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Actual 9 January 1918 Provisional Government Conveyance Document for Russian Orders being bestowed on five French military Officers.

Actual two page typewritten (in French) cover letter (21cm x approx 31cm) that accompanied the arrival in France from Petrograd of a package of five Russian Orders to be presented to five French officers [four generals and one Commandant (Major)]: a St. Alexander Nevsky with Swords, a White Eagle with Swords, a St. Anne 1st Class with Swords, and a St. Vladimir 4th Class with Swords).

It is interesting to note that the St. Nevsky with swords was for General Henri Gouraud, the commanding officer of the 4th Army (while he gained distinction for his use of "elastic defense" during the Second Battle of the Marne, he was perhaps more noted for simply leading a particularly colorful and eccentric military career0. The St. Vladimir with swords was being awarded to the French officer, Commandant Fournier, who served as liaison from the French Army to the Russian troops serving in France. Documents awarding that same French officer a St. Anne Second Class with Swords are offered elsewhere in this section; if you are familiar with Ulla Tillander-Godenheim's excellent book on Russian Imperial orders (see The Russian Imperial Award System 1894-1917), you know that after the receipt of a 2nd class St. Anne, a 4th Class St. Vladimir was the next permissable step up in the Russian honors system. It is interesting to observe that the Provisional Government in Petrograd was not deviating from this established progression of honors with regard to Commandant Fournier.

The stationery used to type the transmittal letter and the accompanying list of the awardees' names is the typical "newsprint"-like stock of the era. It shows numerous tears around the outer edges and extensive fraying across the bottoms of both pages, not affecting the typewritten text (the sheets were too long for our scanner, so we have separate photos of the bottom edges of each sheet). At one point folded in quarters, the document has been stored flat for many years and the old fold lines are no longer very noticeable.

The first page is dated 9 January 1918 and is a letter of transmittal from the French Military Attache (and the Personnel Section of the "Mission Militaire Francaise in Russie") in Petrograd (through the office of the French Quartermaster general) of five individual sets of order insignia designated for the five French officers listed on the second page.

The second page bears the date of the announcement of the nominations and appointments of the listed French officers to the specified Russian Orders: 4 October 1917 (OS). The French Officers are: General Gouraud, commanding the 4th Army; General Dumas, commanding the 17th Corps; General Trouchaud, former commander of the 19th Infantry Division; Geneneral Delobit former commander of the 34th Infantry Division; Commandant (Major) Fournier, Chief of the French Military mission at the [Russian Military] Camp at Mailly [France].

It is interesting that translating signatures is apparently a problem for many people: all of the signatories of the original Provisional Government documentation supporting the awards are listed as "Illisible" or "Illegible" by the person who typed these two pages!

Item# 19853

$190.00  Add to cart

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