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Go Back   The Soviet Military Awards Page Forum > Soviet Awards Forums > Union Of Soviet Socialist Republics > Soviet Medals > Researched Soviet Medals > Researched Medals Of Ushakov

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Old 05-27-2010, 09:25 PM   #1
Jeffrey Meffert
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Ushakov,03514,Submachinegunner,487th Separate Disciplinary Battalion

I've been tickled that Alexei has finally been able to access some naval awards documents and thankful as usual for Paul's translation service. I've always liked my ushakov medal for its unique design and always hoped to find out more about how it was won. Better than I hoped! Amazing thing is the date on the citation below. With war more or less over, this brave sailor still risked his life in order to win the medal that would redeem him from the Shtraftbat.

Award Recommendation on Rifleman-Submachinegunner, 487 Independent Disciplinary Battalion, Red Banner Fleet Senior Seaman Semen Prokofevich Ivashchenko for the Ushakov Medal
1. Birthyear: 1917
2. Nationality: Ukrainian
3. Social standing: worker
4. Party member: n/a
5. Service in Army or Navy: since 1938
6. Participation in the Civil War: n/a
7. Wounds or shell-shock: n/a
8. Earlier awards: n/a
9. Earlier admonitions: n/a
10. Service in the White or other Bourgeois Armies or POW: n/a
11. Previous awards: n/a
12. Home of record: Nikolaev Oblast, Kherson, village of Kindiika
Short description of personal combat feat or accomplishment
As a participant of the first marine assault on the Frische Nehrung spit on 26.04.45, he destroyed with grenades an enemy machinegun. He steadfastly and boldly repelled an enemy counterattack. He personally killed three Germans.
He is deserving of the State award, the Ushakov Medal.
Signed Commander, 487 Independent Disciplinary Battalion, Red Banner Baltic Fleet, Lieutenant Colonel Aleksandr Oskarovich Leibovich on 5 May 1945
Endorsed 260 Marine Brigade Commander, Colonel Moloduev on 5 May 1945
Endorsed Commander Naval Base, Pillau, Red Banner Baltic Fleet, Counter-Admiral Feldman on 5 May 1945
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File Type: jpg ushakov 002.JPG (59.5 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg ushakov 001.JPG (72.3 KB, 23 views)

Last edited by Jeffrey Meffert; 05-27-2010 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 05-27-2010, 11:52 PM   #2
deValcourt
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

Very interesting piece. The prior history section No. 10 is most interesting. It was just as bad to have served in an army against the revolution as it was to be a POW returning to the Soviet Union. If I remember correctly, most of them were sent off to camps in the far north. But I digress.

:thumbsup

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Old 05-28-2010, 12:08 AM   #3
UQWozza
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

Very interesting award!

I thought that the conventional wisdom was that "penal units" did not give decorations to their soldiers (e.g. Echoes ... page 185).

Will be interested to hear what Paul has to say!

Simon
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Old 05-28-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

Simon,

I have seen a Nevsky given to someone in a penal batallion...

Marc
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Old 05-28-2010, 03:58 AM   #5
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

This is only the second, maybe third, award I've seen awarded to a penal unit. The one I remember other than this one was actually awarded to the penal company's commander. Judging from what I remember of the citation, he himself was not under the penal system, but the unit's commander.

From everything I've read, the only way out of a penal unit was either by surviving through the period of one's assigned sentence or by being wounded and somehow "proving" your loyalty and thus since an individual was being punished, he was not eligible for an award. This would jive with the unit commander's award mentioned above since the commander wasn't actually in a state of punishment, but like a prison warden.

This award is more difficult to explain. A possible explanation may come from it being from a period extremely late in the war, ignorance of regulations, this particular individual's awarding was granted after he served out his time or was particularly heroic, etc. Bottom line - I don't know.

What I do find particulary interesting is that the "disciplinary", penal, or "shtraf" unit is listed on his award card as his wartime "unit". Penal units were composite units formed from those who had committed offenses and had to serve their time. Why the individual's initial, or unit after his penal time is interesting. Maybe he was of the same class of "cadre" as the commander's unit I mentioned and thus, not a true "shtrafnik"?

Anyone else have an explanation?
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Old 05-28-2010, 07:36 AM   #6
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

Fantastic award and very ,very interesting. Could one explanation be end of the war euphoria? That "Comrade...We've went all this way, possibly fought our last battle and survived! " so let me be generous in awards type thinking?

Or the other...A Commanders looking out for one of his soldiers who he has taking a liking too because of his bravery and loyalty? So I use my contacts and relationships to make this happen even though it probably shouldn't.

Whichever theory you decide to go with it doesn't discount what a rare award this is.

Great find, Jeff!:thumbsup

Gerry
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:03 AM   #7
Jeffrey Meffert
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And now the bad news

When I bought these, the story was that the seller had lost the documentation but sent scans that he had saved. I've nagged him over the years about whether or not he ever found them but now his email is dead. I pulled up the docs that went with the ushakov set, (the medal has been authenticated by Alexei) to see if there were any other clues to unravel the shtraftbat mystery. And I find......different names and a faked order book. Sigh...:(
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File Type: jpg 100_FUJI0170.JPG (116.3 KB, 20 views)
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:07 AM   #8
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

The medal is nice regardless. The Caucasus doc isn't bad either - signed by a two-star HSU.
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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On the other hand

I wish I had the docs...more detail than most I see. Regardless of the shenagins of documentation, I still got this
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File Type: jpg ushakov 04res.jpg (69.3 KB, 28 views)
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Old 05-28-2010, 09:13 PM   #10
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Re: Ushakov medal in Penal Battalion

Prisoners in the penal battalions/companies were indeed awarded medals and orders. They were still military personnel (assuming they were sent there from a military unit – there are stories of non-military prisoners being dragooned into penal units as well and don’t know their status), they were not discharged and out of the loop of military regs, hence they were legally eligible like any other soldier. To be sent to such a unit was not officially a death sentence, though of course in practice that’s often what happened. Soldiers in such units were reinstated after their sentence was complete, assuming they were not dead or too badly wounded to resume their duties.

Had no idea they were a rarity; I picked up one from our very own Norm here last year. It’s talked about here. (I’ve not maintained the site in way too long – real life duties and all. Someday, someday...)
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