Russia – Soviet: The Double Order of the Red Star and Combat Merit Medal Group of 5 Medals and Awards to Senior Lieutenant later Captain V.P. Gurin, a Company Commander in the 5th Battalion, 71st Automobile Regiment, 21st Independent Automobile Brigade who saw service at Stalingrad, Demyansk, The Second Battle of Smolensk and during the Bagration Offensive in the Summer of 1944.
Group of 5: Order of the Red Star numbered 813442, type 2, Monetny Dvor reverse with semi-flared edges; Order of the Red Star numbered, type 2, Monetny Dvor reverse with semi-flared edges, 3423489; Medal for Combat Merit, type 2, variation 4, unnumbered; Medal for the Defence of Stalingrad, variation 1; Medal for the Victory over Germany. Complete with award booklet confirming awards, without an identity photo.
Condition: Good very fine
Born in the village of Velikaya Bugayevka in Vasilkov Raion, Kiev Oblast in 1911, Vladimir Prokofyevich Gurin joined the Red Army in 1941, and became a member of the Communist Party in 1942. Serving as a Company Commander in the 5th Battalion, 71st Automobile Regiment, 21st Independent Automobile Brigade, he served in his role of support at some of the most important battles of the war. The famous defence of Stalingrad for which he was awarded the campaign medal, the fighting at Demyansk, the retaking of Smolensk in the autumn of 1943 and the subsequent preparation of Operation Bagration, the Soviet Offensive that smashed the German Army Group Centre in the Summer of 1944.
Shortly after the beginning of this offensive Gurin was awarded his first Order of the Red Star (813442), the citation for which is as follows: ‘Senior Technical Lieutenant V.P. Gurin has been serving in the 5th Battalion, which was formed from the 784th Independent Motor Transport Battalion, as an assistant company commander for technical matters from July 1941 and as a company commander since September 1943. His work has been exemplary. He personally arranged vehicle repairs, preventive vehicle maintenance, and the mechanical training of driver operating both domestically produced and foreign vehicles. During the Stalingrad, Demyansk, Smolensk, Gorodok, Vitebsk and several other combat operations, comrade V.P. Gurin’s vehicle park reached the highest mechanical availability level (not lower than 0.92) and the highest mechanical uptime coefficient (0.80-0.82). Between 1st January 1944 and 1st July 1944, each vehicle had an average daily mileage of more than 170 kilometres. Between 1st June and 20th June 1944, during the preparatory period prior to the 1st Belarussian Front’s offensive, his company’s vehicle park (46 vehicles) covered a distance of 152,040 kilometres while working on the construction of roads near the front line under enemy artillery fire. They transported 14.489 tons of cargo while saving 705 kilos of fuel. He exhibits exceptional perseverance when carrying out military assignments’ Signed by Commander of the 5th Battalion, 71st Automobile Regiment, Captain Obryvalin.
Little is known of Gurin’s further war service but if supporting the 1st Belarussian Front it is likely that he went on to assist with the Vistula-Oder Offensive in January 1945 and the final assault on Berlin in April-May 1945, although he was not entitled to the Medal for the Capture of Berlin according to his award sheet. After the war he continued to service in the Red Army being awarded the Medal for the 30th Anniversary of the Soviet Army and Navy on 22nd February 1948 and an unnumbered Medal for Combat Merit for 10 Years Service in the Red Army on 19th November 1951, before being awarded his second Order of the Red Star (3423489) for 15 Years Service in the Red Army on 30th December 1956.
At the time of this final award Gurin was serving as a Captain, Deputy Company Commander for technical matters in the 598th Independent Motor Transport Company, 31st Guards Airborne Division, and was living at 24 Lenin Street, city of Novograd-Volynsky, Zhitomir Oblast.