Researched Soviet Order of Alexander Nevsky #7297
Awarded to Major Mikhail Nikolaevich Klyuchnikov (Михаил Николаевич Ключников)
For exhibited heroism and for brilliant execution of the combat operation at Sevastopol
Made of solid silver and enamels. Measures 49.38 mm in height, 48.53 mm in width and weighs 38.7 gram without its screwplate. The serial number is located at the 5 o’clock position on its reverse and the mint mark right underneath the screw. A makers mark ‘X’ can be found above the screw.
This order of Nevsky is in relative good, above average condition considering it is an early type. The original red enamel is beautiful and problem free on all rays apart from the 12 o’clock one which has been professionally repaired. The center medallion is beautiful with little wear and placed off center onto the order. This is seen occasionally. Much of the original gold plating is still present and the order comes with its time period and well fitted silver screw plate.
A rare piece with very interesting research for a very sharp price!
Short Description of his feat of arms or achievements:
Comrade KLYUCHNIKOV’s unit played the key role in breaking through the enemy defences in the assault engagements for the mountain range of SAPUNGORA, which was fortified with numerous enemy concrete pillboxes and firing positions, and later in the battle for the town fortress SEVASTOPOL.
On the night 6-7 May 1944, comrade KLYUCHNIKOV was among his forward firing positions and was correcting the fire during the artillery barrage of the enemy defence line. After one and half hour long and punishing artillery barrage, the rifle units pushed forward and engaged the enemy in hand to hand fight in the first trench line. In this fight, the following was destroyed in the squadron sector of responsibility: 16 firing positions, 4 machine-guns, 1 pillbox with the crew, and up to a company of enemy troops.
Pursuing the retreating enemy, comrade KLYUCHNIKOV ordered his guns into rapid assault, in which they from a short distance (literally 50 meters), were firing at the enemy troops and vehicles. When our troops reached the ridge of SAPUN-GORA mountain in the KLYUCHNIKOV’s squadron sector, an enemy company with two light machine-guns attempted to flank them on the left side. But thanks to KLYUCHNIKOV’s steadfastness and manoeuvring skills, the enemy group was itself encircled, their machine-guns were taken out by our anti-tank rifle fire, and the last enemy pocket on SAPUN-GORA was eliminated. Further closely pursuing the enemy, comrade KLYUCHNIKOV towed his gun pieces and engaged the enemy infantry and armour in the vicinity of the English cemetery.
In this engagement, one medium tank was hit by the artillery squadron. Unable to withstand the pressure of our attack, the tank turned around. It was finished off by our advancing units on the very edge of Sevastopol city.
In these engagement, the squadron destroyed: up to 300 enemy troops, 7 machine-guns, 1 tank, 25 firing positions, 3 pillboxes.
For exhibited heroism and courage, for brilliant execution of the combat operation, comrade KLYUCHNIKOV is worthy of state award – order “RED BANNER”.
Below the full translation:
Some additional research has been done and scans of this can be found in the picture gallery after the image of Major Klyuchnikov:
- Klyuchnikov’s Signature
- Map 51A in Crimea
- Map 417RD on the day of assult
- Combat diary 417RD on 07May1944
- Arty barage Sapun-Gora
- German pilbox at Sapun-Gora
- Soviet assualt on Sapun-Gora
- Map 455 Arty Squardron in Sevastopol