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This is the rarest, most valuable and the
highest military award of the Soviet Union. Only being awarded on 20 occasions
and only to top military leaders. It was given twice to Zhukov, Vasilevsky and
Stalin and not only Soviets, several foreigners, as well, including Roosevelt
and Montgomery. Nineteen were issued for merits during the Second World War. The
twentieth was bestowed on Brezhnev in 1978. Many considered this an undeserved
honour as he never had a notable military career. One reason given for it's
award being for his outstanding services in fortifying the country and his
conduct of foreign policy.
The statute is very brief, the Order of Victory is awarded, " for a successful operation within the framework of one or several fronts resulting in a radical change of the situation in favour of the Red Army."
The order was originally proposed by Colonel N. S. Neyelov, who served in the headquarters of the Rear of the Soviet Army in July 1943. Initially to be called the Order for Faithfulness to the Homeland but in October this was changed to Victory. The badge's principle designer was Kuznetsov and went through 15 drafts until a final design was selected by Stalin on 25 October. The badge is a 72mm five-pointed ruby star on a platinum frame. The star being bordered by 16 carats of diamonds. In the centre is a blue enamel circle with portrayals of the wall of the Kremlin, the Mausoleum of Lenin and the Spasskaya tower. Above this is the inscription "USSR" in white enamel and the word "Victory" below. It is to be worn on the left side of the tunic 12 -14 cm above the belt. In 1945 it had an estimated value of £3,750.
ZHUKOV, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgi Konstantinovich. . Awarded twice, 10 April 1944 and 30 March 1945
VASILEVSKY, Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexsander Michailovish. Awarded twice, 10 April 1944 and 19 April 1945
STALIN, Joseph Vissarionovich. Awarded Twice, 29 July 1944 and 26 June 1945
ROKOSSOVSKY, Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Konstantinovich. 30 March 1945
KONEV, Commander of Troops, 1st Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Stepanovich. Awarded 30 March 1945
TOLBUKHIN, Commander of Troops, 3rd Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Fedor Ivanovich. Awarded 26 April 1945
MALINOVSKY, Commander of Troops, 2nd Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Rodion Yakovlevich. Awarded 26 April 1945
GOVOROV, Marshal of the Soviet Union Leonid Aleksandrovich. Awarded 31 May 1945
TIMOSHENKO, Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyen Konstantinovich. Awarded 4 June 1945
ANTONOV, Commander of General Staff of the Red Army, General of Army Aleksey Innokentevich. Awarded 4 June 1945
MERETSKOV, Commander of 1st Far Eastern Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Kirill Afanasevich. Awarded 8 September 1945
BREZHNEV, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet and General Secretary of the Communist Party Leonid Iiyich. Awarded 20 February 1978
EISENHOWER, General of the U.S. Army Dwight D. Awarded 5 June 1945
MONTGOMERY, Field Marshal Bernard Law. Awarded 5 June 1945
MICHAEL I, King of Romania. Awarded 6 July 1945
ROLA-ZYMIERSKI, Commander-in-Chief of the Polish Army, General. Awarded 9 August 1945
TITO, Commander of the Yugoslav People's Liberation Army, Marshal Josip Broz. Awarded 9 September 1945