Rus Articles Journal

What awards of St. George in Russia noted military feats? Part one of

Among the Russian awards as the most honourable were considered of St. George as rewarding with them was always preceded by military feats.

To the middle of the 18th century many states of Europe had special military awards. In France for rewarding of officers in 1693 Saint Ludovic`s award, in Saxony - Saint Heinrich`s award, in Austria - Maria`s award - Tereziya, in Prussia - the award " was founded; For merits .

In Russia the idea of creation of a military award was discussed since the time of Peter I. But he was founded only in Catherine II`s reign. Under its management the " project was originally developed; Military Ekaterina`s award which statute was copied from the Austrian award of Maria - Tereziya. But the empress did not approve this award, and the new award called by the name of the Saint great martyr and pobedonosets Georgy was developed.

Saint Georgy in Russia long since was considered as the patron of soldiers, grain-growers and all Russian land. The image of the soldier on a white horse spearing a serpent can be seen on the grand-ducal seals, banners of princely teams, helmets and boards of soldiers. It since ancient times decorates the coat of arms of Moscow, Saint Georgy since the time of Dmitry Donskoy is considered the patron of the city.

In 1036 Yaroslav the Wise founded Saint Georgy`s monastery in Kiev and entered celebration Day of Saint Georgy On November 26, when, according to the legend, the Saint pacified a serpent.

The first award with Saint Georgy`s image appeared in Russia in Fedor Ioannovich`s reign. It was the prize coin which was carried on a cap or the left sleeve of a caftan. Establishment in 1769 of an award of the Saint great martyr and pobedonosets Georgy became natural development of system of awards for military valor.

In the cloudy morning on November 26, 1769 stately St. Petersburg was flown down to the imperial palace. The agenda distributed the day before informed that the big celebration on the occasion of establishment of a military award is necessary, and after a divine liturgy there will be a ball and a dinner.

In the ceremonial hall looked forward to the empress`s exit. Catherine II appeared before the audience in a special medal dress. After consecration of a new award as his grand master and the founder, the empress assigned to themselves signs of the Order of Saint George of the first degree.

The statute of an award (its full name - the Imperial Military award of the Saint great martyr and pobedonosets Georgy) was declared on November 27. From now on in Russia there was an award with which awarded only for fighting feats. To deserve it became the highest honor for officers and generals. It was specified in the statute of an award that it awards the one who, having disdained obvious danger and having shown a valorous example of fearlessness, presence of mind and dedication, made the excellent military feat topped with full success and which brought obvious advantage. It was established that never to remove this award and to be called as the granted this award as gentlemen of an award of St. Georgy .

The award had four degrees, rushed on a tape from the alternating three black and two orange strips. An award sign - the gold cross covered with white enamel with the image in the Saint Georgy`s center on a horse spearing a serpent.

The sign of an award of the first degree rushed on the left side at a hip on the medal tape which is put on through the right shoulder. The second and third degrees medals were worn on a neck. An award of the fourth degree - on a breast or in a buttonhole.

A four-pointed star with the motto " engraved in the central circle; For service and bravery relied to awards of the first and second degrees and rushed on the left side of a breast.

Rewarding with awards of the first and second degrees happened only according to the emperor. Since 1849 surnames of gentlemen of an award were brought by gold on marble boards in Georgiyevsky the Hall of the Moscow Kremlin Palace.

The lieutenant colonel of I - go the Grenadierial regiment Fedor Ivanovich Fabritsian who is awarded the order on December 8, 1769 the third degree " became the gentleman Of St. George first in the history who received an award for a fighting feat; for good reason near Galatz . With group in 1600 people it crushed seven-thousandth Turkish group and storm took the enemy city of Galatz.

The Russian commander the general - the field marshal P. A. Rumyantsev for a victory over Turks at Large became on July 7, 1770 the first gentleman of an award of the first degree. For Largu there were the first gentlemen of an award of St. George of the second degree generals P. G. Plemyannikov, N. V. Repnin and F. V. Bour. The prime minister - the major R. Patkul became on February 3, 1770 the first gentleman of an award of the fourth degree.

In 148 years of existence of an award of the first degree only 25 people, the second - 121 persons received, the third - 647 people and the fourth - about 3,5 thousand people (without awards for long service). For all the time of rewarding with an award with full gentlemen there were only four persons: the general - field marshals Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov, Mikhail Bogdanovich Barclay - - Tolly, Ivan Ivanovich Dibich and Ivan Fedorovich Paskevich.

M. I. Kutuzov received St. Georgy`s award of the fourth degree in 1774 for a victory over Tatars at the village Noise in the Crimea. The third degree of an award it was handed in 1789 for participation in capture of fortresses Akkerman and Bender. In 1791 for a victory over Turks at Machin it was awarded awards of the second degree. And nice 1812 the general - to the field marshal brought an award of the first degree.

M. B. Barclay - - Tolly the first award St. Georgy received in 1794 for capture by an attack of strengthenings of the city of Vilna. Other three awards were granted to it for differences in wars with Napoleon: the third degree - in 1803, the second degree - in 1812 for Borodino and the first degree - in 1813 for defeat near Kulm Vandamme`s cases.

I. S. Paskevich received awards of St. George for feats in the Turkish wars: the fourth and third degrees - in 1806 - 1812, the second and first - in 1828 - 1829

I. I. Dibich received St. Georgy`s award of two lowest degrees in wars with Napoleon, and the second and first degrees - in war of 1828 - 1829 when he was the commander-in-chief of the Russian army on the European battlefield.

The outstanding Russian commander A. V. Suvorov was not the full gentleman of an award since in 1771 for a victory near Lantskorona it was handed an award Of St. George of the third degree at once. Later he was awarded by awards of the highest degrees.

Gentlemen of an award St. Georgy of the first degree were: the general - anshef A. G. Orlov (1770, for a victory of the Russian fleet at Chesm), the general - the field marshal G. A. Potemkin (1788, for capture of Ochakovo). Last time the award of the first degree was handed in russko - the Turkish war of 1877 - 78. It awarded the commander-in-chief of the Russian troops on the Caucasian theater the grand duke the general from artillery Mikhail Nikolaevich and the commander of the Danube army the grand duke the engineer - the general Nikolay Nikolaevich who became the twenty fifth gentleman of an award of the first degree.

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