Homeland Awards: Medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg"
During the years of great confrontation between the two major powers, namely fascist Germany, and for several years after the end of the bloody war in the USSR, a large number of awards — orders and medals — were instituted as signs of recognition of the military merits of the defenders of the Motherland. One of the most important awards in our country is the Medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg". She was awarded more than 750 thousand soldiers and officers who stormed the city during the Great Patriotic War.
Koenigsberg is located in western Russia. His belonging to any state all the time depended on their relationship. Therefore, he changed his masters quite often. Thus, the original Königsberg fortress originated near the shores of the Baltic on the site of the Prussian fortress Tuvangste. According to its foundation, it was given a new name - Königsberg, which means "Crown Mountain".
Otakar Koenigsberg was a warlord of the Teutonic knights who came to plant among the Prussian tribe of their faith.However, shortly after the construction of Koenigsberg was attacked by indignant Prussians. Thanks to a timely approach, the Teutons managed to gain a foothold on the Baltic shores, and their state became known as Prussia. Later, the Duchy of Prussia was incorporated as a province into the lands of the Commonwealth.
In 1858, Koenigsberg was captured by Russian troops, but after the death of Elizaveta Petrovna, Prussia was returned to Peter the Great. And in the war with Napoleon, Prussia first fought on the French side, but since the defeat of the French army for some time became an ally of Russia and was divided after the war.
After World War I, the lands of East Prussia with Koenigsberg were separated from the rest of Prussia by the Polish corridor and became a big problem in difficult relations with Germany. Koenigsberg was the most fortified city-fortress of Nazi Germany. That is why the strategic point was very important for the Russian army.
Important historical event
The assault and capture of the fortress city took place on April 10, 1945. In the course of the military company the enemy forces stationed in Königsberg were cut off from the main formations of Nazi Germany.The city was besieged by the forces of the soldiers of the 2nd and 3rd Byelorussian fronts, and then captured.
The assault was preceded by a long-term artillery preparation, which was conducted from 2 to 5 April. During the assault, the blow was struck simultaneously from two sides - north and south. The commander of the operation was Marshal A. M. Vasilevsky.
In the operation, which began on April 6, 26 detachments, 104 groups, 3 sapper brigades took part, about 500 tanks took part in the assault, 2.4 thousand airplanes supported - Marshal A.A. Novikov commanded the air force. Good luck during the assault alternately switched from one side to the other, but in the end Koenigsberg was left for the Russians. For the first time in the years of the war with the fascists, the Soviet army was faced with such a powerful enemy stronghold.
The history of the institution and the appearance of the award
The medal was established in 1945. The decree establishing the award was issued on June 9th. The project of its design was developed by artist A.I. Kuznetsov.
The medal has the shape of a circle. Cast from brass. The basis of the award is a circle with a diameter of 32 mm. The front side is decorated above the image of a five-pointed star and rays coming from it. Under the star is the inscription: "For the capture of Koenigsberg." Under the inscription - the image of the laurel branch.The reverse date of the city is carved on the reverse of the round badge. Above the date - the image of a five-pointed star. The medal is attached to a pentagonal pad, covered with moire striped black and green ribbon. With the help of special fastening pins, the medal is mounted on the left side of the chest.
Who was awarded the medal?
The medal was awarded to direct participants in military operations that unfolded during the liberation of the city from the Nazi occupation. List of medals "For the capture of Koenigsberg" was not published.
In 1951 it was legalized that in the event of the owner’s death, the medal and the award document remain in the family of the hero. Too much has been paid them a price. The Medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg" (like other military awards) is priceless.
Some examples from the history of awards
It is known that Ivan Demyanovich Grabko, born in 1912, was one of the Soviet soldiers from the list of those awarded the Medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg". This is a native of the village of Okriyons of the Konkovitsky Village Council of the Petrikov District of the Polesye Region of the Belorussian SSR He served as a captain in the 97th Infantry Division of the 5th Army of the 3rd Belorussian Front. By the same order, the commander of the rifle battalion of the 397th rifle regiment of the 365th rifle division, Major Babakov Alexander Ivanovich, was awarded the medal.
On December 5, 1945, Senior Lieutenant Vasily Sergeyevich Voronko was awarded the medal.
In 1946, Gorelkin Vasily Frolovich, a junior sergeant of the 15th Guards Cannon Artillery Brigade, was awarded the medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg". In total, 350 Red Army soldiers of the 15th Brigade of the 5th Army of the 3rd Belorussian Front were awarded this award by the same order. On November 25, the same year, the medal was presented to Gerasimenko Ivan Mikhailovich.
For participation in the heroic assault and the capture of Koenigsberg on January 19, 1948, he was handed over to ordinary Fedorenko Mikhail Ostapovich.
On April 27 of the unknown year, the medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg" was awarded to Lukienko Ivan Iosifovich. The date of awarding Elkin Ivan Ivanovich is unknown.
Where can I find lists of medals?
Unfortunately, there is no single list of those who were awarded the Medal "For the capture of Koenigsberg". All of them are in a disconnected state in orders stored in TsAMO. Far from all the military, information about which is published in electronic databases, presented all documents on the awards. But work on their replenishment is underway.