Military Review

Secrets of the Order "Victory"

Secrets of the Order "Victory"

Diamonds for an order made of pure platinum were taken from the royal treasury, but the rubies turned out to be synthetic

It was the highest award in the USSR, intended only for supreme commanders. But Stalin, who ordered her to create it, did not suspect that the Moscow jeweler Ivan Kazennov, the master of the highest qualification who inserted precious stones into the order, deceived him. And then he revealed this secret just before his death.

In the summer of 1943, when it became clear that the USSR was victorious over Nazi Germany, Stalin decided to create a special award specifically for top military leaders. The task was given at once to several artists-medalists. The first made a sketch of the new award, which was initially called "For loyalty to the Motherland", Colonel Nikolai Neyelov, an employee of the rear headquarters of the Red Army. However, his project was not approved. Preference was given to the sketch of Anatoly Kuznetsov, who was already the author of the Order of the Patriotic War. His project was a five-pointed star with a central round medallion, on which bas-reliefs of Lenin and Stalin were placed.

The project showed Stalin. But instead of bas-reliefs, he ordered to place an image of the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin. In October, Kuznetsov presented the chief with seven new sketches, of which Stalin chose one with the inscription “Victory”, ordering instead of gold to use platinum, enlarge the dimensions of the Spasskaya Tower, and make the background blue. After that, an order was received to make a trial copy of the order.

Master's courage

The order entered the Moscow jewelry and watch factory (it was the first order that was not made at the Mint). But immediately there were difficulties. There were no problems with platinum, diamonds were taken from the royal foundation, but there were no necessary rubies for the rays of the red star. Master of Higher Qualification Ivan Kazennov collected them from all over Moscow, but all the gems were of different sizes and differed in color. What to do? Masters panicked, because he knew about the order of Stalin - to use for the order only materials of domestic origin. But where to get the necessary rubies for the order? The deadlines were set hard, and there was no time to search for them.

Then, at his own risk and risk, Kazennov decided to use synthetic rubies for the order. He did not tell anyone about this, and revealed the secret only to his pupil many years after the death of Stalin.

Then the first Order “Victory” was shown to the leader, and he liked him. Stalin ordered the manufacture of a total of 20 pieces of this award. A November 8 1943 of the year issued a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on the establishment of the order. It was intended as a reward "to the commanders of the Red Army for the successful operation on one or several fronts, as a result of which the situation radically changed in favor of the Soviet Armed Forces."

For the manufacture of the first copy of the most beautiful and expensive order in the USSR, 170 diamonds with a total mass of 16 carats and 300 grams of pure platinum were used, as well as rubies, which, as we have already written, were synthetic. Jewelry was allocated by special order of the Council of People's Commissars. It was also the largest order in the USSR - the distance between the opposite rays of the star was 72 mm. It should have been worn on the left and not on the right side of the chest on a red ribbon with stripes of green, blue, burgundy, blue, orange and black colors.

Marshal Zhukov received two orders of "Victory"

First cavaliers

However, they did not immediately award anyone with a new order. Only 10 of April 1944 of the year became known the names of the first three of his cavaliers: the commander of the order with the number 1 was the commander of the 1 Ukrainian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov, No. 2 - Chief of the General Staff, Marshal Alexander Vasilevsky, and No. 3 - Chief Commander Stalin. The award was timed to the liberation of the right-bank Ukraine.

Many were rewarded in 1945, when Germany was defeated: Marshals Rokossovsky, Konev, Malinovsky, Tolbukhin, Govorov, Timoshenko, as well as Army General Antonov. Zhukov and Vasilevsky in the same year were awarded the Order for the second time. In June 1945, for the second time, Stalin himself was awarded the Order “Victory”, and following the results of the war with Japan, Marshal Meretskov received the award.

Awards to foreigners

The Victory Order was also awarded to some leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition countries: the commander-in-chief of the Yugoslav People’s Liberation Army, Tito, the commander-in-chief of the Polish Army, General Roll-Zimersky, English Field Marshal Mongomeri, and American General Eisenhower. He received the order and the Romanian king Mihai I.

Romania, as is known, fought on the side of Hitler Germany, however, when the Red Army approached its borders, Mihai arrested the dictator Antonescu, announced Romania’s withdrawal from the war and stopped all military operations against the allies. It is for this that “a courageous act of decisively turning the policy of Romania towards a break with Hitler’s Germany and an alliance with the United Nations,” as stated in the resolution, Stalin decided to reward him.

The new, the seventeenth in a row, the holder of the order appeared only after 30 years. They became “our dear” Leonid Ilyich, who liked to hang himself with awards. The Order “Victory” was presented to the General Secretary in February 1978 of the year, on the eve of the 60 anniversary of the Soviet army. Although Brezhnev, of course, did not have the merits that would correspond to the status of this high award. However, that is why he was deprived of her after death.

Kalinin presents the Order "Victory" to Stalin

Where are they now?

There are few such expensive and beautiful orders in the world. According to the recollections of Adjutant Eisenhower, when he was awarded the Order “Victory”, he recounted diamonds for a long time and practically and said that he was worth at least 18 thousand dollars (at current prices). However, American experts could not determine the cost of rubies, because they had never seen such large stones, and they didn’t pick them out of the order and check if they were synthetic.

Currently, the order is worth at least a million dollars (according to other estimates, at least four million). According to rumors, it was for such a sum that King Mihai I sold it to the American billionaire Rockefeller. However, the king himself never admitted to the act of selling. But when he arrived in Moscow to celebrate the 60 anniversary of the Victory, this order was not on it, although all the other awards of the king were on his luxurious uniform.

Today the location of all the other orders "Victory" is known. The awards given to Soviet military leaders, as well as to the Polish marshal, are in the Central Museum of the Armed Forces. And the awards given to foreigners are in the museums of their countries.
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