Soviet award serial number ranges

Two Red Stars with consecutive numbers

Outliers: two Red Stars with consecutive serial numbers, yet awarded in September 1944 and May 1945. Their numbers are consecutive because they were issued simultaneously

The tables below are intended to help determine when a specific numbered Soviet award was probably awarded. I want to stress, however, that this is not an exact science: a rough chronological order can be seen in the serial numbers (they were given out roughly in numerical order), but many awards are outliers (this mostly applies to wartime decorations, but to a lesser extent to postwar awards as well). The problem lies in the fact that awards could be issued (physically handed to the recipient) days or weeks after the award date (the administrative act of conferring an award upon somebody), but also months, years, or even decades later. Therefore, the relation between award date and serial number is a distorted one. The borders in the tables below are not exact ones, but should be considered grey areas.

I have created these tables on the basis of my personal serial number database, which I have been compiling over the last ten years, as well as Echoes of War: Researching Soviet Military Decorations by Paul Schmitt.

For a breakdown into 'real' and long-service awards, please visit this page.

Jump to:

- Order of Lenin
- Order of the Red Banner
- Order of the Red Banner, 2nd award
- Order of the Red Banner, 3rd award
- Order of the Red Banner, 4th award
- Order of Alexander Nevsky
- Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class
- Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd Class
- Order of the Red Star
- Order of Glory, 2nd Class
- Order of Glory, 3rd Class
- Medal for Courage
- Medal for Combat Merit

Order of Lenin

ORDER OF LENIN
Instituted on April 6, 1930

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 800

19301934

≈ 800 1,500

1935

≈ 1,500 3,300

1936

≈ 3,300 3,600

1937

≈ 3,600 3,900

1938

≈ 3,900 5,100

1939

≈ 5,100 6,600

1940

≈ 6,600 7,400

1941

≈ 7,400 10,800

1942

≈ 10,800 15,800

1943

≈ 15,800 19,300

1944

≈ 19,300 58,000

1945

≈ 58,000 61,000

1946

≈ 61,000 70,000

1947

≈ 70,000 94,000

1948

≈ 94,000 120,000

1949

≈ 120,000 130,000

1950

≈ 130,000 200,000

1951

≈ 200,000 220,000

1952

≈ 220,000 260,000

1953

≈ 260,000 295,000

1954

≈ 295,000 310,000

1955

≈ 310,000 332,000

1956

≈ 332,000 end (≈ 462,000)

1957-1991



Order of the Red Banner

ORDER OF THE RED BANNER
Instituted on August 1, 1924

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 390

19241935

≈ 390 750

1936

≈ 750 1,400

1937

≈ 1,400 2,300

1938

≈ 2,300 4,000

1939

≈ 4,000 5,900

1940

≈ 5,900 14,700

1st half of 1941

≈ 14,700 18,000

2nd half of 1941

≈ 18,000 29,000

1st half of 1942

≈ 29,000 44,000

2nd half of 1942

≈ 44,000 81,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 65,000 81,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 81,000 111,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 111,000 181,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 181,000 230,000

1st half of 1945

≈ 230,000 298,000

2nd half of 1945

≈ 298,000 300,000

1946

≈ 300,000 307,000

1947

≈ 307,000 309,000

1948

≈ 309,000 327,000

1949

≈ 327,000 350,000

1950

≈ 350,000 367,000

1951

≈ 367,000 386,000

1952

≈ 386,000 405,000

1953

≈ 405,000 450,000

1954

≈ 450,000 475,000

1955

≈ 475,000 530,000

1956

≈ 530,000 end (567,288)

Real awards, 1957-1991



Order of the Red Banner, 2nd award

ORDER OF THE RED BANNER, SECOND AWARD
Instituted on August 1, 1924

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 500

1934-1940[1]

≈ 500 700

1941

≈ 700 2,000

1942

≈ 2,000 4,000

1943

≈ 4,000 11,500

1944

≈ 11,500 12,000

1945-1946

≈ 12,000 14,000

1947

≈ 14,000 15,000

1948

≈ 15,000 16,000

1949

≈ 16,000 19,000

1950

≈ 19,000 21,500

1951

≈ 21,500 22,000

1952

≈ 22,000 22,500

1953

≈ 22,500 27,000

1954

≈ 27,000 28,000

1955

≈ 28,000 30,000

1956

≈ 30,000 end (33,902)

1957-1991



Order of the Red Banner, 3rd award

ORDER OF THE RED BANNER, THIRD AWARD
Instituted on August 1, 1924

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 20

1934-1940[1]

≈ 20 950

1941-1943

≈ 950 1,500

1944

≈ 1,500 1,600

1945-1946

≈ 1,600 2,200

1947

≈ 2,200 3,800

1948

≈ 3,800 5,400

1949

≈ 5,400 5,600

1950

≈ 5,600 7,900

1951

≈ 7,900 9,500

1952-1956

≈ 9,500 end (12,733)

1957-1991



Order of the Red Banner, 4th award

ORDER OF THE RED BANNER, FOURTH AWARD
Instituted on August 1, 1924

Serial number range

Approximate award year

Negligible

1934-1940[1]

