Soviet System of Awards

                                             SOVIET DOCUMENTATION OF DECORATIONS

The Soviets has an efficient system of associating specific awards to the recipients: they stamped a unique number on each of their significant awards, orders, and medals which was then recorder in the document book, and in the government directory.  Several of my orders are traced back to the recipient and identifies the achievements for which the decoration was awarded.  Below are a few examples of awards and their associated documents.

                               Order of Labor Glory 2nd class with order book recording No. 25502.

                                                      Border guard with document book
                      20th anniversary medal of the Workers and Peasants Red Army with docuentation.  
The Soviet Union was the most prolific producer of decorations: orders, awards, medals, pins, badges, insignias, etc. All were designed to motivate the masses into greater exertion to strengthen and defend the USSR.

Prior to, and during, the Great Patriotic War, and up to 1991, the Soviets produced some of the most exquisite decorations. I doubt there are many other nations that produced so many and such variety of decorations as the Soviet Union in this period.

The Soviet awards, orders, medals and decorations illustrated and described in the following pages of this website are from my collection. Each represents a story of personal valor and commitment during an era spanning from just prior to WW II and postwar Soviet years.   The identities of the recipients of the awards are revealed to protect their privacy. 
The descriptions and data regarding the decorations presented in this website came primarily from three sources below:


The history of the decorations was derived from the definitive publication on Soviet awards by Paul McDaniel and Paul J. Schmitt: The Comprehensive Guide to Soviet Orders and Medals.   I bought this book from Paul McDaniels at the 1997 MAX show and he was very kind in autographing book with well wishes.                  

I bought the other two books while on assignment in Moscow. The Russian language 
ABEPC, published in 1993, provided the metal content of the decorations and Kutshenko's book the approximate period the orders were issues.  

I have taken all the photos in this website.

Anyone interested in this subject should also visit my other website at 

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