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Знак “За отличную артиллерийскую подготовку”

“For Excellent Artillery Training” Badge

“For Excellent Artillery Training” breast badge was instituted by the Order of the People’s Commissar for Defense of the USSR No.150 of August 14, 1936 that discontinued decoration with its predecessor, “For Excellent Combat Training”. It was Nikolay Efimov (хх.05.1897-14.08.1937), head of the Main Artillery Department of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA), who initiated introduction of that decoration, thus trying to enhance the prestige of military service in artillery units. The badge was presented to NCOs and the ranks of artillery and aviation artillery units of RKKA as well as to students of artillery special schools (within period of their existence in 1938-1946) for excellent training according to their specialization.

Badges were awarded by orders of artillery commanders of military districts upon nominations of artillery unit commanders transferred through artillery Corps commanders. Military personnel of Reserve artillery of the Supreme Command (Reserve artillery of the Supreme High Command, since August 08, 1941) was decorated by commander of the RKKA artillery. The latter was authorized to award the Badge without nominations of artillery unit commanders.

Holders of the Badge possessed advantages during reenlistment, promotion, admission to military schools and granting a furlough. Awardee could be deprived of the badge in case of evident deterioration of weapon training performance. Deprivation procedure was carried out in the same way the decoration had been done.

Two-piece badge had a shape of the brass square placed on one of its angles and bordered with a wide frame bearing an inscription “For Excellent Artillery Training” (“За отличную артиллерийскую подготовку”) in capital black letters. Stylized image of an artillery firing chart filled the whole background. Large five-point star with divergent rays under red enamel was superimposed on a chart and attached to the base with short prongs. Two crossed gun barrels of a M1902 76,2 mm divisional gun with oxidized surface were superimposed on the star. Field artillery binoculars were placed at the bottom of the badge, just below gun tubes.

Badges had flat reverse. Early pieces manufactured before 1941 bore serial numbers engraved by burin.

“For Excellent Artillery Training” badges were made of brass, measured 39x39,2 mm and weighed 16,5-17 g (without nut).

Decoration was attached to the uniform with screw soldered to its reverse and round nut. It was issued together with an award document, several patterns of which are known to exist. 

Initially the badge was worn on the left side of the breast. However, according to the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR that was announced with the Order of the People’s Commissariat of Defense No.240 of June 21, 1943, “For Excellent Artillery Training” as well as all the other badges since that date had to be attached to the opposite part of the tunic and would be worn to the left or below state awards.

Decoration with the badge discontinued soon after the victory in the Great Patriotic War, in late 1940s. 

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For Excellent Artillery Training Badge 1