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Soviet Order of the Red Banner #18084



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Order of the Red Banner #18084


Awarded to Commissar Illarion Yakovlevich Polyakov (Илларион Яковлевич Поляков)


For courage and bravery in the combat engagements at the village Valya where he commanded a reconnaissance platoon and personally eliminated 6 Fascists by the fire of his sub-machine gun in December 1941. Polyakov was wounded shortly before declared MIA 


Rare piece!



Made of silver and enamels. It measures 40.06 mm in height, 35.95 mm in width and weighs 24.1 grams without its screwplate. The serial number and mint mark are located at the 6 o’clock position of its reverse.


In superb condition, next to impossible to upgrade for such a low numbered screwback! The details are perfectly crisp and even the higher laying parts like the center wreath show light wear. Both the red and white enamels are stunning and without repairs with some small contact marks only; extremely rare for a screwback order of the Red Banner! Most of the gold plating is still present and its screwpost has not been shortened. It comes with its time period and well fitted silver screwplate.


This order has it all. Great research, in outstanding condition and rare variation. Extremely hard to find! 


Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms or achievements:

“During his service in the regiment, he exhibited examples of courage and bravery. In the combat engagements for the village Valya, he commanded a reconnaissance of foot platoon. Together with an assault detachment, he attacked and captured the village. In this engagement, he personally eliminated 6 Fascists by the fire of his sub-machine gun.

Near the village Khaboni, he participated many times in rifle attacks and showed the Komsomol members and other unorganised youth an example of conduct in combat. Under intensive enemy mortar and machine-gun fire, he was organising the troops for providing cover, regrouping, and retreating to a new position, where we was wounded. After his hospitalisation, he participated in the battles for town Tikhvin near the villages Zabolotie and Pagolda, showing the other Komsomol members an example of how to fight against the enemy. He and his company were one of the first to enter the town Tikhvin.

For exhibited courage and bravery in the struggle against the German Fascism, he deserves state award order “RED BANNER””


The full translation of the research can be read below:

– register card

– citation 


According to the book Order of the Red Banner by Durov, and Strekalov this Red Banner is an example of the apx 200 duplicates for a type 1 order (mirror reverse) which were declared defect and returned to the mint. These serial numbers were re-used and hand engraved on Type 2 orders. The relevant pages of the book can be found in the picture gallery.

As Polyakov was declared MIA in April 1942, and his 191st Rifle Division participated in the ill fated offensive and eventual destruction of 2 Shock Army commanded by General Vlasov,
where 2 regiments (including 552nd Rifle Regiment) and the division HQ perished, it is very likely Polyakov fell into German hands and was executed as a Political Commissar. His Red Banner probably fell into German hands and thus was never worn afterwards which explains the superb condition of the piece.


More information on Polyakov can be found here


Also included in the picture gallery are:

  • a map of the Battle for Volkhov
  • a map of the encirclement of 552nd Rifle Regiment (RR), 191st Rifle Division (RD) in February 1942
  • a map of the 191st RD
  • combat diary 191st RD of February 1942
  • his MIA record
  • register of political officers
  • 2 print screens of Order of the Red Banner by Durov



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