Medal "20th anniversary of the Red Army": photo, weight, who was awarded
In January 1938, the twentieth anniversary of the creation of the Red Army was solemnly celebrated in the Soviet Union. On this occasion, a special medal was established - “20 years of the Red Army” (photos are presented in the article), the right to award which was granted to a specially created government committee. Without being one of the highest state awards, she nevertheless followed the medals awarded for success in the development of the oil and gas industry and for the development of natural resources.
Who was awarded the anniversary medal?
According to the regulation approved by the Council of Ministers, this award was given to personnel soldiers who held command positions in the army and navy and had service for at least 20 years, that is, who joined the Armed Forces of the country since their foundation. Among those who were awarded the medal "20 years of the Red Army", also included individuals, part of the overall experience of which was the years of struggle against the enemies of the state as part of partisan detachments and Red Guard units.
The government decree also noted that soldiers who showed courage and heroism in the Civil War, as well as in various armed conflicts, where they defended the interests of the fatherland, had the right to receive the medal. In addition, those who were awarded the Order of the Red Banner were included in the list of awards.
However, the resolution adopted in January 1938 had one feature: as is easy to see from the above, the number of those who were awarded the medal “20 years of the Red Army” included only those who held commanding positions in the Armed Forces of the USSR and did not take into account millions of private soldiers fighters whose courage and dedication sometimes decided the outcome of battles.
What did this award badge look like?
Externally, the medal "20 years of the Red Army" was a matte round disc, which was 32 mm in diameter and edged with a narrow rim. On its front side, called the “obverse,” was placed an image of a red five-pointed star made of enamel and having a silver edging. In the lower third of the circle was placed the Roman numeral XX. It was located strictly along the axis of the star and based on the inner edge of its edging.It was gilded and measured: 7 mm wide and 8 mm high.
On the reverse side or, in other words, the reverse of the “20 Years of the Red Army” medal, a Red Armyman in winter guard uniform was depicted, raising a rifle and firing a shot. To the right of it, in the lower part of the disk was the inscription "1918 - 1938", which indicated the twenty-year period that elapsed since the founding of the Red Army. An eyelet was attached to the upper edge of the disc with a ring threaded into it, designed to connect it to the suspension block.
It was one of the first medals instituted in the Soviet Union. For the manufacture of each individual copy, 15.592 g of 925 grade oxidized silver and 0.10 g of gold applied to the image of the Roman numeral XX were used. The total weight of the medal "20 years of the Red Army", including all the constituent elements, was 21.3 g.
Medal board established in 1938
If the appearance of the award badge was permanent, the suspension pad for its attachment has undergone a number of changes over time. In its first version, established in 1938, it was rectangular in shape. At the bottom of the block there was an oblong frame, which had oval ends at the edges, through which the scarlet ribbon was passed, which covered its entire surface.
On the reverse side of the pad there was a copper plate with a hole in the middle and teeth along the edges, which served to attach it to the jacket with a screw pin. Fixation was carried out with a flat pressure nut with a diameter of 18 mm. On it was placed the stamp of the manufacturer and, in addition, the serial number of the award specified in the certificate.
New model pads
Such a standard existed until 1943, when external changes were made to many of the insignia of the USSR. After the relevant Decree of the Council of Ministers came into force, all those who again received this award were wearing it, attached to the five-pointed block of the new design with a ring, which was completely covered with a wide moire ribbon. It was gray and had two red edges around the edges, as can be seen from the photos attached to the article. Unlike the previous version, the block of the “20 years of the Red Army” medal, which came into use since 1943, was attached to clothes not with a nut on a screw pin, but with a special pin placed on its back side.
The first version of the award documents
When awarding medals "20 years of the Red Army" issued the appropriate certificates, which are also known in two versions.The first of these, established in 1938, had a very characteristic feature, namely, that the image of the state emblem placed on the cover did not include fifteen ribbons, but only eleven, which corresponded to the number of the Union republics that were then part of the USSR.
In addition, the serial number of the medal “20 years of the Red Army” was indicated on the first page of the certificate. He was placed to the right of the inscription "Identity." And finally, all these documents, issued from the date of establishment of this award badge, were certified by the signature of the secretary of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR A. Gorkin.
Sample certificates 1959
In 1959, a government decree was issued, in accordance with which all awarded people received certificates of a modified model, the design of which more closely corresponded to new political realities. First of all, this was due to the fact that in the post-war period the number of union republics increased and reached fifteen. In accordance with this, the number of ribbons on the state emblem that adorned the cover of the certificate was changed.
In addition, personnel changes took place as part of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, M. P. Georgadze became its chairman, whose signature has since been put in the document.And finally, these updated certificates were distinguished by the absence of the serial number of the issued medal. The award badges themselves were not altered and conformed to the model established in 1943.
According to the same government decree, all awarded between 1938 and 1959. used the old IDs, which could be replaced by new ones only if they were lost or reissued to persons who had undergone previously unreasonable repression, and then rehabilitated and reinstated.
How many were awarded?
Quite remarkable statistics, showing the number of those who were awarded this award in different periods of time. So, in the documents of the Archive of the Armed Forces of the country, the names of those awarded with the medal “20th Anniversary of the Red Army” immediately after its establishment in 1938 are preserved. This list includes 27576 people. Exactly one year later, he added the names of another 2,516 officers of the Red Army, who were among those entitled to receive the jubilee medal. When, in 1959, the Decree on the Introduction of New Certificates was issued, as described above, among the awarded were 37,505 officers, generals, admirals and marshals of the Soviet Union. In subsequent years, their number continued to grow.
Contrary to the fact that this medal is one of the first established awards of this type and was awarded to a huge number of military personnel, by the end of the 40s it was extremely rare to see it. This was largely due to the fact that in the notorious period of our history, Stalin’s repressions were subjected to a significant number of persons who were in the command structure of the army.
Many of the repressed were shot or deprived of all awards, serving long prison terms. In addition, great damage to the personnel of the Red Army suffered on the battlefields. It should also be taken into account that many of those who were awarded the medal were captured by the enemy or died in hospitals. As a result, at the end of the war, a medal established to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Red Army became rare, and it was quite rare to see it on the uniforms of officers, generals or even marshals.
Award of the pre-war years
Meanwhile, in the early 40s the picture was completely different. The fact is that by that time, to award the officers of the Red Army, in addition to the medal referred to in this article, two more others were established, as well as three orders.But they were not awarded for heroism in general, but for concrete feats committed during military conflicts, of which until 1941 there were three or two in the area of Khalkhin-Gol and Hassan lakes and the Finnish campaign. Thus, not all the officers devoted to the Motherland and who proved this during the Great Patriotic War had the opportunity to distinguish themselves at that time. Therefore, most often their uniforms were decorated with commemorative medals "20th Anniversary of the Red Army".