Russia - Soviet: A Superb Liberation of Slovakia Order of Glory 3rd Class to Guards Senior Sergeant Israil Artyunovich Khachaturyan, a Mortar Commander in the 313th Guards Rifle Regiment, 110th Guards Aleksandr Twice Red Banner, Order of Suvorov Rifle Division for leading his mortar crew in killing 9 Germans and suppressing 2 machine-gun positions. A much decorated individual he was also awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, Two Bravery Medals, an Order of the Red Star and an Order of Glory 2nd Class.
Order of Glory 3rd Class, type 2, variation 1, hand engraved serial number 316278.
Israil Artyunovich Khachaturyan was born in Erkech, Shaumyan Raion, Azerbaijan, his nationality however is listed as Armenian, he was drafted by the Military commissariat of the Shaumyan Raion, Azerbaijan and saw service from 23rd July 1941. It is likely that he saw service with the 110th Guards Rifle Division and its predecessor unit throughout. First wounded on 14th March 1942 it is unclear with which unit or in which area this took place, given his area of draft and subsequent units, it would be reasonable to assume, this was either in the Kerch area on the Crimea or in defense of the Mius River area just to the west of Rostov. March 1942 saw the end of the winter counterattacks of that year which had nullified the German advance of the previous year and pushed them back. It is unclear whether Khachaturyan missed any time at the front due to his wound, or if he did how quickly he returned to the front. What we do know however is that on 12th June 1943 that he was wounded for a second time, and on 24th July 1943 he received an Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class (No.25826) by Order of the 56th Army, North Caucasian Front. This award would have covered the fighting against the Kuban Bridgehead which was formed as a result of the Post-Stalingrad encirclement offensives that took place in Southern Russia in an attempt to cut off the whole of the German Army Group A which had advanced into the Caucasus Mountains. Shortly after the receipt of the award of the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, Khacharturyan was wounded for a third time on 1st August 1943. At this time, he was likely serving with the Steppe Front, which was involved in the Battle of Kursk during the summer of 1943, and the subsequent counterattacks that attempted to push the German Army out of Ukraine, that included the Belgorod-Kharkov offensive. Serving with 110th Guards Rifle Division, 53rd Army, Khacharturyan would have seen action in the advance to and the crossing of the Dnieper in the autumn of 1943, where it crossed the river at Kremenchug and continued fiercely defending the bridgehead up until November 1943. In January 1944, his unit took part in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky offensive, which led to the encirclement and destruction of several German Division at Korsun. It was most likely for his role in this offensive and Soviet victory that he was his first Medal for Bravery (No.868864) on 15th February 1944. In late April 1944 he was wounded once more in the fighting for the bridgeheads over the Dniester River on the Ukraine/Romania Border. In late August the unit would have been involved in the advance to and capture of Bucharest, an event that led to the switching of sides of the Romanian Army. After this, the division advanced to the Hungarian Border area, where it then took place in the Battle of Debrecen, for his part in this offensive he was awarded the Order of the Red Star (No.483948) on 13th November 1944. The unit then took part in the fighting around Budapest that lasted for several months during the autumn and winter of 1944-45. He received his second Bravery Medal (No.2288732) on 10th January 1945 for his role here. The Division then went on to fight in Czechoslovakia, resulting in the award of this Order of Glory 3rd Class the citation for which is as follows:
'During the fighting for the town of Lodzan (note- direct translation from Cyrillic, Czech name may be different). In Czechoslovakia on 30th January 1945, comrade Khachaturyan showed skilful leadership of his mortar crew and skilfully supported the offensive of our infantry. During this battle comrade Khachaturyan and his crew killed 9 German soldiers and suppressed 2 machine-gun positions. While repulsing an enemy counterattack he launched a mortar barrage, scattering and partially killing up to a platoon of enemy infantry. For bravery and courage displayed during the fighting he deserves to be awarded the Order of Glory 3rd Class'
The citation was signed by Lieutenant Colonel Balanko on 16th February 1945 as the Commander of the 313th Guards Rifle Regiment. Subsequently the unit went on to fight in the Prague Offensive, which was the last major attack of the Red Army in the European Theatre, continuing for a few days even after the capitulation of the German Army, as the trapped and still substantial forces of Army Group Centre attempted to break out to the west in order to surrender to the Americans. After the fighting in Europe, the Division moved East and took part in the Manchurian Offensive against the Japanese Kwantung Army in August 1945. Clearly seeing action again in this fighting, Khacharturyan was awarded the Order of Glory 2nd Class (No.18585) by order of the Transbaikal Front. Leaving the Red Army on 5th May 1946, he was subsequently a Blacksmiths Apprentice at the Collective Company Metallist, city of Kirovabad, Azerbaijan and was living at 3 Atarbekov Street, Krasnoye Selo (Red Village), city of Kirovobad, Azerbaijan.
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