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Article about: Hello - I have been looking for a resource that talks about the hardware used for ORS and have been unable to find a definitive answer. I am trying to determine the following: 1. How do you

  1. #1

    Default Screw backs

    Hello - I have been looking for a resource that talks about the hardware used for ORS and have been unable to find a definitive answer.

    I am trying to determine the following:

    1. How do you tell the difference between a WWII and post war screw back? I've seen some with the dimples on both the front and back and other with the dimples on just one side but no text to say whether it's period or not. I've attached an example I was looking at.

    Screw backsScrew backs

    2. I also understand an ORS could be issued many years after the war for deeds performed during the war and delayed due to paperwork or whatever other reason. Would you expect a WWII era screw back on these or was whatever was available was used?

    3. Do serious ORS collects care if the screw on the ORS has been re-soldered, shortened or if the screw back is period or post war? It seems like many collectors care most about the serial number for research.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by akriener; 11-15-2020 at 12:59 AM.

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  3. #2

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    The ones that you have seem to be post war. During the war, the screwbacks were mostly a thin peice of metal, pressed to form a flat dome, with two bulbs.
    With the replaced pins, it gives character, a veterans touch on the medal. I could even tell a story, that it was damaged during war.

  4. #3

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    Quote by VasOnARitz View Post
    The ones that you have seem to be post war. During the war, the screwbacks were mostly a thin peice of metal, pressed to form a flat dome, with two bulbs.
    With the replaced pins, it gives character, a veterans touch on the medal. I could even tell a story, that it was damaged during war.
    Thanks, so I assume versions where you can see the bulbs indentation on the obverse side as well are legitimate, such as this example.

    Screw backs

  5. #4

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    I also don't care if the awardee did some changes himself, like shortening the screw for more comfortable wearing. It all the more proves the award was actually worn. The same goes for re-soldered screws. Perhaps it could even be broken off or bend heavily in fierce fighting? It is all possible so therefor I think the majority of collectors don't care about this. At least, I certainly don't. To me it gives character.

    Regarding screws, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that early in the war the screwbacks were all made of silver. These also feel a bit heavier in hand. Later in the war these were gradually replaced by cheaper steel and cupronickel screwbacks (and perhaps other metal alloys? - I am not too familiar with all the metal alloy variations). These steel/cupronickel screwbacks come in a variaty of forms. Those shown above I believe to be postwar screwbacks. But know that in postwar years veterans themselves also lost screwbacks and replaced these with new (obviously) postwar screwbacks. After all, these awards were worn annualy when celebrating among others Victory Day and at other veteran meetings etc. So it is very common to find postwar screwbacks on wartime awards.

    Edit: this is a wartime silver screwback:
    Screw backs

  6. #5

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    Quote by Marcel Banziger View Post
    I also don't care if the awardee did some changes himself, like shortening the screw for more comfortable wearing. It all the more proves the award was actually worn. The same goes for re-soldered screws. Perhaps it could even be broken off or bend heavily in fierce fighting? It is all possible so therefor I think the majority of collectors don't care about this. At least, I certainly don't. To me it gives character.

    Regarding screws, and please correct me if I am wrong, is that early in the war the screwbacks were all made of silver. These also feel a bit heavier in hand. Later in the war these were gradually replaced by cheaper steel screwbacks (and perhaps other metal alloys? - I am not too familiar with all the metal alloy variations). These steel screwbacks come in a variaty of forms. Those shown above I believe to be postwar screwbacks. But know that in postwar years veterans themselves also lost screwbacks and replaced these with new (obviously) postwar screwbacks. After all, these awards were worn annualy when celebrating among others Victory Day and other veteran meetings etc. So it is very common to find postwar screwbacks on wartime awards.
    This site is probably the most comprehensive I have found discussing ORS but sadly does not touch on screw backs: Орден КРАСНОЙ ЗВЕЗДЫ - 1

    That being said, this combat example from sovietorders has an identical screw back as the one I posted - which is the one you and I discussed privately on WAF that has the re-soldered/shortened screw and enamel chip. Given it's low serial and low price I think it still might be a good buy besides these small issues (and those newer scratches by the soldier) as opposed to this more expensive one: Soviet WW2 USSR Order of the Red Star number #1082914

    And then you have another combat example, also with a silver appearing screw back that has a smooth inside on the back: Soviet Order of the Red Star numbered #1887206 USSR WW2

    So I guess the questions are:

    1. Are these screw backs different due to the type and version of the red star? (I haven't examined them closely to determine which ones they are)

    2. The set of 10 I posted appear to be steel, which would align with what you said about materials being switched at some point. So when would that have happened? We may never know


    I have also sent a message to the owner of sovietorders.com to see if he can provide some additional information.

  7. #6

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    Those two Stars sold by Matt from Sovietorders are very nice examples. The first link is what looks like a late war/postwar cupronickel screwnut and the second is a postwar steel(?) screwnut. In all fairness, I don't think the different variations of stars were attributed special screwnuts. I think the Mint used whatever screwnuts they had at the time. So I personally don't care that much. Especially since veterans themselves could also have swapped these themselves.

    For me personally, collecting Red Stars (and the same goes for other Soviet awards) is that the serial number is for combat deeds instead of long service. I don't mind damage, when possible from wartime actions. I don't like the cuts and scrapes on gold Order of Glory I class for example, that is clearly collectors doing and has nothing to do with combat looks of an award.

    I wanna show two examples of awards of mine that have significant damage but still look "cool" and which didn't lose any value due to damage:

    1. Order of Red Star worn by a soldier who was fighting in the trenches a lot. He earned the OPW I for close combat in trenches (and this is possibly were this Red Star got damaged).

    Screw backs
    Screw backs

    2. Order of Aleksander Nevsky, awarded for close combat near Nevel, with quite some damage, also being converted from hanger to screwback using all the original components, done by the awardee himself. The awardee earned the OPW I for close combat later which could explain the damage.

    Screw backs
    Screw backs

    So this to show that damage, or se-soldered or bend screws don't matter

    Btw, here's a useful list of combat vs long service serial numbers:
    Soviet award serial number ranges
    Soviet long-service awards (1944?1957)
    Last edited by Marcel Banziger; 11-15-2020 at 08:16 AM.

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