Russia – Soviet: A Potentially interesting Long Service award of the Order of the Red Banner awarded to Lieutenant Colonel Andrei Ivanovich Struchkov, the Deputy Chief, Military-Political Course, Baltic Fleet who had seen service from the Civil War onwards, escaping the purges of the 1930’s he fought in the Battle of Leningrad as a Deputy Commander of a Brigade of Naval Infantry.
Order of the Red Banner, type 3, variation 2, the reverse numbered 195316
Condition: Good very fine
Andrei Ivanovich Struchkov was born in the Tamensk Region of Tamnensk Oblast in 1896, he attained a middle school education before joining the Red Army in October 1917 upon its formation, initially serving as a Platoon Commander with the 731st ‘Korovski’ Regiment during 1917-1918, from 1918 until 1924 during the civil war he acted as part of a Crew of Naval Infantry of the Baltic Front. In 1924 he was promoted to command a Company of Naval Infantry. From 1925-1929 he was a Company Commander of the Naval Machine School, before spending 1929-1931 as a Company Commander of the Electrical Mine School. From 1931-33 Struchkov acted as a Company Commander in the Naval Management School of the Red Army, he was then promoted to Divisional Commander in 1933, which he served as until 1939. From 1939 until 1940 he acted as the Deputy Commander, Naval Management School in the Red Army, then from 1940 until 1941 as Deputy Commander, 4th Brigade ‘Red Banner’ Baltic Fleet. From 1941-42 he was the Chief of the Supply Brigade, Separate 6th Rifle Brigade, Naval Infantry, and then as Deputy Commander, Brigade of Infantry ‘Kronstadt’, and finally from December 1942 until the time of this award in September 1944 as the Deputy Chief – Military-Political Course, ‘Red Banner’ Baltic Fleet.
This would have been amongst the first Long Service awards of the Order of the Red Banner that were announced in 1944, Struchkov was awarded an Order of Lenin for long service on 21st February 1945 and a second Order of the Red Banner on 6th November 1947. He also received the scarce Medal for the 20th Anniversary of the Red Army, Medal for the Defence of Leningrad and Medal for Victory Over Germany. He remained a resident of Leningrad at the time of this award.
An interesting recipient who spent over 20 years serving with the Naval Infantry Brigades of the Baltic Fleet, and as an officer managed to survive the Stalinist Purges of the late 1930’s. During WW2 he would have seen extensive fighting in the Leningrad area and at Kronstadt, the home base of the Soviet Baltic Fleet.