Russia – Soviet: A Third Battle of Kharkov award of the Medal of Courage to Senior Sergeant Tikhon Afanac’evich Sayenko, Senior Telephonist, 748th Rifle Regiment, 206th Rifle Division, Voronezh Front, for repairing phone lines under heavy fire.
Medal of Courage, type 2, variation 1, reverse numbered 1830090.
Condition: Enamel loss to the lettering on the obverse, otherwise Good very fine
Tikhon Afanac’evich Sayenko was a Ukrainian born in 1910. He joined the Red Army from the Denepropetroskii Regional Command in June 1941 and served with the Voronezh Front.
Sayanko was awarded this Medal of Courage for his actions in combat supporting his unit during the Third Battle of Kharkov. The award was promulgated in the Prikaz (Order) of the 748th Rifle Division on 15th March 1943.
‘On 26th February 1943, under heavy mortar and automatic weapons fire, he maintained the signals of the phone lines, thus aiding his battalion in their military duties.’
The 206th Rifle Division had been engaged in Operation Saturn, the follow-on to the encirclement of the German 6th Army at Stalingrad, where it destroyed the 2nd Hungarian Army. It then participated in Operation Zvezda, which included the third Battle of Kharkov. This resulted in a long-running battle from 2nd February until 22nd March 1943. It also operated on the southern shoulder during the Battle of Kursk in August 1943.
Sayenko had no previous or subsequent military awards listed on his record card. He left Red Army service in December 1943, implying that he was invalided out either due to wounds or illness. He returned to his home and later served as a postal armed guard.