Russia – Soviet: A Liberation of Novosokolniki Order of the Red Star awarded to Guards Captain Vasily Yevgenyevich Bitsky, the Assistant Chief of Staff of the 36thGuards Red Banner Cannon Artillery Brigade for his role in reconnoitering the enemy positions allowing the enemy artillery concentrations and firepower to be revealed and suppressed, which allowed the infantry to advance without excessive losses.
Order of the Red Star numbered 971033
Condition: Good very fine
Guards Captain Vasily Yevgenyevich Bitsky, the Assistant Chief of Staff of the 36thGuards Novosokolniki Red Banner Cannon Artillery Brigade was born in the village of Krasno-Partizansk, Nosovka Raion, Chernigov Oblast in 1914, and serve with the Red Army from November 1939 joining the Communist Party in 1942.
The recipient of several awards, Bitsky was awarded the Medal for Combat Merit by Order of the 27thArmy on 12thAugust 1942, at a time this unit was fighting around the Demyansk area, where a German pocket had been created as a result of the winter attacks of 1941-42 and which remained in situ until evacuated in February and March 1943. Bitsky’s next award was a low numbered (7408) Order of the Patriotic War 2ndClass most likely issued for a role in the final attacks on the withdrawing German forces from the pocket.
At some stage Bitsky’s unit was transferred to the 22ndArmy which then saw service in the Baltic’s, he was the recipient of his first Order of the Red Star by order of the Commander of Artillery of the 22ndArmy on 14thMay 1944, and then finally this order of the Red Star which was issued to him by Order of the 22ndArmy on 5thNovember 1944 with the following citation:
‘Guards Captain Bitsky has been serving at the front during the Patriotic War since its very first days. During the period he served as battalion chief of staff, Guards Captain Bitsky showed himself a strong-willed and professional chief of staff, capable of taking initiative and organizing the execution of the combat missions assigned to the battalion. The battalion staff was the best within the brigade.
During the period he served as Chief of Staff, the battalion and the regiment took part in offensive operations. In January 1944, during the preparatory period prior to the breakthrough of the enemy defenses north of the city of Novosokolniki, the battalion staff performed a large amount of organizational work in reconnoitering the enemy positions, which enabled the enemy artillery concentrations and frontline firepower to be revealed.’
During the preliminary artillery bombardment, the enemy artillery and firing positions that were facing the battalion’s sector were suppressed by artillery fire. Without suffering excessive losses, our infantry broke through the enemy front line and seized villages.
During this operation Guards Captain Bitsky oversaw the battalion’s artillery fire and displayed exceptional skill in concentrating the artillery fire both on the planned targets and on targets discovered during the fighting.
In March and April 1944, during the preparatory period prior to the breakthrough of the enemy defenses near Pushkinskiye Gory and the crossing of the Velikoi River, the battalion’s reconnaissance units, under the everyday leadership of Guards Captain Bitsky, located 13 enemy artillery batteries and 5 enemy mortar batteries. The battalion suppressed the fire of 2 of these artillery batteries and 2 mortar batteries, while 1 mortar battery was destroyed.
During the summer offensives (June-September 1944) Guards Captain Bitsky, who was serving as a Brigade chief of staff, carried out a large amount of work in the area of reconnaissance, analyzing the artillery concentrations and planning the artillery offensives. For example: in August of this year, during the breakthrough of the enemy defenses near Steti, the brigade’s reconnaissance units discovered an enemy artillery concentration, and the correctly planned artillery offensive ensured the enemy artillery to be fully suppressed. Moreover, of the 12 suppressed batteries, 2 batteries were destroyed (only knocked out material and killed soldiers remained at the firing positions).
During the breakthrough of the enemy defenses near Sousnen, comrade Bitsky, who was acting as assistant brigade chief of staff, provided real assistance in leading the brigade’s artillery fire, which enabled the enemy artillery to be suppressed in a timely manner.
Conclusion: for displayed initiative, bravery and courage during the fighting with the German occupants and the skillful leadership of his assigned sector of operations, Guards Captain V.Y. Bitsky deserves the Order of the Red Star.’
This was Bitsky’s final award of the war, and after the war he served as a Battalion Commander in the 36thGuards Novosokolniki Red Banner Order of Suvorov, 2ndClass Cannon Artillery Brigade, while living in the Military settlement of the city of Telavi, Georgian SSR.