Documented Group of 2 Decorations to Fyodor Maloshtan
including Order of Suvorov, 3rd class, #3143, 26
February 1945 issue; Order of Kutuzov, 3rd class,
#7717, 15 September 1944 issue.
Details and Condition of the Decorations:
Order of Suvorov, 3rd cl. is Type 2, in silver and enamels.
Measures 46.2 mm in height, 49.8 mm in width; weighs 22.7 g
not including the screw plate. The serial number is engraved
in standard manner at 5 o'clock position.
The order is in excellent condition. The enamel on the
letters is perfect (a small unfilled area in the letter "У"
appears to be a manufacturing flaw, not a result of wear or
damage). There is mild wear to the high points of the bas-
relief and a few tiny dings to the background, but the
details of the center medallion are very well preserved
overall. The rays of the starburst are crisp and almost
completely free of noticeable wear. Both the obverse and
reverse exhibit very attractive patina. The screw post is
full length, approx. 13 mm, and includes original silver
Order of Kutuzov 3rd cl. is Type 2 in silver. Measures 43.9
mm in height, 42.1 mm in width; weighs 25.5 g not including
the screw plate. Features both the mint mark and the
serial number at 6 o'clock position - a very scarce
combination that has been observed on only a few specimens,
all of them in the 7000 serial number range (most other
orders with a mint mark at 6 o'clock have serial number at 5
o'clock). This sub-variation has a smooth middle segment of
the Kremlin steeple immediately above Kutuzov's head (the
other sub-variation of the die has horizontal lines in this
part of the tower).
In excellent condition. There is only mild wear to the high
points of the Kutuzov's bas-relief, its details are nicely
preserved. There are only a few tiny dings to the rays of
the starburst. Extremely attractive even patina to silver on
both sides. The screw post is full length, approx. 15 mm.
Original silver screw plate is included.
Order booklet, issued on 2 November 1946. The document
contains entries for six decorations three of which - Red
Star #166319, Kutuzov 3rd cl. and Suvorov 3rd cl. - had been
awarded by the time when the document was first filled-out.
Three other awards, all of them apparently for length of
service, were added later: a Combat Service Medal, another
Red Star, and an Order of the Red Banner. The June 1943 date
for the start of special privileges corresponds with the May
1943 award date for the first Red Star.
The order booklet is in very good condition. Shows minor
wear to the edges and spine, and there is some discoloration
to the cloth cover, but the binding is tight and sound. The
internal pages have only minor spots, no tears or
Fyodor Malashtan was born in 1916 in the city of Sumy in the
Ukraine. In 1936, he enlisted in the Red Army and after
serving a stint remained in the military as an NCO. In March
1941, he graduated from the Odessa Infantry School and was
commissioned rifle platoon commander. Maloshtan was wounded
in combat on 22 June 1941, literally the first day of the
Patriotic War, and received another, more serious wound
during the following month of July while serving with the
173rd Rifle Division, Western Front. After convalescing in a
hospital, he returned to the front as company commander and
in this capacity took part in the battle for Stalingrad. In
May 1943, Maloshtan was awarded with his first decoration,
an Order of the Red Star.
In August 1944 Maloshtan, by then already a Major,
distinguished himself in the forced crossing of the West Bug
River in the Brest region. He commanded a battalion of the
1201st Rifle Regiment, 354th Rifle Division, 65ht Army, 1st
Belorussian Front, which was the first assault unit of the
division to reach the opposite bank of the river. By
capturing a bridgehead, Maloshtan's battalion not only made
it possible for the rest of the division's infantry to
safely cross the river, but also for the combat engineers to
build a permanent bridge that was later used by the armor.
By the end of the first day of the offensive, the Germans
had made seven determined counterattacks against the
bridgehead. Maj. Maloshtan and his soldiers not only held
their ground, but actually expanded the bridgehead after
defeating every attempt to throw them back into the river.
They had killed as many as 100 Nazi soldiers without taking
significant losses of their own. Following in the footsteps
of Maloshtan's battalion, another Soviet rifle division then
arrived on the scene pushing the enemy away from the
The success of the river crossing operation was credited to
the exceptional skills and personal bravery of Maloshatan.
It was especially noted in the subsequent award
recommendation that he accomplished the task well ahead of
schedule by acting decisively, on his own initiative. On 16
August, Maloshtan was recommended for the Title of Hero of
the Soviet Union by his regiment commander. Unfortunately,
the recommended award was inexplicably lowered to Order of
the Red Banner by the division commander. It was changed
once again to a more suitable Order of Kutuzov, 3rd cl. by
the commander of the 105th Rifle Corps. On 5 September, the
award was approved by commander of the 65th Army Col.
General Batov and on 15 September, officially bestowed upon
Maloshtan by a decree of the 1st Belorussian Front.
Maloshtan distinguished himself again during the Vistula-
Oder offensive in January 1945 while commanding a battalion
of the 676th Rifle Regiment of the illustrious 15th "Sivash"
Rifle Division, 65th Army, 2nd Belorussian Front. On 14
January, the first day of the operation, he was wounded in
action but after receiving medical help, returned to his
battalion on the following day. On the same day, he
successfully led the battalion's assault to the village of
Golenkovo (in the area of Ciechanow, north of Warsaw,
northeastern Poland). On the night of January 17, his
battalion approached the town of Lopacin where it was met
with heavy fire from the front and flanks. The Germans had
an extremely advantageous defensive position there: three
lines of trenches with pillboxes ringed by barbed wire, with
open terrain in front of them. Under the skillful leadership
of Maloshtan, his battalion captured the first two lines of
trenches in nighttime hand to hand combat and consolidated
its position. In the morning, supported by another
battalion, it captured the final line.
On the following day, the Germans was desperately trying
stop the Soviet advance on the Wkra River in the area of
Liberadz. Their attempts were foiled as the regiment forced
the river in yet another determined nighttime assault. As
before, Maloshtan's battalion led the way inflicting severe
losses on the enemy. In the process, it destroyed two German
armored personnel carriers and captured another one intact.
In the aftermath of the battle, Maj. Maloshtan was
recommended for an Order of Suvorov 3rd cl. by his division
commander. Once again, the award was downgraded by a higher
commander, this time to a Kutuzov 3rd cl. (which would have
been Maloshtan's second). Nevertheless, the 65th Army
command reverted to the original recommendation of Suvorov
3rd cl., and this decoration was bestowed upon Maloshtan on
26 February by a decree of the 2nd Belorussian Front.
After the war, Maloshtan remained on active duty serving as
motorized rifle battalion commander through the rest of the
40s and reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel by 1950. In
1951, he was transferred to Turkestan Military District
where in 1954-55 he served as a military commissar of a
district in the Semipalatinsk Region of Kazakhstan
(interestingly, the same area was used at the time as the
testing ground for Soviet nuclear bombs). He retired in
Research Materials: Xerox copy and complete English
translation of the service record (containing a photo),
award record card, and award commendation for the Orders of
Suvorov 3rd cl. and Kutuzov 3rd cl. Information on the 354th
and 15th Rifle Divisions can be found in the Volume IX
"Red Tide" of the Chales Sharp's Soviet Order of
Battle series (the 15th Rifles was an especially
distinguished unit: by the end of the war it had two
honorific titles, "Stettin" and "Sivash", and as many as
five decorations bestowed upon it including an Order of
Lenin, two Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, and
Order of the Red Banner of Labor.)