“Participant of Khasan Battles” breast badge was instituted on June 05, 1939 by the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR “On Perpetuation of the Khasan Heroes’ Memory” on the eve of the first anniversary of the Battle of Lake Khasan. The Decree was published in the 20th issue of the “Journal of the Supreme Soviet” (1939). That border conflict known in Japan as the Changkufeng Incident was founded in the beliefs of the Japanese side that the USSR misinterpreted the demarcation of the boundary based on the Convention of Peking treaty between two former empires: Russia and Qing Dynasty China.
Regulations and statute of the badge were approved by the Decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, the highest government authority of executive power, No.1173 of August 08, 1939.
Decoration with the “Participant of Khasan Battles” breast badge was executed by the Military council of the First Separate Red Banner Army and was issued to the following categories of the Soviet citizens:
- Soldiers and commanding officers of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA), the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Navy (RKKF) and the border guard units who fought at the Battle of Lake Khasan;
- Military personnel of headquarters staff and logistics units;
- Family members of commanding officers; kolkhoz members, i.e. collective farmers; merchant fleet personnel and other individuals who situated at the combat operations territory and either ensured military success of the First Separate Red Banner Army or took care of wounded soldiers from July 29 to August 11, 1938.
“Participant of Khasan Battles” breast badge was presented to regular military personnel and their family members by commanders and political commissars of military units. Civilians and ex-servicemen were issued with badges at municipal and district military registration and enlistment offices.
Design of the “Participant of Khasan Battles” badge was elaborated by the Central House of the Red Army artist Nikolay Moskalyov (18.09.1897-хх.07.1968) also known as the author of numerous Soviet orders, medals and badges.
The badge had a shape of a vertical oval with a lower part cut flat and embroidered with oak leaves on the left and laurel leaves on the right. Red Army soldier in helmet holding rifle with fixed bayonet in his left hand and stick grenade in raised right hand was situated in the centre of the badge against Far Eastern hills. Red enameled banner with five-point gilt star was placed behind the soldier. Inscription in capital letters “Khasan” (“Хасан”) was situated at the bottom of the composition. The lower part of the badge was framed with the red enameled ribbon bearing date of the radical turn in battles: “6 VIII – 1938”.
Slight variations of the badge differing in minor details of an obverse, e.g. face of the soldier, shape of the star, flagpole ball ornament, cartridge pouch, etc. are known to exist.
Reverse of the badge had strong counter-relief, or so-called mirror reverse. No serial number or maker’s mark were minted on the reverse.
Badge “Participant of Khasan Battles” measuring 38,5-39,8x28-29,8 mm and weighing 12 g approximately was manufactured of brass at the Leningrad Mint. Initially the badge was to be worn above left breast pocket of the tunic. 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, “Participant of Khasan Battles” 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.
The badge was attached to the tunic with copper screw and round silvered steel nut measuring 17,6-18,2 mm in diameter. The latter bore Leningrad manufacturer’s mark “Monetnyj Dvor” (Leningrad Mint) running in semicircle.
“Participant of Khasan Battles” Badge was presented within one year, from June 1939 until August 1940. Totally 50,009 badges were manufactured: 28,009 pieces in 1939 and 22,000 pieces in 1940.