Russia – Soviet: An intriguing Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class to Janis Andreyevich Dzerve, a probable member of the so-called ‘Seydlitz Troops’ who although born in the Far East, was of Latvian Heritage, and thus a possible Baltic German speaker, he was a member of a reconnaissance party of the Leningrad Front who operated behind the German lines from 5th November 1944 until the end of the war, revealing the disposition of German troop units and the layout of enemy defences.
Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, type 2, flatback reverse, numbered 882154
Condition: Good very fine
Janis Andreyevich Dzerve was born in the village of Kharanor, Borzya Raion, Far Eastern Krai in 1908, joining the Red Army in 1941, he became a member the Communist Party in 1943. Dzerve’s only decoration of the Great Patriotic War was this Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class awarded to him as the Commander of a reconnaissance party of troop unit nr.70706, the citation as follows:
‘Comrade served a second time as commander of a reconnaissance party operating in the enemy rear from 5th November 1944 to 10th May 1945. During this time he obtained valuable intelligence about the disposition of enemy troop units and formations and the ranks and names of their commanders and transmitted this information to Front command. On a systematic basis he determined the numerical strength of the German garrisons and he ascertained the layout and nature of the enemy lines of defence.
He revealed the purpose of one large port. During repeated engagements with killing squads he showed bravery and boldness.’
He deserves to be awarded the Order of the Patriotic War 1st Class. Signed by Deputy Chief of the Reconnaissance Department of the Leningrad Front, Guards Lieutenant Colonel Filanovsky.
This award was clearly downgraded to a 2nd Class award at some stage in the recommendation process, and it appears to not to have been awarded to him until 20th March 1948 despite the Order date of 30th June 1945.
In addition to this award, Dzerve was to receive the Medal for the Victory over Germany. He is noted as being unemployed on 20th March 1948, and living at 20 Parkovaya Street, village of Ergli, Ergli Raoin in the Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic.