Order of Kutuzov, Type I, II Class
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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 II Class medal was conferred upon corps, division, brigade commanders, and their chiefs of staff, for a number of criteria, which were: for persistence in holding off an attack from a superior enemy and retaining existing positions, using a number of different tactics; for decisiveness in a difficult situation bringing about destruction to an enemy; for a defence of an occupied position; for organization of a friendly force's battle against a superior enemy that causes enemy losses. The II Class was awarded to 2,796 individuals and 530 units.
The Type I, early suspension, II class was awarded from 1942 to 1943. It is constructed of four pieces using silver and red and white enamel. The center circle is smaller than on the I Class and it does not have a wreath. The reverse has a large hole in the center of the star base measuring 22mm in diameter (however some have been seen with holes as small as 17.5mm). The suspension piece presents the Monetny Dvor mark on it. There are two variations.
Variation I had a stickpin reverse, and the only known serial number for this variation is 20, however it is believed that the numbers range from 0-120.. Variation II does not have a stick pin and the serial numbers observe measure from 148 to 354. Both variations are extremely rare.
The obverse Russian inscription translates to: "Mikhail Kutuzov".
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