Order of Alexander Nevsky, Type I (Variation I)
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The Order of Alexander Nevsky was established by a decree of presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on July 29, 1942. This Order was named after Alexander Nevsky, who was the great military leader that drove the Teutonic Knights from Russia. It was instituted as a military award during the Second World War.
This Order was conferred upon brigade, regimental, divisional, company, and platoon commanders for outstanding leadership and gallantry. The statutes state the order could be awarded for: displaying initiative in choosing a decisive moment for a bold, suprise attack on the enemy and inflicting heavy casualties; completing a well-executed, combined arms attack, resulting in complete or a large destruction; an artillery units commander's suppression of a superior enemy artillery unit, destruction of an artillery position or bunker complex; an aviation unit commander's successful completion of a series of sorties that result in heavy enemy losses and no unit losses; a tank unit commander's successful mission accomplishment, with heavy enemy losses but retaining the unit's capability; initiative in disrupting or destroying an enemy's engineer obstacles and supporting a successful passage of friendly troops; for managing uninterrupted multi-faceted communications and the timely restoration of damaged communications; a bold and decisive airborne or naval landing or an operation involving mounted troops on armoured vehicles that dismount and assault with minimum casualties, but major enemy destruction and overall mission success. The Order of Alexander Nevsky was awarded to 42,165 officers and 1,473 Soviet Army units/formations.
The Order of Alexander Nevsky presents a five point star with numerous military and political symbols on the obverse. The center presents a left facing Alexander Nevsky dressed in a helmet and chain mail armour. Battle axes are present behind the star and below Nevsky's portrait is a hammer and sickle on a shield.
The Type I has a small ring soldered to the top most point. The screwplate on the reverse of the suspension plate measures 25mm an is marked with the Monetny Dvor mint mark. There are three variations.
Variation I has the the center medallion attached to the enamelled star by 2 rivets at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. There was also a stickpin on the reverse to prevent movement, however it frequently broke off. Approximately only 500 Variation I decorations were created, making them extremely rare. The only serial number witnessed for this variation is 363.
Variation II has the center medallion directly soldered to the star, and therefore there are no rivets. All other aspects of Variation II are the same as Variation I. The lowest serial number observed for this variation is 595 while 2,687 is the highest.
Variation III has no stickpin on the reverse, as it was either considered ineffectual or this was a production shortcut. The lowest serial number observed for this variation is 4,873 while the highest is 13,438.
The obverse Russian inscription translates to: "Alexander Nevsky".
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