Soviet Guards badge was even given to such Allied combat
distinguished tank unit commanders as US General Patton. Offered here is an original late Cold War era issue example made of light weight metal with a cross clip mounting pin on the reverse. Have a couple of these, so photo is typical example."

All this fass is about selling a cheap aluminum Guards badge, but there is a photo of Gen. Patton wearing one of them. What do you think, a military souvenir, or a fake photo?

Alexei
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Old 10-03-2002, 05:03 PM   #13
Ed_Haynes
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Patton's Badge

There was an article in JOMSA a few years back that dealt with Patton's awards and, as I recall, it mentioned the Guard's Badge in passing. As my fading memory registers, there was a scheme to award the badge on an honorary basis to the troops under Patton's command but, for one reason or another (we may well guess why?), the idea stalled. As I remember, the article stated that Patton himself wore it (and that the photo is legitimate). Let me see if I can rummange that piece out of my files ("files" -- ha! -- more like HEAPS).

Ed Haynes
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Old 10-03-2002, 10:06 PM   #14
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Patton's Awards

Hello All,

Here is a list and display of Patton's awards.

http://www.pattonhq.com/medals.html

Tom
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Old 10-04-2002, 05:30 PM   #15
Nota Bene
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Gentlemen,

Thanks for the information. I couldn't find any specific regulations about the Guards units, but I believe that this tytle was awarded only to Soviet units. I think this badge was a souvenir given to Patton.

Alexei
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Old 10-19-2002, 12:04 AM   #16
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American troops designated as "Guards"?

There are so many instances of awards and titles being awarded to foreigners, e.g. Order of the Great Patriotic War (later rescinded), the Partisan Medals, Order of the Red Banner, even Heroes of the Soviet Union and Socialist Labor. And for the Central Committee, sometimes rules were meant to be broken -- look at Brezhnev and his Order of Victory!

So it might very well be that the Soviet government contemplated naming allied units "Guards", and that had there not been animosity between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, American troops might have been allowed to wear the Guards badge. As an example, look at the French fouragierre(sp?) still worn by American troops, in the colors of the Legion of Honor. But the kicker is that these awards would have to authorized by regulations, and the ensuing Cold War pretty much relegated any Soviet award purely "honorary" and never to be worn on an official uniform afterwards ...
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Old 10-19-2002, 03:08 AM   #17
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Guards badges were awarded to all members of units having the Guards designation. It seems likely to me that when someone like Patton had a guards badge it is a sign that he was made an honourary member of a unit - a guards unit. Likely one he visited in late 45.

Shawn
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Old 10-19-2002, 09:30 AM   #18
ibaya
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Good point. Does anyone know if any other commanders were made honorary members of Guards units? And have there been any instances of foreigners serving with Soviet Army formations, and being awarded the badge.

In the US military, if a person is serving with the unit at the time it is awarded a citation and ribbon, he is entitled to continue wearing it after he (or she) leaves the unit. Personnel who join the unit after the awarding wear the citation ribbon as a matter of uniformity, but must remove it when they leave. Does this hold true for Guards units in the Soviet past, and the present Russia?

And a minor correction to my earlier post: the colors were probably of the Croix de Guerre, not the Legion of Honor, which I believe was awarded solely on an individual basis.
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Old 10-19-2002, 10:33 AM   #19
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Gentlemen,

I have never heard about Soviet Guards badges been awarded to non unit members. If you leave the unit you get to keep the badge, but you can no longer wear it.

Alexei
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Old 10-19-2002, 11:10 AM   #20
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But if you were assigned to the unit when it was designated "Guards", are you entitled to continue wearing the badge as a permanent decoration after leaving it? This would most likely regard officers -- I don't know how often extended servicemen/praporschiks transferred out of units, and the only case I'd imagine a conscript being transferred was to a disbat!

Also, would you continue being addressed with the honorific, e.g. Guards Colonel, Guards Sergeant, etc?
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