Order of Kutuzov, Type I, I Class (in gold/silver)
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The I and II Class of Order of Kutuzov were established on July 29, 1942 by a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The III Class was established on February 9, 1943 and has a separate statute. The order was designed by N.I. Moskalyov.
This Order was established as a high-ranking award for officers. It was named after the Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (1745-1813), who fought against Napoleon. The name was used to inspire Russian patriotism during the Second World War. Nearly all Orders of Kutuzov were conferred during the Second World War, however several were awarded for the 1956 invasion of Hungary.
The I Class medal was conferred upon army and front commanders, deputies, and chiefs of staff, for a number of different criteria, which include an executed front or well-developed army level operation that resulted in the destruction of the enemy; a plan that forced the retreat of enemy units; for an organized operation of several units against enemy forces, leading to the exhaustion of the enemy's forces and materials. The I Class was awarded to 672 individuals and 3 units.
The Type I, early suspension, I Class was awarded from 1942 to 1943. It is constructed of gold, silver and red and white enamel and forms a ten point star with five sharp points and five rounded points. A small gold ring is soldered to the top of the uppermost star point and secures the rectangular suspension. The reverse presents a large hold in the center of the star base measuring 23mm in diameter. The pieces are connected via several rivets, and a Monetny Dvor maker mark can be seen.The only serial number that has been observed is 85.
The Type I, I Class is extremely rare, as almost all were turned in and exchanged for Type II. While a stickpin on the reverse has not been seen, it can be assumed that they existed at one point.
The obverse Russian inscription translates to: "Mikhail Kutuzov".
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