Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union
The highest distinctive state award of the USSR since August 1939 has become a star which has been awarded to those who have been awarded this high title. The title itself existed since 1936, but without distinctions, it was attached only the letter of the CEC. The first Heroes of the Soviet Union received, in addition to diplomas, the Order of Lenin, which was secured by a CEC Resolution. In 1939, the Decree was issued, according to which a medal was established - the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. After approval of its appearance in October 1939, it received a new name. Now the award has become known as the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
In 1939, the very position of this rank changed. Now it is possible to receive such an award many times. The second star of the Hero of the Soviet Union gave the right to fellow countrymen who had distinguished themselves to plant his bronze bust in the area where he was born. Three times the Hero, together with the third Golden Star, received a bronze bust in Moscow, near the Palace of Soviets.And now the Order of Lenin was not awarded to the heroes. Four times Hero of the Decree did not provide, and therefore there were no indications on this matter, but the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union was subsequently given four times - to Marshal Georgy Zhukov and Leonid Brezhnev. In total, during the existence of the USSR, 12,776 people were honored with this title. Of these, one hundred and fifty-four of those to whom the star of the Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded twice, and Semyon Budyonny, Alexander Pokryshkin and Ivan Kozhedub three times. Forty-four foreign citizens and ninety-five women are among the Heroes.
The "Golden Star" of the Hero of the Soviet Union was most often appropriated during the Second World War - the Great Patriotic War. Almost ninety percent of Heroes accomplished their exploits on the fronts. Eleven thousand six hundred and fifty-seven Heroes received their Golden Star, only more than three thousand of them - posthumously. The Gold Star medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union was taken to Poland and Czechoslovakia ten times, to France four times (the Normandie-Neman air regiment distinguished itself). One hundred and seven people received this title twice. Of the more than eleven thousand Heroes, ninety are women.Now about 100 people live in the capital who have received such a medal - the “Golden Star” of the Hero of the Soviet Union. And besides the benefits that are due to them, at the present time about fifty thousand rubles are paid each month.
What was supposed to make a hero who received the star of the Soviet Union - the main of his stars? This was supposed to be a real feat or a special, outstanding merit either in war or in peacetime. Who are these people who proudly wore the amazingly beautiful medal created by architect Miron Ivanovich Merzhanov? However, the medal was not worn immediately, but the exploits were noted before its creation. The position of awarding this title in 1934 was about personal or collective merit to the country, about the heroic deed, and the red star of the Hero of the Soviet Union turned into a gold one. The first, second and third awards went with a separate numbering, and after the war, because it prevented the grand Palace of Soviets from being completed, all the bronze busts of three times Heroes were installed right in the Kremlin.
In 1973, a new edition of the 1936 Regulations was approved by a separate decree of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet.In particular, it says that the second star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of Lenin, when awarded, will be combined with the establishment of a bronze bust in the Hero's homeland. The third star of the Hero for new feats brings the second Order of Lenin, where the Star is a sign of special distinction, and the Order is the highest award. Also, the Hero receives a certificate from the Presidium of the USSR Armed Forces. They wear this medal on the left side, above all orders and medals of the USSR. However, the high title of Hero could have been deprived, which happened more than once. Only the Supreme Council, its Presidium, had the right to do so.
The first star of the Hero of the Soviet Union was presented to the polar pilot Anatoly Lyapidevsky in April 1934, or rather, it was only the title so far, and the medal No. 1 was awarded later. He was not the only one - the Chelyuskin epic and pushed the idea of establishing such an award, because the feat of the rescuers - the polar pilots - was unprecedented. At the same time, Sigismund Levanevsky, Vasily Molokov, Nikolai Kamanin, Mavriky Slepnev, Mikhail Vodopyanov, Ivan Doronin became the Heroes of the country. Did these wonderful pilots think that each of them was waiting for a star of the Hero of the Soviet Union? Photos of the time indicate that no, not that the characters thought. This feat was too hard for them.
They still rescued the crew members and passengers of the sunken steamer "Chelyuskin", which was covered with ice. In fact, the enterprise itself was an excellent foolishness. After the “Siberian” icebreaker passed through the seas for the first time in history in 1932 and managed to meet one navigation, some irresponsible comrades decided that even a regular ship could do it. I could not. But the pilots accomplished the feat by removing people from the drifting ice in the unthinkable conditions of the Far North. Seven high-class pilots, of which there were so few in the country at that time, risked their lives for the sake of their fellow citizens.
