- Fortifications and defense of the fortress
- Assault and capture of Koenigsberg
- History of the award
- From the regulations on the medal
- Decree of the Supreme Council
- Awarded with a medal for the capture of Koenigsberg
East Prussia was a springboard on which forces were concentrated to attack the peoples of the East. Thus, the capture of Koenigsberg became an important strategic event in military and political terms.
Fortifications and defense of the fortress
Kenigsberg was well prepared for a long defense, the fortress was surrounded by three lines of defense. One of them was located at some distance from the city, it consisted of 15 forts with artillery pieces, flamethrowers and machine guns located in them. Each fort was a kind of small fortress with a separate garrison. The territory between the forts was occupied by bunkers and pillboxes so that the entire enemy defense line was connected by a continuous line of fire.
The second line of defense of Koenigsberg took place on the outskirts of the city. It consisted of stone and reinforced concrete structures, specially converted for military needs. The third, most fortified line of defense was located in the center of Koenigsberg. The fortress was equipped with undergroundcommunications, forts. Artificial water barriers were created. In the fortress there were 4 thousand different guns, several hundred tanks, assault guns. About 130 thousand people were located in the fortress garrison. In addition, Koenigsberg was covered from the air by about two hundred enemy aircraft.
Assault and capture of Koenigsberg
The assault on the enemy fortress began in 1945, on April 6th. The operation was led by the commander-in-chief of the third Belorussian Front, Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasilevsky Alexander Mikhailovich, which at the time of the operation included the 1st B altic Front, commanded by Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan. Air support was provided by aviation under the command of Marshal Alexander Alexandrovich Novikov. In total, 2,400 different aircraft, more than 500 tanks and self-propelled guns were involved in the operation.
Despite the fierce defense of the enemy, on April 9, 1945, the fortress city of Koenigsberg capitulated. 92 thousand people were taken prisoner, 42 thousand German soldiers were killed. Almost all military equipment of the Nazis was destroyed. Throughout the war, our troops did not meet such fortifications as were built in Konigsberg. It was one of the largest areas, designed for long-term resistance, even with complete isolation.
History of the award
The commander of the rear of the Soviet army, General A. V. Khrulev, in April 1945 set the task of the technical committee - to prepare medals for the capture of cities,which are outside the Soviet Union. “For the capture of Koenigsberg” is a unique medal in its own way, it is the only one that was awarded not for the capture of the capitals of states, but for the capture of a fortress. This, it would seem, is just a piece of metal, but it hides a piece of history, not only a certain event, but also the lives of thousands of people.
June 9, 1945, in honor of the victory of our soldiers in this battle, the award "For the Capture of Koenigsberg" was established. The medal was designed by A. I. Kuznetsov. On the front side of the award is succinctly "For the capture of Koenigsberg", on top - a five-pointed star, a laurel branch below. On the reverse side of the medal is inscribed "April 10, 1945", and above the date is a five-pointed star.
The medal itself was made of brass, it had a rounded shape 32 mm in diameter. With the help of a ring and an eyelet, the award is connected to the block. The block of the medal has a pentagonal shape, covered with a striped ribbon in black and green. There are several variants of the award "For the Capture of Koenigsberg", the medal was issued with two types of eyelet: stamped and brazed.
From the regulations on the medal
People who for one reason or another did not receive an award, but who had the right to receive the medal "For the Capture of Koenigsberg", were handed a certificate certified by the seal and signature of the commander. The medal was awarded with a document confirming direct participation in the capture and storming of Koenigsberg. This document was issued by unit commanders, as well as heads of military medicalestablishments.
The medal was presented by commanders of military units. For persons who left the Red Army and the Navy, the awarding took place in the regional, district and city commissariats at the place of residence.
Decree of the Supreme Council
In total, about 760,000 thousand of our soldiers received the award "For the Capture of Koenigsberg". The medal was worn on the left side of the chest. If the recipient had other awards, it was located after the medal for "For the Capture of Budapest".
By decision of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, in February 1951, it was established that the medal "For the Capture of Koenigsberg" and a certificate to it after the death of the awarded remain in his family. Prior to this decree, the medal and certificate were returned to the state after the death of the recipient.
After the end of the Great Patriotic War, part of East Prussia passed to the Soviet Union, including the fortress city of Koenigsberg. In 1946, the city of Koenigsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in honor of the deceased party leader Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin.
Awarded with a medal for the capture of Koenigsberg
Our fighters irrigated the fields of East Prussia with blood and sweat. The feat accomplished by our soldiers is invaluable and great. The medal "For the Capture of Koenigsberg" is only a small award that our wars deserve. Some of the names of the heroes have come down to us, among them: Alexei Solomonovich Gershgorn, Nikolai Nikolaevich For example, Semyon Samuilovich Levin, Efim Evseevich Dukhovny, Gyulmamed Gyulmamedov, Naplyueva Valentina Fedorovna, Ivanov DmitrySemenovich. At the cost of life and he alth, they were given the assault and capture of the fortress. So the list of names was not compiled. The medal "For the Capture of Koenigsberg" was received by many of our wars, but some awards, unfortunately, did not find their heroes.
The capture of Koenigsberg was an example of the heroic deed of our soldiers. The medal "For the Capture of Koenigsberg" has become a memorable and dear sign for us. Photos of awards, unfortunately, often come across on the Internet marked "for sale". Sometimes we forget what a great feat our soldiers accomplished. The capture of Koenigsberg was a decisive stage in the entire war: the successful completion of the fighting in East Prussia opened the way for us to Berlin. In addition, it made it possible to include the city of Koenigsberg and the surrounding territories into the Soviet Union. Now the city of Kaliningrad is part of the Russian Federation. Honor, glory and eternal memory to our soldiers who won this war.