Featured Museum Artifact
The Order of Victory from the Union of the Soviet Socialist Republic is a five pointed platinum star with rubies and diamonds. The center medallion is coated with blue enamel and portrays Lenin’s mausoleum and the Spasskaya Tower within the walls of the Kremlin. The medallion is surrounded by oak and laurel leaves and studded with rose cut diamonds. The total weight of diamonds is sixteen carats.
This is the highest military decoration for members of the higher commanding personnel of the Red Army and to top ranking foreign military personnel who contribute to a major Soviet victory. The Order was instituted November 1943. The Order was presented to Eisenhower by Marshal Zhukov at Allied HQ in Frankfurt/Main, Germany on the occasion of the visit of Zhukov. The Order of Victory was awarded to 11 Marshals and 1 Soviet Army General, and 5 foreigners. The award has been presented 20 times to 17 individuals, 3 of which received it twice; Josef Stalin, G.K. Zhukov and A.M. Vasilevsky. The others are: Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky, Marshal I.S. Konev, Marshal R.Y. Malinovsky, Marshal F.I. Tolbukhin, Marshal L.A. Govorov, Army General, A.I. Antonov, Marshal S. K. Timoshenko, Marshal K.A. Meretskov, and Marshal L.I. Brezhnev (later revoked). The foreign list: General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Field Marshal B.L. Montgomery, King Michael I of Romania, Marshal of Poland M. Rolja-Zhimersky, and Marshal and Dictator of Yugoslavia, I. B. Tito. All Orders of Victory that were awarded to Soviet Marshals and Generals and the one awarded to Poland are kept at the Almazny Fund of Russia. Tito's and Montgomery's are at the Imperial War Museum in London, and King Michael I’s is the only one in private hands. General Eisenhower’s is located at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum.