Awards and Military Decorations

Over the course of the Civil W ar a number of avva were introduced to replace the old Tsarist orders medals that had been abolished along with ranks by decree of 10 November 1917. The intention was 1 awards would be made irrespective of social status origin. For a time, soldiers were rewarded for merit( ous conduct in combat w ith gifts of binoculars, watc

. nch-of-service bailges, iduced by I'rikaz 572 of Ipril 1920. Upper row: troy guard (two verts); artillery (1922). »cr row: engineers; and jlion. (Collection of j Savchenkov and Anton llito)

liij engraved silver cigarette cases, and on occasion B* th new shamvary breeches or boots, which because of l* scarcity were greatly appreciated.

On 16 September 1918 the Russian Soviet state troduced the Order of the Revolutionary Red Banner M the RSFSR (Russian Soviet Federated Socialist K>. public). Many other republics of the future USSR fallowed suit and introduced their own awards of »ughly equivalent status. Eventually these awards were - jndardiscd as a single Order of the Red Banner for it entire country; instituted on 1 August 1924 it was he first national award. Until 1926 this order was orn on a red silk rosette, which harked back to -.trist traditions, when medals for bravery were worn ! n a ribbon tied in a bow . More than 15,0(10 men were ecorated with the Order of the Red Banner for acts of avery during the (axil War.

The equivalent award for entire military formations «as the Honour Revolutionary Red Banner, instituted i 3 August 1918 by the People's Commissariat on Military Affairs. In all, two armies, 39 divisions, four wigades and 175 regiments received this award. The ildiers of the decorated units were permitted to wear narrow gold edging on their branch-of-service badges id commanders' rank badges.

As early as 1918, Red Army men and commanders .id been presented with 'W eapons of 1 lonour' t\ pi— ,ill\ swords, but later firearms. The custom was developed further on 8 April 1920 as the Pochetnuye Revolutsionnoyc Oruzhiye or Revolutionary Weapon of

I lonour. This took the form of a gold-plated sliaslika sword for the army and a dirk for the navy, both with the Order of the Red Banner attached to the hand-guard. Only 21 Red Army and Navy leaders were presented with this, the supreme award of the Cavil W ar period.

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