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     Home > SOVIET ORDERS AND MEDALS > Heroes of the Soviet Union

    Group of 5 Decorations and 2 Documents to Ivan Indryakov.

    Group of 5 Decorations and 2 Documents to Ivan Indryakov.


    Gold Star Medal of Hero of the Soviet Union, #4543; Order of the Patriotic War, 1st cl., #62490; Medal for Valor, #708651; Medal for Combat Service (unnumbered); Medal for Victory over Germany (the latter medal is undocumented but it originally came with the group and believed to have been awarded to the same recipient.)

    Details and Condition of the Decorations:

    Gold Star Medal medallion is in 23 K gold; measures 32.5 mm in height (incl. eyelet), 30.3 mm in width; weighs 20.0 grams not including the suspension and connecting link. The suspension is in silver gilt, measuring 22.0 mm in height (not including the projection for the connecting link), 26.4 mm in width. Total weight of the medal with suspension is 32.5 g.

    The Medal is in excellent condition, absolutely superb for a Gold Star. The star medallion in particular is exceptionally well preserved. Its apex and ridges are beautifully crisp showing almost none of the usual wear. There are tiny contact marks throughout and a few minor dings, but the facets are very smooth, free of significant scratches, nicks or any other noticeable damage. The tips of the star are nicely defined. The reverse shows some minor scrapes and dings, but the stippling and lettering are overall well preserved allowing full view of all the "idiosyncrasies" of the die that are a requisite of the original piece. There is a very mild bump to the edge at the bottom that is only noticeable from the reverse, but the raised border has almost none of the usual dings or wear near the tips.

    The medal comes on original suspension device, complete with its rectangular back plate, hexagon nut and mint marked screw plate. The original fire gilt finish is clearly visible on all parts of the suspension. The screw post is full length, approx. 11 mm measured from the rectangular back plate. The ribbon has been replaced at some point as is almost always the case, but it does show some age. The connecting link appears to be original and its ends are soldered. In terms of its overall condition, this piece is among the best Hero Stars we have handled.

    The Order of the Patriotic War is Type 2 Var. 1 in solid 14 K gold (starburst, hammer & sickle emblem), silver and enamels. Measures 45.3 mm in height, 43.3 mm in width; weighs 27.4 g without the screw plate. Relatively scarce early issue with a single-line, slightly arched mint mark. Note a relatively low serial number 62490.

    The order is in very fine to excellent condition. The red enamel is extremely well preserved having only a few surface flakes of various size at the tip of all five arms, as well as the upper edge and center of the 10 o'clock arm and lower edge of the 3 o'clock arm. Additionally, there are a few tiny contact marks. The damage however is limited to small areas, does not penetrate to silver, and is not immediately evident. Moreover, the enamel retains beautiful luster throughout and leaves very pleasing overall impression. The red enamel in the center is perfect. The white band has only a couple of microscopic flakes that are completely unnoticeable to the naked eye. The details of the golden starburst are perfect and crisp, free of noticeable wear. There is very nice untouched dark patina to the gold on both sides as well as reverse of the silver star. The screw post is full length, over 13 mm long measured from the reverse of the silver star. Comes with original silver screw plate which shows matching dark patina. To reiterate, this piece is free of any glaring flaws, a very attractive example of the Patriotic War 1st cl.

    Medal for Valor is Type 2 Var. 1 in silver, lacquer; 37.2 mm wide. With the low serial number 708651 this medal is among the early Type 2 issues. The medal is in very fine condition, much better than the average for WW2 issues. Some of the original lacquer in the letters is still present, although it has significant losses. There are some minor dings but no significant wear, bumps or any glaring flaws. The raised details are nicely preserved and crisp. The connecting link is original and hasn't been cut.

    The medal comes on an old four-place suspension in brass with two other medals, as worn by the original recipient. The ribbons for the medals are old but well-preserved. The first place on the suspension is for the Order of Lenin that was issued with the Hero Star and is now missing (we would suggest that the new owner may want to add a good quality replica to fill this spot when putting the group on display.)

    Medal for Combat Service is Type 2 Var. 4, a relatively early post-war issue featuring a flat circular eyelet. In silver and enamel; 32.0 mm wide. In excellent condition. The connecting link is original and hasn't been cut.

    Medal for Victory over Germany is Var. 2 in brass; 32.1 mm wide. Excellent condition.

    Award Documents:

    Order Booklet, filled-out on 3 November 1944. Beside the Hero Star and three decorations included with the group, the document also shows an Order of Lenin #19466 (issued with the Hero Star) and two Orders of the Red Star. The document is in very good condition. There is wear and mild soiling to the cover, but the cloth binding is overall well preserved, still tight and sound. Other than the usual rust stains from the staples, the internal pages are very clean. All the pages are present and firmly attached.

    Large Certificate for the Title of Hero of the Soviet Union. The document is enclosed in 8 " by 12" leatherette folder with gold impression "To Hero of the Soviet Union" on the cover. The internal pages contain a standard citation from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet "For your act of heroism performed while executing the tasks given by the command on the front of struggle against German invaders". The document shows the date of the award decree, 22 August 1944. The document was issued on 19 March 1946. It is hand- signed by Mikhail Kalinin, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (nominally the head of state) and Aleksandr Gorkin, Secretary of the Presidium. As a historical side note, Kalinin died of old age in early June 1946, so this certificate is among the last documents he signed.

