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Group of Soviet Awards. Order of the Red Banner #54525, Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class #133183, Orders of the Red Star #1930785 and #3229974



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Group of Soviet Awards


Таран Василий Фомич


Awarded to Guards Lt. Colonel Vasilij Fomich Taran (Василий ФомичТаран)


For demonstrating exceptional skill in organizing intelligence operations. In August 1943, his efforts near led to the capture of 49 enemy troops. Before the battle for Warsaw, he conducted reconnaissance raids that captured 13 prisoners, providing crucial intelligence. During the Vistula river crossing, he was among the first to reach the left bank and helped seize Kepa Kielpinska 


Note that Lt. Col. Taran served in the Polish army. The Polish stamp is visible on the citation for the Order of the Patriotic War


All numbered awards of Lt. Col. Taran are present in this lot



This group of Soviet awards consists of the following items:


Order of the Red Banner #54525

Made of silver and enamels. Measures 40.82 mm in height, 36.93 mm in width and weighs 22.8 grams without its screwplate. Its serial number and mint mark are found on the bottom of its reverse.

The order is in nice, above average condition with medium overall wear. Even raised parts such as the center wreath and the torch still show their details. The enamels are in better condition than most early Red Banners. Apart from some flaking it shows the usual loss on two rays of the center red star and a small chip on the top banner. The white enamels are flawless. The order has never been (re)converted to a suspension type piece and its screwpost is full length. It comes with its time period silver screwplate and the order shows an appealing patina on both sides.


Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class #133183

Made of solid silver, gold and enamels. Measures 47.93 mm in height, 44.97 mm in width and weighs 21.4 grams without its screwplate.

In great overall condition with crisp details and strong patina to the silver on both sides. The red and white enamels are fully present without repairs and show some minor dings only. The hammer and sickle is original and firmly attached. Its reverse is equally nice condition and most of the original gilding on the edges is still present. The order comes with its time period and well fitted silver nut and its screw has not been shortened.


Order of the Red Star #1930785

Made of solid silver and red enamels. It measures 48.37 mm in width, 46.83 mm in height and weighs 31.3 grams without its screwplate. Relatively uncommon variation manufactured by the Moscow Platinpribor Factory (MZPP)

In excellent condition with light wear to the raised parts like the soldier only. All details on the solder and lettering are still perfectly visible. The red enamels are well preserved without repairs or flaking. Both sides display a nice toning to the silver, with a few dings and scratches. The screw has not been shortened, and the period nut fits smoothly.


Order of the Red Star #3229974

Made of solid silver and red enamels. It measures 47.61 mm in width, 45.36 mm in height and weighs 30.0 grams without its screwplate.

In near mint condition with crisp details and almost no traced of wear. The red enamels are beautiful and without repairs. The order comes with its well fitted and time period screwplate.


Citation for the Order of the Red Banner: 

Comrade TARAN is a veteran of the Patriotic war.

In the offensive combat operations during 13-20 August 1943 near the villages Plyuschevo, Rytvino, and Ponizovie (Dukhovshchina district, Smolensk region), he organised efficiently operations of the subordinate intelligence units.

During the period of preparation for offensive, comrade TARAN applied all intelligence methods and disclosed the enemy defence system, which enabled combat successes already in the first hours of the offensive.

During the battle, comrade TARAN skilfully commanded his subordinate reconnaissance units and achieved systematic delivery of intelligence on the enemy forces, their disposition, and system of fire. Thanks to comrade TARAN’s persistent effort, there were captured 49 enemy troops during the battle.

Comrade TARAN deserves state award order “RED BANNER”.


Citation for the Order of the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class:

Before the battle for Warsaw, in unclear situation about the enemy, he managed to organise 2 combat reconnaissance raids and capture 13 enemy prisoners, which provided intelligence on the enemy order of battle in the sectors of Warsaw and north of the city.

In the battle for Warsaw, during forced crossing of the Vistula river, he and his scout were among the first to cross to the left river bank and together with the Red Army troops seize the settlement Kepa Kielpinska.

He deserves state award order “PATRIOTIC WAR II CLASS”.


Citation for the Order of the Order of the Red Star #1930785:

He has been serving as an intelligence officer from the first days of the Patriotic war. He skilfully and efficiently executed his missions. In the combat operations on the approaches to town Märkisch Friedland, he utilised organised and well thought through combat raids and managed to expose order of battle and the system of defence of the enemy 163 Infantry Division (324 and 307 Infantry Regiments). In the battles on the sector Virchow – Groß Sabin, by organising well the system reconnaissance and observation, he determined the enemy’s unit rotation schedule, which he confirmed by capturing a control prisoner 2 hours after the enemy relocated the units.



The full research translations can be read below:


More info on Lt. Colonel Taran can be found here


Some information on the 1st Polish Army can be read here


Also included in the picture gallery are:

  • three scans of images of Lt. Colonel Taran
  • the combat diary of the 17th Guards Rifle Division on 13 August 1943
  • two documents showing Lt. Colonel Taran’s autograph
  • battle maps of the 1st Polish army during the Berlin operation, at Warsaw, Virchow and a map of Kepa Kielpinska (mentioned in the citation of the Order of the Patriotic War)



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