Medal "For Military Merit": military awards of the Great Patriotic War
During the awarding of distinguished soldiers had a special meaning. The Soviet government thus sought to emphasize the merits of the soldiers in front of their homeland, to encourage their bravery in battle and work in the underground. Orders and medals were also relied upon to workers of the rear who worked in factories and plants, providing for the needs of the army.
During the war, the world saw many insignia. And in 1943 the rules for wearing them were established, and special ribbons were established to attach medals to the clothes awarded. Today, orders have a symbolic meaning, they are the memory of the feat of the Soviet people in the fight against fascism.
The award "For Military Merit" was established even before the start of the war, in 1938, on October 17. The basis for awarding became courage, bravery, courage and initiative in maintaining order in the USSR, competent protection of state borders and high rates of combat qualities.
After a momentous battle on Lake Hassan, which occurred between the Japanese Army and the Red Army, it was decided to award two distinguished soldiers.The new award has found its heroes. And in 1939 the Medal for Military Merit medals were awarded already in large numbers. About 3,000 Red Army soldiers received them after the fighting at Khalkhin Gol. The semi-annual conflict of the USSR and the Mongolian People's Republic on the one hand, and Japan on the other, showed the full strength of the bravery of the Soviet soldiers.
During the Second World War, the Medal for Military Merit is becoming one of the most common, but at the same time significant. Getting it was a dream of many participants in the war, and after the award, quivering feelings for the motherland only intensified. There was no such soldier who would not dream of such an honorary insignia.
What is the medal "For Military Merit"?
The medal was made in the form of a circle with a diameter of 31–32 millimeters. On the circumference of the front side there is an inscription "USSR", the letters are marked with red enamel and slightly protrude above the surface. In the middle of the circle there is an inscription "For military merit." Below is the image of a rifle with a closed bayonet, crossed with a sword. This weapon was widely used in those years, and therefore it was sealed on the award medal. Along the edges - a prominent protruding rim.
The material used was silver. At the top there was an eyelet with a ring for connecting to the shoe. The ribbon for the medal was special: from silk gray fabric, along the edges - two golden stripes 2 millimeters thick. The tape itself was 2.4 centimeters wide. The medal "For Military Merit", the photo of which is presented in the article, was supplied first with red and then gray ribbons.
Both soldiers and soldiers were awarded. During the war, military merit was available to almost everyone in varying degrees. The story of the awarding of the eighth-grader Zhenya, who defused 9 fascist bombs during the attack on the city, is amazing. They awarded the military after the war, until the collapse of the USSR. Basically, warriors who showed themselves in hot spots received the distinction. At different periods, the Medal “For Military Merit” was awarded: the Second World War, modern combat operations, and participation in peacekeeping missions.
How to wear a medal
Before the war, the presentation of the medal "For Military Merit" became a real action, because it took place in the Kremlin with a large gathering of statesmen. During the war period, the procedure was very simplified: the award was put on the soldier right on the front line, a solemn speech was uttered.However, for many just such a moment, despite the routine situation, became the most pleasant and memorable.
On clothes, it was customary to place an award between two others in a row: the Ushakov medal was considered the eldest, and the Nakhimov medal was the younger. If this was the first encouragement of a soldier, they simply clung to clothes on the left side of the chest.
The following year, after the establishment of the Medal for Military Merit medal, a special certificate was introduced. At first, such documents were strictly individual, they indicated information about the award. Later certificates became serial.
On the first page the surname, name and patronymic of the soldier or civilian were entered. On the left was the number of the document itself. Then the name of the medal and the date of delivery were indicated. Also the basis was necessarily present: the Decree of the Presidium and the number of its entry into force. The certificate was signed by the Secretary of the Presidium, the seal was put.
On the right of the page there was an extract from the Order of Orders. It consisted in general information about the medal, a list of the merits of a soldier.
