Soviet Order of the Red Star #95138
Awarded to Lt. Leonid Karpovich Zakharchenko (Леонид Карпович Захарченко)
For leading a 7 men reconnaissance squad behind the enemy lines near Stalingrad during which they killed 70 enemy (Romanian) troops and taking one prisoner. When spotted by 30 enemy soldiers the prisoner was killed and Zakharchenko personally eliminated an additional 10+ enemy troops
Recommended for the Order of the Red Banner
Made of silver and enamels. The order measures 48.48 mm in width, 46.12 mm in height and weighs 27.9 grams without its screwplate. The serial number is located at the 6 o’clock position and the mint mark on the 12 o’clock position of its reverse. This early variation has a round base ‘heel’ of the screw. It appears the serial number was engraved over an old number which was removed. This is clearly done by the mint when comparing the handwriting of an other Red Star with a close by serial number (see picture gallery). Why this was done (mistake, recycled piece, etc) is not known to us.
This original order of the Red Star is in an excellent, well above average condition. Most details are visible and the higher laying parts show light to medium wear. The enamels are beautiful and without repairs with some minor contact marks only. The reverse is in excellent condition too and shows a nice patina. The order comes with its time period and well fitted silver screwplate.
Nice and early piece with great research. Scarce as such
Brief, concrete description of his feat of arms or achievements:
“Comrade ZAKHARCHENKO L.K. conducted surveillance and reconnoitered the sector for the upcoming reconnaissance operation. He skilfully prepared, planned, and executed this combat operation. In the nigh of 27-28 October 1942, he received the combat orders and tactically skillfully led a 7 men reconnaissance squad into an area behind the enemy line. After initial orientation, they crawled towards an enemy stronghold comprised of 6 pillboxes. He ordered a group of 4 men to flank on the left, while he and 3 others began their operation against the Romanian troops on the right flank. The enemy stronghold extended in a sector of 60-70 meters along the front line.
In the first pillbox, they eliminated 15 Romanian troops by an anti-tank HE grenade. In the second and the third pillboxes, about 18 troops including 3 officers were eliminated. His group demolished 3 pillboxes, eliminated 27 troops, and took 1 prisoner back with them to the base. There appeared a group of 30 enemy soldiers, who were attempting to cut off the retreat route. Realisation of the the enemy numerical superiority and the limited available ammunition forced them to liquidate their prisoner and Lt. ZAKHARCHENKO personally blew up 1 pillbox eliminating over 10 enemy troops.
The following booty was captured: 2 light machine-guns and a rifle. The reconnaissance squad crossed a lake returning to the home base without any casualties nor wounds sustained.
Conclusion: Comrade ZAKHARCHENKO conducted an act of bravery and heroism for the Motherland, inspired his brave 6 men reconnaissance squad, and fulfilled his mission. He deserves state award – order “RED BANNER”.
The full translation of the research can be found below:
More information on Lt. Zakharchenko can be found here
Next to the standard research a map of the reconnaissance operation on 28 October 1942 and a relevant map of the 51st separate machine-gun – artillery battalion (01-07 November 1942) can be found in the picture gallery
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