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     Home > IMPERIAL RUSSIA > Imperial Russian Badges and Jetons

    Badge to a Defender of Port-Arthur, Officer's Version, 1914 issue.

    Badge to a Defender of Port-Arthur, Officer's Version, 1914 issue.

    In silver and enamel; measures 42.5 mm in height, 42.4 mm in width; weighs 30.3 g (without the washer and wing nut.) Massive, beautifully made piece. The reverse shows silver hallmark "84" with Kokoshnik and character alpha (for St. Petersburg assay inspection) as well as additional round Kokoshnik assayer's hallmark and maker mark "AB". The badge comes with original silver washer and original silver wing nut, both showing matching "AB" maker mark and round assay inspection mark.

    The badge is in outstanding, excellent condition. There are no significant dings or scratches; raised inscription shows practically no wear. The enameled center medallion is likewise perfect. The wires attaching the center portion of the badge are sound and tight. The screw post is full length, well over 18 mm.

    The Port-Arthur badge was established in early 1914 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the siege. The silver version of the award was exclusively for officers who had taken part in the defense; the lower ranked veterans of the battle got the right to wear a less ornate bronze version.

    Although the defense of the key Russian naval fortress on the Liaodong Peninsula in northeastern China, ultimately ended in defeat, it was certainly not for the lack of heroism on the side of the rank and file soldiers and frontline officers of the beleaguered garrison. The Japanese sustained significant losses in the nearly a year of siege warfare, and the tenacious Russian resistance tied up a large portion of the enemy forces in the theater. After the main bastions had fallen, naval warships bottled up in the harbor got sunk, and the defenders started running low on ammunition, the commander of the fortress General Stessel decided to surrender. His decision, while perhaps sound in purely military terms, was later deemed treasonous. It caused an immediate storm of indignation from the public at home and seriously undermined morale of the Russian troops everywhere. The surrender however never tarnished the reputation of the survivors of the defense, who had faced Japanese captivity and then a long journey home following their release by the terms of the Treaty of Portsmouth.

    /See Patrikeev and Boinovich, "Badges of Russia, Vol. 1" , page 475; also "Russian and Soviet Military Awards", V. Durov, Page 50, Fig. 7/


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