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Soviet Order of the Red Banner #81687 ‘Swallow Tail’



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Soviet Order of the Red Banner #81687


Awarded to Guards Lieutenant Nikolai Fyodorovich Bildy (Николай Федорович Бильды)


Awarded for personally killing 10 Hitlerites and two enemy officers in a hand-to-hand skirmish!!



Made of silver and enamels. Measures 36.95 mm in width and 45.26 mm in height. Without suspension the weight is 23.1 gram. Because of the new June 1943 regulations, orders of the Red Banner were produced on a five-sided suspension and no longer as screwbacks. Some of the already produced screwback orders were therefor converted by the Moscow Mint to a suspension type. These are sometimes called a ‘Swallow Tail’ or ‘Coat Hanger’ variation due to the added eyelet and its shape. The minimum know serial number for these is 77483 and the maximum number is 84243. The total number of coat hangers however is much lower due to overlapping within the serial number range.


The order is in a very nice, above average condition. The details are mostly visible and even the higher laying parts like the center wreath and the flame on top of the torch show little wear. The red enamel is in relatively good condition and is all present apart from some enamel loss on the 9 o’clock ray of the center star and some minor flaking. The white enamel is in particular pristine condition. Its suspension is time period to the order.


Very desiderable and interesting research. Scarce as such!


Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms:

“During the fighting for the town of Verkhnekamenistaya on October 17, 1943, Guards Lieutenant Bildy showed bravery and great courage during the capture of the town. Having deployed his platoon’s heavy machine guns; he cut off the enemy infantry’s avenue of retreat, killing 50 Hitlerites. During the fighting for the town of Likhovka, when a machine-gun team was taken out of action, he himself took up position behind the machine gun and gunned down 10 Hitlerites who were attempting to get away in a vehicle.

During the fighting for the city of Krivoi Rog on October 25, 1943, when they had run out of ammunition, he and his platoon engaged in a hand-to-hand skirmish, during which he shot 2 enemy officers with his pistol.

He deserves the Order of the Red Banner.

Commanding officer of the 3rd Guards Airborne Rifle Regiment

Guards Major [signed] /Lebedev/November 11, 1943”

The full translation:



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