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Fake Award Documents and Paper Items Diluted Ink, Fake Photos, Manganese Solution, Blurry Soviet Crests, Non-existant unit stamps, read how they do it..

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Old 05-13-2002, 06:14 PM   #1
Nota Bene
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Fake "Liberation Of" Campaign Medal Documents.

A fake award card for Liberation of Belgrade Medal. This card is typographically printed with slightly less detail then the original. It was probably dipped in manganese solution to make it look old, hence the unusual color. "SMERSh" rubber seal is also fake, quite a good one. I have seen a lot of similar fakes recently.
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Old 12-01-2002, 05:30 PM   #2
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Gentlemen,

Here's a fake Belgrade card, sent to me by charlet.

Alexei
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Old 01-20-2003, 07:56 AM   #3
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well it was proposed to me for 30euros from ukraine. What rescued me is Alexei's pics: the NKVD stamp of this 211div of SMERCH. The ink is black, dilued, the printing is good, good carton paper like originals, nicely faded, but no cracks, nor creases. It is dated 1945, but on the cover the cccp seals shows 15 ribons! so 2 good proofs it's a fake. With magnifynig glass, the ink is not used, brand new and glows like new ink; on genuine docs the ink is mate (not brilliant?) , used, erased.
an experienced friend told me it could be a card taken in reserve...got out after SU fall and used by faker. What do you think of this hypothesis? I bend towards a new fabrication of the carton paper and appropriate aging for the colour.
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Old 01-20-2003, 12:48 PM   #4
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Charlet,

These are not genuine cards. If you look at the Soviet crest on the cover under magnification you woun't see the letters clearly as on original cards. Besides they all were artificially "aged".

Alexei
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Old 01-20-2003, 03:16 PM   #5
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hi alexei, I was bending towards this conclusion..thanks!
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Old 01-21-2003, 03:57 AM   #6
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Even though it is fake it raises a few points.

The unit in question appears to be the 221st Rifle Division. This is not a SMERSH division. There were no SMERSH units as such. When you see this sort of thig what it means is the SMERSH section, in other words the military counter-intelligence section, of the 221st Rifle Division. All Red Army military units had such a section within them.

When we see a unit indicated on an award card we can try to determine if the unit was actually involved at the battle in question. However, this is not fool-proof. It is possible that a soldier received a campaign medal after he had already transfered to another unit which might not have participated in the battle. But, for medals awarded shortly after the battle it is likely that it is the same unit.

And, surprise, surpirse, the 221st Rifle Division (or 211th for that matter) is not one of the few units noted as participating in that battle!

Shawn
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Old 01-21-2003, 06:20 AM   #7
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A novice's question:

Is there any readily and centrally available list of unit battle involvement? As British collectors know, we have Gordon's "British Battles and Medals," easily available, frequently wrong, but a starting point for listing unit entitlements.

Has Shawn suggested another collective research/publication project for the forum to undertake?

Ed Haynes
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Old 01-22-2003, 03:26 AM   #8
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Ed,

Well, sort of. I have the necessary stuff for most battles, even including many unknown ones.

However, it is not one source. This is my speciality and my hobby. I have many dozens of books in English and Russian including some very rare ones. I have also figured out the art of cross-referencing them which is not as easy as it sounds. To put it in perspective the Red Army had over 1000 divisional equivalents when you take all their different forces into account.

With my resources I can pull together unit histories (division and up, rarely regimental) and many OBs if required.

However, there are a few good books on individual battles. For example, Glantz's books on Kursk, Operation Mars or Kharkov in spring 1942 contain a very complete OB for those operations. In these cases one book would give you the OB.

I could compile more OBs for specific battles but it would be a lot of work. One problem is the question - is it worth it. As I noted before, say (hypothetically) Ivan has a document for a Stalingrad medal issued in 1944 by the 444th Rifle Division. The research shows there was no 444th Rifle Division at Stalingrad. But, it is possible that Ivan was in the 333rd Rifle Division in 1942-43 which was at Stalingrad. He is just getting his medal late in his new unit.

Another problem is we still don't know how they defined, say, the Battle of Stalingrad for medal pruposes. Unfortunately, some of the Russian sources show who fought where which is not the same. Stalngrad city was only a tiny fraction of the area of the Stalingrad Battle. So units 100km away were still participating in the battle.

Belgrade was an easy case since it was a fairly isolated battle. There were few, if any, Red Army units in Yugoslavia that did not get the medal.

One thing I would be happy to do, for free unless the workload got too much, is look up to see if a unit was at or close to a battle. It is a lot easy to check through all my sources and verify info than compile some huge master list.

Shawn
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Old 03-14-2005, 01:06 AM   #9
UQWozza
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Recipient of Prague medal

Could any please tell me:

1. Who the recipient is? Is only one name common on these forms?

2. What the faint writing on the bottom of the left side says?

It appears to have been awarded in Moscow - June 13 1946????

Thanks for any help.

Simon
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Old 03-14-2005, 09:11 AM   #10
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Simon,

From its look, I think that the document is a fake: bad printing, strange paper, etc.
I have not seen a medal document with only the Family name on it; I tend to find that rather strange and suspect.

Marc
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