Russia – Soviet: An Operation Kutozov and Baltic Offensive Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class to Guards Lieutenant Vasily Andreanovich Sputnov, the Commander of a Submachine Gun Platoon in 93rd Guards Rifle Regiment, he was three times wounded during the Great Patriotic War. Finally being discharged in December 1944, he ended up as a Kolkhoz Chairman in Aleksandrovo Village near Moscow.
Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd Class, flatback reverse, numbered 747960; Medal for Valiant Labour in the Great Patriotic War 1941-45.
With identity booklet without a photograph confirming the number of the award for the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class, and dated 1977, note that the booklet appears to show three later awards, but these are faint and unreadable
Condition: Good very fine
Recommendation for the award of the Order of the Great Patriotic War 2nd Class:
Guards Lieutenant Vasily Andreanovich Sputnov was born 1910 in the village of Churiki, Chapayev Raion, Ryazan Oblast, he had been a member of the Communist Party since 1942. Drafted by the Military Commissariat of the Chapayev Region on 19th January 1942, he initially served with 32nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 12th Guards Rifle Division 61st Army. It is likely after being drafted that he rapidly saw service in the front line, as his unit was involved in the Soviet Winter Counter-Offensives in the area close to his home. It was common for the Red Army to conscript fighting aged men from regions they had recently liberated or overrun, this practice continuing up until the end of the war. Throughout the bulk of 1942 and 1943 the Division was only involved in minor fighting while major battles were taking place in both Rzhev and Stalingrad.
In July 1943 the Division was fighting in the area around Orel and it took part in Operation Kutozov, the Red Army operation that was initiated as a counter to the unfolding German Operation Citadel (The Battle of Kursk) to the south, it was during Operation Kutozov that Sputnov was twice wounded in the heavy fighting around the city of Volokhov, for which he was also awarded this Order of the Patriotic War, the recommendation reading as follows:
‘Comrade Sputnov took an active part in the breakthrough of the deep enemy defence lines at the Oryal axis with the 32nd Guards Rifle Regiment as a company first sergeant. During this battle, the company commander and the company’s platoon commanders were put out of action. The company command took ---- upon itself and the combat mission was executed. During this battle, the company killed approximately 25 enemy soldiers and took 12 prisoners, who provided valuable information about the defensive structures inside the city of Volokhov. The second time, Sputnov, already a platoon commander in the 32nd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 12th Guards Rifle Division, took part in reconnaissance missions of his platoon. Thanks to his well------- reconnaissance, following the enemy, the divisions’s main forces ----- losses of the sudden enemy assault.’
When getting into combat near Opochkoi, Sputnov was severely wounded and left --- without any state awards.
At the present time he is a disabled of the second category: his left leg is crippled and his knee injured. He is working as a kolkhoz chairman.
The information was compiled using the words of the prospective awardee.
The original recommendation was compiled by the Military Commissar of the Chapayev Raion, Guards Captain, Demidyun. It was finally confirmed on 25th July 1945 by Lieutenant General Gapanovich, a Member of the Military Council of the Moscow Military District.
Sputnoy’s wound in the area of Opochkoi (this should probably be Opochka, a town in the Pskov Oblast), would have come at some point during 1944 probably as part of the liberation of that region during Operation Bagration (the Soviet Summer Offensive of 1944), by this time he would have been serving as submachine-gun platoon commander in the 93rd Guards Rifle Regiment of the 29th Guards Rifle Division. Fighting in the Belarus-Russia-Latvia border regions, earning the city of Riga as an honorific as part of it’s Regimental title. It is likely that his wound saw him released from further service on 25th December 1944.
After the war Sputnov was employed as a Kolkhoz Chairman in Aleksandrovo Village, Chapayev Raion, Moscow Oblast.