On the trail
For military merits, the Order of the Golden Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union was received by soldiers-internationalists who fought in Spain. The award took place on the eve of the new year 1937. Among the sixty people marked with the Gold Star were Volkan Goran from Bulgaria and Primo Gibelli from Italy. In 1938, new military exploits were accomplished - on Lake Hassan and on Khalkin-Gol, and ninety-six people received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Build them most of all the pilots. And the pilot was the first woman to receive the order.The star of the Hero of the Soviet Union in 1938 was awarded to pilot Pilot Valentina Grizodubova. And the only woman twice Hero - Svetlana Savitskaya, an astronaut.
The youngest Hero of the Soviet Union became - posthumously - partisans Valentin Kotyk, who, before his fourteen years, managed to blow up six German echelons, scout out a lot of information that is extremely important for partisans, receive many awards, the amount of which not every adult even had in the army. And as soon as he was fourteen, there was a battle where, in defending his comrades, Valya Kotick received a mortal wound. The oldest among the Heroes was a peasant born under the serfs, also partisans - Matvey Kuzmin, who died heroically in eighty-three years, repeating the feat of Ivan Susanin. There is a monument in Moscow, and people walking down the subway to the Partizanskaya station see it every day: an elderly, bearded, calm and confident person.
Among the heroic defenders of the Motherland in the Great Patriotic War, 8160 people were Russians, three hundred and nine Belarusians, two thousand and sixty-nine Ukrainians, one hundred sixty-one Tatar, one hundred thirty-one Jews, seven Ingush and Chechens. The post-war Heroes of the Soviet Union brought the war in Afghanistan.They are eighty-five, and twenty-eight of them received the Golden Star posthumously. Everyone remembers the famous Bondarchuk film "9th Company". This is about them, when the twelve-hour altitude with our paratroopers without interruption attacked many times greater than the number of Mujahideen, but they did not succeed in capturing this bridgehead. Then six were killed, twenty-eight fighters were injured, nine - hard. Private Alexander Melnikov and junior sergeant Vyacheslav Alexandrov were posthumously Heroes of the Soviet Union.
But not all heroes appear in wars, a feat always has a place in a peaceful life. Thirty-five Soviet astronauts received a Gold Star, four of them - twice. Moreover, Georgy Beregovoi earned the first star of the Hero in the war, where he made one hundred eighty-six sorties, storming the enemy effectively and efficiently. Two more Heroes - Svetlana Savitskaya, Alexey Eliseev and Vladimir Shatalov. The last twice Hero of the Soviet Union was the commander of the brigade, tanker Hazi Aslanov, who died back in 1945. The Second Gold Star found the Hero posthumously in 1991. And the most recent star was received in December 1991 by the captain of the third rank, diver Leonid Solodkov for courage and unparalleled resourcefulness in overcoming a dangerous situation (a very complex underwater experiment was conducted).The Soviet Union at the time of presentation of the award no longer existed.
Three destinies twice Heroes
In 1939, fighting began on Khalkin-Gol (a river in Mongolia), which, by the number of troops and equipment thrown into battle, were quite equivalent to some of the battles of the Great Patriotic War. Then the Heroes appeared twice - excellent aces-pilots Yakov Smushkevich, Grigory Kravchenko and Sergey Grinevets, who deserved the first such awards in battles in the territories of China and Spain. Grinevets did not manage to get a single Golden Star: he died from a ridiculous accident, having safely landed the plane in the most difficult meteorological conditions, and his comrade, who landed next, failed to control the aircraft. He died in September, and the first, most recently established medals were awarded in November.
Jacob Smushkevich in Spain was called "General Douglas", the glory of him thundered on both sides of the front. He managed to get both Golden Stars: for both the Spanish war and the Halkin Gol. In 1941, Smushkevich was the commander of the Air Force, and so began the war. But in October he was convicted and executed. And Grigory Kravchenko received the first title of Hero and the Order of Lenin in February, and the second - in August 1939. It was truly fearless and exceptionally skillful as.He participated in all the wars and conflicts waged by the Soviet Union, and he always won. But luck also turns away from real heroes. In February 1943, after knocking down the next Focke-Wulf, Kravchenko led his wounded and inflamed La-5 home, but did not reach for it. After leaving the plane, pulling the parachute ring, I realized that it would not open: he was interrupted by a fragment of a knapsack. So the very first twice Hero of the Soviet Union perished.