    The Hero Certificate is in excellent condition. The hard cover shows almost no wear; its color and gold impression are beautifully bright. The internal pages have a couple of minor stains but are otherwise clean and fresh, completely free of the usual tears, finger prints and soiling. The printed and hand-written text as well as the gold impression of the Soviet state emblem are bold and clear.

    Also included is Original Photograph of the recipient, approx.1" x 1 " format often used for official photo ID cards. The photo, probably taken in the 60s, shows him wearing the Hero Star on a civilian jacket.

    Ivan Indryakov, an ethnic Chuvash, was born in 1915. Prior to WW2, he worked as a teacher of a rural elementary school in his native Chuvash Autonomous Region of Russian Federation. In 1938-39 he served a stint in the Soviet Army, and was recalled to active duty in August 1941, soon after the German invasion. During the first year of the war he finished the Ryazan Infantry Officer School, was commissioned lieutenant, and in July 1942, appointed as a 76-mm field gun platoon commander to the 1086th Rifle Regiment, 323rd Rifle Division. In September 1943, Indryakov distinguished himself in the battle for the city of Bryansk, when he personally destroyed three enemy machine guns by firing his 76-mm gun over open sights. In another skirmish later on, he with his artillery platoon repelled 3 German counterattacks and killed 50 enemy soldiers. He was recommended for an Order of the Red Star, but the award was downgraded for the Medal for Valor, bestowed upon Lt. Indryakov on 6 December 1943.

    By 1944, Indryakov had been promoted to a 76-mm battery commander in the same unit. In February 1944, his division was reassigned to the 3rd Army in the 1st Belorussian Front, and in June of that year took part in the Operation Bagration - a massive offensive that would effectively destroy the German Army Group Center. The offensive began on the morning of 22 June - the third anniversary of the German invasion of the Soviet Union - by the forces of the 1st Baltic and 3rd Belorussian Fronts (army groups). They immediately achieved deep penetrations of the German lines near Vitebsk and Mogilev. Two days later, the 1st Belorussian Front joined the fray hitting the Nazis south of the Berezina River and quickly advancing toward Bobruisk.

    On that day, Indryakov acted with selfless heroism. Just before the general assault, he placed his battery in no man's land directly at the barbed wire in close proximity to the German trenches, well in front of the Soviet infantry. By so doing and assigning precise targets to each gun ahead of time, Indryakov achieved great success with the opening barrage. His battery immediately destroyed six enemy weapon nests and thus cleared the path for the attacking infantry battalion in their sector.

    Indryakov's battery then took off keeping pace with the advancing Soviet line and continuing to provide direct fire support. Near the village of Ozerane, they stayed on the dirt road and by firing over open sights, silenced the enemy artillery. Indryakov personally commanded the gun that disabled a massive German Ferdinand assault gun.

    On 25 June, as Indryakov's battery got far ahead of the infantry southwest of the village of Dyadovshchina, the Germans counterattacked in force. The battery got completely encircled, but without losing presence of mind Indryakov promptly organized effective defense. In the ensuing battle he and his men killed 120 Nazi soldiers. The shattered enemy retreated, and the Soviet infantry was able to advance once again capturing the village of Velikie Lyady.

    From the start of the offensive until 28 June, Indryakov's battery had destroyed a total of 17 enemy machine guns, 2 pillboxes and eliminated up to 1500 Nazi troops. At that point he was recommended for an Order of the Patriotic War, 1st cl. by his regiment commander; the award which would be bestowed upon Indryakov on 4 July 1944. In the meantime, Indryakov continued to show exceptional heroism in the Belorussian offensive.

    On 30 June his battery reached the Warsaw highway thus cutting the main avenue of escape for the troops of the German 9th Army caught between the Dnieper and Berezina Rivers. As the Nazis tried to cross the Berezina, they were subjected to murderous fire of Indryakov's guns. Within a single day, his battery disabled 4 tanks and 44 other motor vehicles. This was an almost eerie replay of the events of the War of 1812, when Napoleonic troops retreating from Russia suffered a similar calamity while crossing the Berezina in a location not too far up the river.

    A recommendation to award Indryakov with the Title of Hero was submitted by his regiment commander on 5 July 1944, when the offensive in Belorussia was not yet over, but the magnitude of its success was already evident to all. The award recommendation was approved by Commander of the 35th Rifle Corps on 12 July and by Commander of the 3rd Army Guards Col. General Gorbatov on 18 July (a day earlier, tens of thousands of German POWs captured in Belorussia were driven in humiliation through the streets of Moscow.) On 8 August, the recommendation received a final nod by General of the Army Zakharov, Commander of the 2nd Belorussian Front to which the 3rd Army had been re-subordinated by then. The title of Hero was bestowed upon Indryakov by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on 22 August 1944 - an extremely quick decision for the award of this level.

    Indryakov continued to serve with distinction through the end of the war and beyond. In the post-war years, he finished the Leningrad Higher Artillery Officer School, worked as military commissar of a small town in Soviet Georgia, and retired from the military in 1959 having the rank of Major. Thereafter he resided in Tbilisi where he passed away in 1993.

    Research Materials: photocopy of the award commendations for the Title of Hero, Order of the Patriotic War 1st cl. and Medal for Valor; Xerox copy and translation of the article about Indryakov in the official catalog "Heroes of the Soviet Union" (contains his photo.)


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