Russia – Soviet: A Crossing of the Dnieper River Order of the Red Star to Sergeant Major Vasili Ivanovich Hozhev, the Commander of a Mortar Crew in the 681st Rifle Regiment, 133rd Rifle Division, 40th Army, 1st Ukrainian Front, who delivered mines under fire, and subsequently fought off three German counterattacks.
Order of the Red Star, type 2, Mnonetny Dvor marked, with flat star edges, reverse numbered 486184
Condition: The enamel totally removed from the 12 o’clock arm, Very fine
Vasili Ivanovich Hozhev was a Russian born in 1906 in Chernigovka, Kormilov Region, Omsk Oblast. He served in the Red Army in Mongolia in 1939, and during the Great Patriotic War from October 1941 until October 1945.
On 5th July 1943 Germany’s last strategic offensive on the Eastern Front (Operation Citadel) opened with attacks on the northern and southern shoulders of the Kursk Salient. At that time 40th Army faced the left flank of the German Fourth Panzer Army. It was comprised of 7th Rifle Divisions with armoured support. During the Battle of Kursk, the Army fought as part of the Voronezh Front. After the battle, it was involved in the forced crossing of the Dnieper River in September 1943. It was during these operations that Hozhev was recommended for this award of the Order of the Red Star:
‘Comrade Hozhev was a participant in offensive battle against German-Fascist Invaders 5th-6th September 1943, being the Sergeant-Major of a Mortar Company. He insured timely delivery of meal products to the forward line despite the heavy fire of the enemy.Whilst this was happening, Comrade Hozhev exclusively provided the delivery of mines to the place of battle. In order to preserve horses he brought the mines far from the front and the far distances were endured by himself. On 7th September 1943, while directly located on a mortar, he participated in the deflection of 3 counter-attacks’
Hozhev’s unit was later involved in the Battle of Kiev, and in 1944 in the famous actions around the Korsun-Cherkassy Pocket. Later the 40th Army participated in the Jassy-Kishinev, Bratislava, Brno and Prague Offensives.
In addition to the Order of the Red Star, Sergeant Major Hozhev also received the Medal for Bravery, the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, and the Medal for Victory over Germany. After the war, Vasili Hozhev was employed as a financial manager in Kiev.