≈ 1 100

1941-1943

≈ 100 450

1944

Negligible

1945-1946

≈ 450 490

1947

≈ 450 1,650

1948-1952

≈ 1,650 2,700

1952-1956

≈ 2,700 end (4,332)

Real awards, 1957-1991



Order of Alexander Nevsky

ORDER OF ALEXANDER NEVSKY
Instituted on July 29, 1942

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 100

1942

≈ 100 5,000

1943

≈ 5,000 23,000

1944

≈ 23,000 end (≈ 50,600)

1945

Negligible

1946-1956[2]



Order of the Patriotic War, 1st Class

ORDER OF THE PATRIOTIC WAR, 1ST CLASS
Instituted on May 20, 1942

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 400

1942

≈ 400 9,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 9,000 20,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 20,000 43,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 43,000 115,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 115,000 end (≈ 320,000)

1945

Negligible

1946-1991



Order of the Patriotic War, 2nd Class

ORDER OF THE PATRIOTIC WAR, 2ND CLASS
Instituted on May 20, 1942

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 1,500

1942

≈ 1,500 16,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 16,000 67,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 67,000 115,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 115,000 250,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 250,000 end (≈ 985,000)

1945

Negligible

1946-1991



Order of the Red Star

ORDER OF THE RED STAR
Instituted on April 6, 1930

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 450

1930-1934

≈ 450 750

1935

≈ 750 2,100

1936

≈ 2,100 3,200

1937

≈ 3,200 6,200

1938

≈ 6,200 6,650

1939

≈ 6,650 19,000

1940

≈ 19,000 20,000

1st half of 1941

≈ 20,000 27,000

2nd half of 1941

≈ 27,000 42,000

1st half of 1942

≈ 42,000 80,000

2nd half of 1942

≈ 80,000 200,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 200,000 440,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 440,000 650,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 650,000 1,160,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 1,160,000 1,400,000

1st half of 1945

≈ 1,400,000 2,700,000

2nd half of 1945

≈ 2,700,000 2,780,000

1946-1947

≈ 2,780,000 2,870,000

1948

≈ 2,870,000 2,900,000

1949

≈ 2,900,000 2,960,000

1950

≈ 2,960,000 3,054,000

1951

≈ 3,054,000 3,070,000

1952

≈ 3,070,000 3,147,000

1953

≈ 3,147,000 3,317,000

1954

≈ 3,317,000 3,378,000

1955

≈ 3,378,000 3,550,000

1956

≈ 3,550,000 end (3,860,800)

1957-1991



Order of Glory, 2nd Class

ORDER OF GLORY, 2ND CLASS
Instituted on November 8, 1943

Serial number range

Approximate award year

Negligible

1943

≈ 1 1,900

1st half of 1944

≈ 1,900 8,900

2nd half of 1944

≈ 8,900 end (≈ 50,000)

1945

Negligible

1946-1991



Order of Glory, 3rd Class

ORDER OF GLORY, 3RD CLASS
Instituted on November 8, 1943

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 500

1943

≈ 500 89,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 89,000 260,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 260,000 end (≈ 814,000)

1945

Negligible

1946-1991



Medal for Courage

MEDAL FOR COURAGE
Instituted on October 17, 1938

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 1,500

1938

≈ 1,500 4,300

1939

≈ 4,300 21,000

1940

≈ 21,000 22,000

1st half of 1941

≈ 22,000 26,000

2nd half of 1941

≈ 26,000 61,000

1st half of 1942

≈ 61,000 130,000

2nd half of 1942

≈ 130,000 265,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 265,000 740,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 740,000 1,300,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 1,300,000 2,000,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 2,000,000 end (≈ 3,660,000)

1945

Negligible

1946-1948[3]



Medal for Combat Merit

MEDAL FOR COMBAT MERIT
Instituted on October 17, 1938

Serial number range

Approximate award year

≈ 1 1,600

1938

≈ 1,600 3,500

1939

≈ 3,500 18,000

1940

≈ 18,000 20,000

1st half of 1941

≈ 20,000 22,000

2nd half of 1941

≈ 22,000 75,000

1st half of 1942

≈ 75,000 160,000

2nd half of 1942

≈ 160,000 370,000

1st half of 1943

≈ 370,000 850,000

2nd half of 1943

≈ 850,000 1,100,000

1st half of 1944

≈ 1,100,000 1,900,000

2nd half of 1944

≈ 1,900,000 2,800,000

1st half of 1945

≈ 2,800,000 2,900,000

2nd half of 1945

≈ 2,900,000 3,100,000

1946

≈ 3,100,000 end (≈ 3,210,000)

1947-1948[3]

_________________________

[1] The first Orders of the Red Banner second, third, and fourth award were manufactured in 1934.
[2] Although the vast majority of all Orders of Alexander Nevsky was awarded during World War Two, a handful of them were awarded in 1956 for actions during the Hungarian Uprising.
[3] On January 30, 1947 the Secretariat of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR officially decided that the Soviet mints stop numbering the Medal for Courage and Combat Merit.


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