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Order of the Red Star, #2081912, Reconnaissance Squad Leader

Article about: Award Card Order Booklet V 090526 1. Last name: Balankin 2. Name and patrionymic: Ivan Fedorovich 3. Rank: Guards Sergeant 4. Gender: Male 5. Birthyear: 1925 6. Birthplace: Kaluga Oblast, Ba

  1. #1

    Default Order of the Red Star, #2081912, Reconnaissance Squad Leader

    Award Card

    Order Booklet V 090526
    1. Last name: Balankin
    2. Name and patrionymic: Ivan Fedorovich
    3. Rank: Guards Sergeant
    4. Gender: Male
    5. Birthyear: 1925
    6. Birthplace: Kaluga Oblast, Babynino Settlement
    7. Party membership: Comsomol member since 1944
    8. Education: elementary
    9. Nationality: Russian
    10. Time in Red Army: since 01.1943
    11. Place of service at awarding: 249th Guards Destroyer Regiment, 11th Destroyer Brigade – Reconnaissance Squad Leader
    12. Place of work at present: 46th Guards Mechanized Regiment, 13th Guards Mechanized Division – Battery First Sergeant
    13. Home address: Kaluga Oblast, Babynino Station, Volkovskii Selsovet, village of Krutaya

    14. Awards:
    Designation/Serial Number/Awarding Organization

    Bravery Medal 2.441.069 386th Destroyer Regiment, 8.3.45

    Red Star 2.081.912 26th Independent Destroyer Brigade, 10.8.45

    Red Star 2.016.723 Central Group of Forces , 31.8.45

    Verified by Chief of Staff, 46 Guards Mechanized Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Lamta on 17th July, 1947

    Award Sheet

    1. Last name, name, and patrionymic: Balankin, Ivan Fedorovich
    2. Rank: Corporal
    3. Duty position: Senior Scout – 2nd Battery, 386th Order of Kutuzov Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, 26th Independent Oder Destroyer Anti-tank Artillery Brigade, RGK
    Recommendation for the Order of the Red Star
    4. Born: 1925
    5. Nationality: Russian
    6. Party membership: Comsomol member since January 1944. Booklet 20852729
    7. Previous combat: 1st Ukrainian Front December, 1943 through 9th May, 1945
    8. Wounds or shell-shock: n/a
    9. In Red Army: since 14th January, 1943
    10. Inducted by: Bobininsky Regional Military Commissariat, Tula Oblast
    11. Previous awards: Bravery Medal by 386th Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, on 8th March 1945
    12. Home of record: Kaluga Oblast, Bobininskii Region, village of Krutaya
    Short description of personal combat feat or accomplishment

    Comrade Balankin has displayed exceptional bravery, steadfastness, and valor in the struggle against the German-fascist invaders. Since the regiment’s formation he has been in reconnaissance and in attacks he has proven himself a knowledgeable and resourceful in conducting reconnaissance of the enemy.

    On 4th March, 1945 near Ober Bilau while repelling an enemy counterattack he destroyed 15 German soldiers and officers, killing a German officer with three Iron Crosses at point blank range.

    On 22nd April, 1945 near Radensdorf while destroying an encircled enemy pocket, in reconnaissance he destroyed a heavy machinegun with grenades and captured six prisoners.

    On 1st May, 1945 in combat near Lukkenwald during the liquidation of the Berlin pocket and conducting a front-line reconnaissance on an armored personnel carrier, he blew open a lane with a machinegun allowing the battery to occupy their sector and with his submachinegun killed five soldiers trying to destroyer the armored personnel carrier with a panzerfaust.

    He is deserving of the Order of the Red Star.

    Signed Commander, 386th Order of Kutuzov Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Maksimov on 28th July, 1945

    Endorsed Commander, 26th Independent Oder Order of Kutuzov Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade, RGK, Lieutenant Colonel Bogdanov on 10th August, 1945

    Unit Award Order

    SECRET

    (?) Oder Order of Kutuzov Independent Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade, RGK Order 022/N dated 10th August, 1945

    On behalf of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet USSR, I award the following decorations for exemplary accomplishment of the Command’s missions in the struggle against the German invaders and for having displayed valor and bravery:

    Order of the Red Star to:

    6. Corporal Ivan Fedorovich Balankin – Senior Scout, 2nd Battery, 385th Order of Kutuzov Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Regiment

    Signed 26th Order of Kutuzov Independent Destroyer Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade, RGK, Lieutenant Colonel Bogdanov

    Corporal Ivan Fedorovich Balankin's Order of the Red Star, #2081912, an MZPP variant with replaced enamel on the top arm of the star.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #2

    Default

    Excellent citation!
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  4. #3

    Default

    Nice History to have with a great badge!
    (How could a German officer have "3 Iron Crosses"? An EK1,a Ritter,maybe...and...?)
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  5. #4

    Default

    My guess would be EK2, EK1 and a Ritter. Based on the date and location could we figure out who the "German Office with 3 Iron Crosses" was?

  6. #5

    Default

    True, except the records said he had "3 Iron Crosses". The EKII would have been simply a button hole ribbon. Would this have been obvious to the Russians? Most Russians had little knowledge about German awards. They used to think that a German Cross wearer outranked Knight's Cross wearers because it was bigger and more impressive.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  7. #6

    Default

    Maybe the lowly farm-boy conscript didn't know... But by this stage of the game, I'd like to think that high ranking Soviet officers and especially intelligence personnel would know... Plus, this soldier was in recon... He could have been instructed to kill or capture high ranking Germans/ Soldaten with lots of awards for interrogation.

  8. #7

    Default

    Anything is possible in war, I would imagine. I have to wonder how many reports, though, were "embellished" or "enhanced" to push through medal recommendations! Not that things like that ever Happened, of course....
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  9. #8
    ?

    Default

    The citation actually says "three crosses". So, this could have included an EK2, EK1, KVK, Ehrenkreuz, etc.

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