Russia – Soviet: A Training Officer’s Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class awarded to Major Grigory Zakharovich Samsonov, Instructor on the history of the Communist Party at the Junior Lieutenant Courses of the 3rd Guards Army.
Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, type 2, concave reverse, numbered 502244
Condition: Good very fine
Grigory Zakharovich Samsonov was born in the village of Kovati, Oranienbaum Raion, Leningrad Oblast in 1898, a very early member of the Communist Party in July 1918, he joined the Red Army in August 1941 and served in the Great Patriotic War from that point onwards being drafted by the Military Commissariat of the Oranienbaum Raion.
The Oranienbaum area was the home of a bridgehead on the southern bank of the Gulf of Finland that survived throughout the war, and based around the Naval Forts there, performed a major duty in the defence of Leningrad proper.
It appears however that Samsonov escaped the fighting in the area and by February 1943 was serving with 3rd Guards Army. He was the recipient of a Medal for Combat Merit in February 1943, most likely for his role in training officers during the period in the defence of the German counterattacks in the aftermath of the encirclement of the German Sixth Army at Stalingrad, and then in the advance into the regions of the eastern Ukraine.
The 3rd Guards Army went on to play its part in the Donbass Offensive and the advance to and crossing of the Dnieper during 1943, before taking part in the Nikopol offensive in January and February 1944. Later in the summer of 1944 the Army was involved in the Sandomierz offensive which sought to seize a bridgehead on the western bank of the Vistula south of Warsaw. It is likely for his role in this offensive that Samsonov was awarded the Order of the Red Star.
By January 1945, the Red Army had consolidated it’s bridgehead on the western bank of the Vistula and launched a major offensive across Poland which was to carry it all the way across southern Poland, Silesia and eventually to the gates of Moscow.
On 16th April, 3rd Guards Tank Army participated in the final assault on Berlin as part of 1st Ukrainian Front, where it crossed Neisse, took part in the crossing of the Spree River and in the elimination in the German force that had been surrounded near Cottbus. After it’s role in the Berlin Offensive, the 3rd Guards Army was part of the Prague Offensive, which was the final Red Army offensive of the war.
Samsonov’s final award was this Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class awarded to him on 16th May 1945, the citation for which was as follows:
‘Major Samsonov has been serving as a political readiness instructor. Working among the cadets and Party organisers he showed himself a capable officer; he is very demanding and possesses extensive knowledge and fine organisational skills. He was of great assistance in building the morale of the cadets. He trained approximately 600 officers, who are now heroically fighting the Hitlerite invaders. The initiative and resourcefulness he showed while directing the cadets to accomplish their commander’s orders and observe all regulatory requirements enabled him to instill fine military discipline in the cadets and impart a conscientious attitude toward their studies.’
This award was made to him in the role of Instructor of the History of the Communist Party at the Junior Lieutenant Courses of the 3rd Guards Army. After the war Samsonov was a Lecturer at the Communist Party Committee of the Oktyabr Raion, and was a resident of 66 Moika River Embankment, Apartment 23 in the city of Leningrad.