Order of the Patriotic War, Type I, I Class (Variation I)
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The Order of the Patriotic War was the first Soviet award established during the Second World War, on May 20, 1942. Originally it was intended to be awarded to servicemen, civilians, foreigners, units and institutions for actions against German invaders, however on December 16, 1947, it was changed and no longer included civilians, units and institutions. On July 18, 1980, foreigners were also dropped from the statutes.
This Order was conferred upon enlisted and officer ranks of the Army, Navy, NKVD Troops, and Partisan Detachments in recognition bravery and courage during the Great Patriotic War. This Order was awarded for many acts of bravery such as attacking enemy positions, destroying enemy vehicles, showing initiative, saving life and other such acts of courage.
By the end of the war, there were 324,903 I Class decorations awarded, and by the end of 1991 a total of 2,398,322, including the 1985 issues.
Type I, I Class was produced from the introduction of the order until June 19, 1943 and has three variations. All Type I decorations are attached to the clothing by a rectangular suspension.
Variation I was made from four pieces, either soldered together or with two rivets on the reverse. The reverse of the screwback plate is Monetny Dvor marked, measuring 25mm in diameter. A stickpin was attached to the reverse to limit movement of the decoration. The serial number was hand-engraved on the reverse of the star at the 7 o'clock position. The serial numbers for this Variation range from 1-600.
Variation II has a larger suspension device, measuring 32mm (w) x 21mm (h). A small hole is drilled in the lower suspension crossbar which has a piece of metal through it. The serial numbers range from 2,400 to 5,300.
Variation III does not have a stickpin on the reverse. Otherwise it is identical to Variation II. The serial numbers range from 6,600 to 22,600.
The obverse Russian inscription translates to: "Patriotic War".
In 1985, it was decided that the Order of Patriotic War, I and II Class (1985 issue) to all the surviving veterans of the war.
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