Russia – Soviet: A Fine and Scarce Forcing of the Narew River Order of the Red Banner for destroying 4 enemy Mortar positions and killing 15 soldiers to Junior Sergeant Ivan Romanovich Frolov, a Commander of a Mortar Section of the 1343rd Rifle Regiment, 399th Rifle ‘Novozybkovskii’ Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Division, who fought with the Belarussian Front from October 1943 onwards, he later served served as No.1. of a Gun in the 436th Fighter Anti-Tank Division, winning an Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class and an Order of the Red Star, he would have seen service in Operation Bagration and in the Vistula-Oder Offensive of January 1945. The scarcity of this award is dictated by the fact it has been made to a Junior NCO, the vast majority of Red Banner awards being made to Officers.
Order of the Red Banner, type 3, variation 2, reverse numbered 220044.
Ivan Romanovich Frolov was a Russian born in the settlement of Darevichi, Starodubskii Region of Bermskaia Oblast during 1923. He joined the Red Army in 1943 and the Communist Party in 1944. During the War he saw extensive combat, being wounded in action 3 times. Entering the Red Army in October 1943, he would have seen fighting in the area around Gomel in Belarus, during which he was wounded on 27th October 1943, fighting continued in the area throughout the next few months as the Red Army proceeded to slowly push the Germans back and form bridgeheads across the upper part of the Dnieper River. Fighting throughout the remainder of 1943 and the first half of 1944 in the same area, Frolov would have seen a lot of combat in very testing conditions.
In June 1944 the 399th Division played a role in Operation Bagration, the major Red Army offensive of the summer of 1944 which eventually destroyed the majority of the German Army Group Centre, it was for fighting late in this offensive that Frolov received his first award, an Order of the Red Star (originally recommended for the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class): Award for action on 5th August 1944 The fire of his mortar destroyed three firing positions of the enemy and supported a number of attacks against the enemy by our infantry and helped stop 2 enemy counterattacks. For all of this excellent work with his gun his recommended for the high award of the Order of the Patritoic War 2nd Class.
He was wounded on 10th August 1944. The Division was subsequently moved to the 2nd Belarussian Front in September 1944 and was involved in fighting for Bridgeheads over the Narew River which later provided the footholds for the devastating Vistula-Oder Offensive in January 1945.
This Order of the Red Banner was given to Junior Sergeant Frolov for heroic action during the crossing of the Narew River. The recommendation for this award states: ‘For the River Opeku Operations. In the region of the settlement of Renik, Comrade Frelov’s mortar destroyed 4 enemy mortar positions and killed 15 German soldiers. For the forcing of the River Narew, in the battle of 4th September 1944, he supported the attack of the 7th Rifle Company, and his division. He destroyed an enemy heavy mortar and 2 mortar positions. Comrade Frolov is recommended for the high award of the Order of the Red Banner’
Continuing to fight in the area around the Narew River, Frelov was awarded an Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class on 31st October 1944: ‘He was in the crew of a heavy mortar in the battle for the village of Shpen, Pogochevskii Region, Tomelskii oblast. The fire of his mortar destroyed a firing point of the enemy and repelled 2 counterattacks of the enemy’
By January 1945 he had transferred to the 436th Fighter Anti-Tank Division and was fighting in the area around Warsaw when he received his final award, a Medal for Valour. Awarded 21st January 1945. He was a sergeant No.1 of a gun in the 436th Fighter Anti-Tank Division. He was in action at Warsaw, Poland on 15th January 1945. He killed 2 German soldiers, but was badly wounded.’
Being severely wounded, it is unknown whether he took any further part in the war, and with Frolov not being awarded a Medal for the Capture of Berlin, Koenigsberg, Vienna or Prague, it is clear he didn’t take any part in the major offensives to capture those cities during the closing months of the conflict. After the war Frolov was a Farmer in his home settlement of Darevichi, Starodubskii Region, Bermskaia Oblast, where he continued to live. Nearly extremely fine