Individual certificates were used until 1947.Later, for outstanding actions during the hostilities and serving the Motherland, medals were issued with a common certificate relying on them. It contains information about all awards received by a citizen. In addition to the design, the design has changed. Over the course of time, it was being improved more and more, the document became firmly bound.
It happened that the awarded soldier could lose the medal "For Military Merit." It was extremely difficult to restore it. Such a procedure was carried out only if the loss of the award occurred on the battlefield, during a disaster, that is, for reasons beyond the award.
When issuing a duplicate, the same unique number is affixed to it, but with the added letter “D”. The number itself was deposited using the stamping method and with the help of a shtihel. In some duplicates, the letter is absent, which makes it impossible to distinguish from the original after such a long time.
Varieties of medals
From the moment of birth, and until 1943, they produced a medal on a suspended rectangular block. At the bottom there was a frame where a red ribbon was inserted.In the first samples, the block was fastened with a quadrangular plate with teeth along the edges, with a hole in the center. In later models, the block was fixed with a plate without teeth, which was fixed in the center with a nut.
There were several types of medals:
- The first medals "For Military Merit" were made of copper, had a threaded font of not more than 3 millimeters in diameter. On the round nut, which served as a attachment to clothing, stood the stamp of the mint. At the top a small ear was soldered for attachment to the shoe.
- Later, the inscriptions were applied using a slightly larger font - 4 millimeters. Initially, the letters were silver, later - bronze with silvering. The appearance of the abalone, enamel coating were similar to the previous options.
- The next version of the award suggested a small eyelet in comparison with the previous types, varnishing letters. The medal itself became more massive, its thickness was about 3 millimeters. Weight reached 31 grams.
There are models on the pentagonal block. They began to make in 1943, after the publication of the Decree of the USSR.The medal “For Military Merit” became the appropriate time, the license plate remained. The new design was more modern, attractive. In addition, the award has become more comfortable to wear: the nut has been replaced with a pin, which in a matter of seconds fastened the award to clothes.
The medal "For Military Merit" (see photo below) on the pentagonal shoe was different from the previous version.
Such a block is also covered with a ribbon of the corresponding colors. The unique number was no longer manually applied, it was stamped. The image has also changed a bit: the saber handle on the obverse has slightly changed.
It was also practiced to replace the pads for previously issued samples. It is now quite difficult to establish which medal was first equipped with such a block. The minimum number known today is 347644.
Until 1948, all the awards given out at the manufacturing stage were assigned unique numbers. The earliest known to date copy is the medal “For Military Merit” number 9. Up to 30308 numbers, the design of the award remained unchanged - the material is copper, a small font, the Mondvor brand.
In total, during the assignment of numbers, 3,194,610 medals were issued and handed over, after the award they were issued in large quantities and were not unique. But those who were awarded with the Medal for Military Merit medal experienced sincere joy. The value, symbolism of the mark of difference did not decrease.
Thus, the medal "For Military Merit" of the USSR in the range from 60,000 to 106,000 had an interesting specimen: the pad is made of yellow metal and is slightly thicker than in standard versions. In addition, with the increase in the serial number, the thickness and weight of the medal became larger, which made it more solid and impressive.
History medals in the postwar years
Even at the end of the war, the award continued. In total, more than 5 million copies were handed over, 21 thousand of them before the outbreak of war. During the Great Patriotic War almost half was awarded - 3,381,978 medals.
First in the post-war period, participants in hostilities in the Far East received awards. Participants in the war in Afghanistan were awarded this medal for showing courage, bravery in battle. In addition, it was possible to receive such an award for such services:
- initiative in battle, leading to victory;
- courage and courage in defending state borders;
- success in political and military training, the development of military equipment, previously unknown, the maintenance of the military spirit of a unit or unit during the period of military service.
Today, the medal "For Military Merit" for many - not just a metal circle. It is a symbol of the celebration of military honor and love for the Motherland over the enemy. Even if it is not customary to wear medals every day, they warm the hearts of the soldiers, even if they are in caskets.