Russia – Soviet: A fine and scarce ‘SMERSH’ award of the Order of the Red Banner to Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Alekseevich Fetisov, Deputy Commander of the Counter-Intelligence Department (SMERSH), of the 38th Army, 1st Ukrainian Front, for his 21 years of continuous work in exposing and eliminating enemy agents and accomplices of the Germans from the Civilian population, 120 people in total, including 11 spies and 36 traitors to the homeland.
Order of the Red Banner, type 3, numbered 160401 to reverse.
Condition: Nearly extremely fine
Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Alekseevich Fetisov was born in the town of Serpukhov, Moscow Region in 1902, he joined the Red Army in 1919, and served throughout the Great Patriotic War. Fetisov’s first award was an Order of the Red Star issued to him on 22nd February 1943, this was followed by an Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class awarded to him by Order of the North Caucasus front on 9th August 1943.
This Order of the Red Banner for 20 years long service was issued to Fetisov in November 1944, part of the first batch of long service awards issued. Unusually the award comes with a citation, and it was for his work as the Deputy Commander of the Counter Intelligence Department (SMERSH), of the 38th Army, 1st Ukrainian Front that Fetisov was issued the Order on the back of the following recommendation:
‘Lieutenant Colonel Fetisov for 21 years of continuous work in the organs of the OGPU-NKVD-counterintelligence 'SMERSH' has done a lot of work in exposing and prosecuting the counter-revolutionary elements.
While working as deputy head of the counterintelligence department 'SMERSH' of the 18th army in a difficult combat situation, he successfully eliminated enemy agents and accomplices of the Germans in the troops and from the civilian population, as a result of which, with the participation of Colonel Fetisov, 120 people were exposed and arrested over the past three months. Counter-revolutionary elements, including 11 spies and 36 traitors to the homeland
During the stubborn battles of the 18th army with the German fascists, Colonel Fetisov was in the most difficult places, mercilessly dealing with the peddlers of our homeland, cowards and alarmists.'
Fetisov would go on to be awarded an Order of Lenin for 25 years long service in the first batch of these decorations in February 1945.
After the war he worked as a Deputy Section Chief of the Peoples Commissariat of State Security of the USSR whilst living in Apartment 29, No 4/2 Ananievsky Pereulok, Moscow.
A scarce award with relevant recommendation to a member of ‘SMERSH’ – The feared Soviet Counter-Intelligence Agency.