The “small” war with a small country gave the Soviet Union four hundred and twelve Heroes (which, by the way, is more than for the great battle of Moscow). Of course, great courage and heroism in the war with Finland was needed: machine guns had to run in the snow to the waist. Our losses were very, simply disproportionately large with all the superiority in equipment and the fighting qualities of the troops. But the victory was won, and the high command was confident that this experience of warfare was certainly valuable and would certainly come in handy. A shower of awards then poured on the Soviet army, new appointments, new ranks. The people became convinced that a very formidable opponent had been defeated, with the “one-left”, and now he could be turned into a mutton horn.The summer of 1941 showed all the harm of such hats and moods, especially on the eve of a huge war.
And the heroes of the Soviet-Finnish war were real! This is Grigory Hayrapetyan, who, with a small subunit, seized the enemy’s trench with two pillboxes and held these positions for two days with continuous counterattacks; This is Alexander Andriyanov, who not only fulfilled the most difficult combat missions, but also retained his own fighters in almost full strength; this elusive and fearless reconnaissance man Caesar Andreev, who died in open battle and was awarded posthumously with the Golden Star of Hero. This is Ivan Alyaev, twice wounded and refused to leave the battlefield. This is the artillery hero Semyon Alpeyev, the legendary brigade commander Stepan Chernyak ... And another twice Hero of the Soviet Union - ace pilot Sergey Denisov, who received the first award for courage in battles in Spain, and now suppressed enemy resistance on the Mannerheim line. All those who received awards from the hands of the "All-Union Headman" Mikhail Kalinin for their deeds on the Soviet-Finnish border are, of course, real heroes.
Stars "for experience"
The jubilee or, as the people aptly put it, the "Danish" award of the Golden Star began after the death of Stalin.The first to receive his fourth Hero award was Georgy Zhukov on his sixtieth birthday. Andrei Grechko, Sergey Gorshkov, Clement Voroshilov went through the whole war, but they were not named Heroes, but they received two Golden Stars already in peacetime.
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev received the first star in the war on the Fourth Ukrainian Front. Apparently, he liked it. Three more Golden Stars of the Hero and one - of Socialist Labor, he received, already being the General Secretary. Konstantin Chernenko was afraid not to live to seventy-five, when he could get the third star (he did not worry in vain, and it happened), so he received it by the seventy-third anniversary - a slightly non-circular anniversary.
Before the revolution
The same order, destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, existed in the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire (unlike the Soviet Union, it was absolutely official). The law clearly stipulates what rank it takes to have and how long a flawless service is to receive a particular order. Even the names of pre-revolutionary awards clearly denoted social types.
The Order of St. Vladimir of the third degree ("Vladimir in the buttonhole") is an official or a military officer up to thirty years old,an enviable groom or promising careerist; the Order of St. Anne of the Second Degree ("Anna on the Neck") - a man of about fifty, already fully accomplished; and if two stars are the highest order before which it is necessary to be timid. The only difference is that not one of the tsarist officials claimed the slightest bit of heroism.
In Russian federation
The Golden Star of the Hero of Russia, established in 1992 by Boris Yeltsin, is no different from the previous star, except the pad for fastening - it has become a tricolor, like a flag. This title is assigned only to Russian citizens and only once. Star number 1 went to cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev for an especially long flight (orbital station Mir), and the second such award was given posthumously to the relatives of the Hero, Major General Sulambek Oskanov, who did not eject from the damaged MiG-29 so that the plane would not fall on the city .
According to data for 2013, there were nine hundred and eighty-three Heroes of Russia. Of these, fifteen women. Four hundred sixty Heroes are posthumously awarded. Most among them are participants in the Chechen campaigns: three hundred four - the second war and one hundred seventy-five - the first.Another seventy-five people participated in other operations against terrorism. One hundred twenty two Heroes - testers of underwater and aviation equipment. One hundred and eight did not receive their rewards to the Great Patriotic War, and this was corrected. Forty-one astronaut. Twenty-two lifeguards. Fourteen scouts. Fifteen weapons designers. And twenty six participants of the October events in 1993.