Why escort of the late Leonid Brezhnev consisted of 44 officers

History 14/02/20 Why honorary escort of the late Leonid Brezhnev consisted of 44 officers

As we know, Leonid Brezhnev was famous for his love for all kinds of awards. At the end of life in the “collection” of the Secretary General, there were more than hundreds of awards and medals. That is an incredible number of awards and was explained by an impressive escort of the late Brezhnev.

First order

writes Alexander Kostin, in his book “Stalin against the party. The clue to the death of the leader”, his first award Leonid Brezhnev was still in 1942. Then he was awarded the order of red banner. According to Leonid Mlechina, the author of the book “As Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev”, in the award sheet brigade Commissar Brezhnev was described as “fearless combat officer”. A few months after this, on the bust of Leonid Brezhnev emerged as the order of the Patriotic war I degree.

In peacetime, “collection” Leonid Ilyich significantly enriched. So, in 10 years of Khrushchev’s reign, he became the owner of two orders of Lenin, the star of Hero of Socialist Labor and some other awards. However, in this period, according to historian Roy Medvedev, the author of the publication “Political portraits: Leonid Brezhnev, Yuri Andropov”, Leonid Brezhnev was not less, but not more rewards than other members of the Presidium of the CPSU Central Committee.

Biggest collection

Everything changed after Leonid Brezhnev himself took the helm of the country. Olga Gorshenkova in the publication “Nikita Khrushchev and Leonid Brezhnev,” mentions that Brezhnev appears in the Guinness Book of world records for the biggest number of awards: their Secretary General have been more than a hundred. Four times Hero of the Soviet Union Brezhnev could boast of eight orders of Lenin, two orders of the October revolution and dozens of other Soviet and foreign orders and medals. Gorshenkova claims that a total of Leonid Brezhnev was the owner of 112 orders and medals.

But a special attraction (apparently in connection with its frontline in the past), Leonid Brezhnev had for military awards. That is why he could not resist the temptation to get the order of “Victory”, which, in the opinion of the authors of the book “Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Gorbachev. To catch up and overtake. Myths of the great powers”, he had no right. The order of Victory was awarded to only the commanders of the fronts or armies, carried out a strategic turning point in the battle or made a significant contribution to the victory over fascism. However, in 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev repudiated the Brezhnev awarding of the order “Victory”, having signed the corresponding Decree.

an Impressive escort

anyway, at the end of life, according to the calculations of historian Roy Medvedev, Leonid Brezhnev had more awards than Stalin and Khrushchev combined. It is not surprising that the death of Leonid Brezhnev, but rather the ceremony of his funeral all pretty puzzled. The fact is that as written by Alexander Ostrovsky in his book “Who put Gorbachev?”, according to tradition, during the funeral procession ahead of the coffin with the deceased had to carry and his awards. For every coin or orders are usually used with a separate pad, which in turn was in the hands of a single officer. Thus in order to follow all the rules, for the funeral of Leonid Brezhnev would be more than a hundred soldiers.

But the solution is found. One velvet cushion, it was decided to attach several awards. With this idea the honorary escort of the late Leonid Brezhnev was able to reduce more than half. According to Jacob Radomyslskaya, the author of the publication “State and power”, November 15, 1982, when they held the funeral of Leonid Brezhnev, the last way from the pillar hall of Unions in it, among others, saw off 44 officers. In the hands of each of them was carrying a pillow with orders and medals that belonged to Brezhnev. Later members of the family of Leonid Ilyich passed all state awards to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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