Commemorative breast badge “Halhingol” was instituted on August 16, 1940 by the Decree of the Presidium of the People’s Great Hural, the Mongolian Parliament, on the first anniversary of the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol, undeclared Soviet-Japanese border conflicts (11.05-16.09.1939). Those decisive battles are known in Japan as the Nomonhan Incident, or Nomonhan Jiken. The complete Mongolian name of the badge is “Халх Голын ялалт-ын дурсгалын тэмдэг” (анхны загвар 1940 он), i.e. Badge In Commemoration of the Victory at the Khalkh River (first model of 1940). A quarter of a century later, Decree of the Presidium of the People’s Great Hural No.181 of December 29, 1966 upgraded status of the commemorative badge to that of the medal and made it an official state award without any change in design. Since then that decoration was known as “Халх Голын байлдаан медаль”. Thereby “Halhingol” turned out to be unique medal that had no ribbon!
Soviet and Mongolian military personnel who fought at the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol and defeated Japanese invaders as well as units from the puppet state of Manchukuo were eligible for decoration with the Badge. Moreover, according to the original statute of the Badge from 1940, it was also meant to be presented to civilians who took part in combat.
As for the military personnel of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA), the badge “Halhingol” was initially issued only to soldiers and officers who continued their service in the Transbaikal Military District (17.05.1935-15.09.1941) after the victory over Japan. Those transferred to other military districts hadn’t received their badges up to a certain time. With the lapse of time most servicemen who used to fight at the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol and had been decorated with orders medals of the USSR and Mongolia were issued with badges. The latter were distributed after the Great Patriotic War broke out and even after the Great Victory. Unfortunately, some Soviet veterans were never presented with a badge at all.
Initial production order was placed at the Leningrad Mint. Original hallmark was elaborated by an artist and sculptor Samuil Tulchinskij (1900-1981), medalist of the Leningrad and later the Moscow Mint. After the Great Patriotic War broke out, forty skilled workers of the Leningrad Mint as well as the major part of equipment were evacuated in August 1941 to the town of Krasnokamsk located in the Molotov region. Temporary Krasnokamsk Mint that existed in 1941-1949 managed to produce only six badges, though 3,000 pieces were intended to be struck there. Regular production of “Halhingol” badges was organized only by the end of the war. Thus, 5,504 pieces were manufactured within March and September 1946. Post-war production of the badges was established in the Soviet capital, at the Moscow Production and Creative Cooperative Association of Visual Arts Workers, generally known as the Artists’ Society of Moscow (“Moskovskoe Tovarishchestvo Hudojnikov”) that existed in 1939-1953.
Commemorative badge “Halhingol” has a round shape with a fragment of the red banner protruding in the upper right part. Oxidized figure of a Mongolian cavalryman in military uniform with a rifle on his back riding eastwards is situated at the centre of the badge against blue enameled background. The trooper holds a saber in his outstretched right hand and reins by his left arm. However, generally accepted description of the badge including that found in official Soviet sources erroneously stipulates that “cavalryman holds red enameled flying banner in his left hand”. Stylized image of Mongolian steppe consisting of red and yellow enameled hills as well as a fragment of green enameled knolls is situated below the horse. Left and right parts of the badge are framed with a raised impression rim of bronze color. Red enameled flying banner with an inscription “August 1939” (“Avgust 1939”) is situated at the upper part of the badge. The lower part shows red enameled ribbon folded in three and carrying an inscription in capital letters “Halhingol”. It’s worth mentioning here that though Latin script was widely used in Mongolia in 1931-1941, the conventional Cyrillic name of the award appears in the title of this article.
After statute of the badge was upgraded to that of the medal in 1966, a special ribbon bar was introduced for the everyday wear with uniform or civilian attire. Thus, 24 mm wide ribbon of violet-brown color had 15 mm vertical golden yellow stripe in its centre.
Badges “Halhingol” of the earliest pattern were manufactured of silver and presented to few military leaders, including Soviet Corps commander Georgy Zhukov and Mongolian Marshal Choibalsan. The most common badges were made of nonferrous metal, i.e. bronze and were covered with hot colored enamel, gilt and oxidation. The badge measured 42x37 mm and weighed 15,8 g approximately, though dimensions and weight differed insignificantly depending on a manufacturer.
According to the type of reverse two variations of the badges are known to exist: strong counter-relief (mirror reverse) and flatback, found on post-1946 badges.
The badge was attached to the tunic with a screw and nut. The latter bore hallmarks of manufacturers, viz. “Moskovskoe T-vo Hudojnikov” (Artists’ Society of Moscow) on early badges and “Monetnyj Dvor” (Leningrad Mint) on that of post-war production.
Commemorative Badge “Halhingol” was presented to frontline veterans with an award certificate. The earliest pattern had dark-colored square hard cover with gold lettering, the text inside was executed in Mongolian script. The second type of the document, also square in shape, was made of carton paper and had text in Cyrillic script inside. Those certificates were signed either by the Corps commissar, deputy of Marshal Choibalsan and later Ministry of Defense Zh.Lhagvasuren, or by commander of the Soviet unit the veteran of the Battles of Khalkhyn Gol served in at the moment of decoration. New type of an award certificate was introduced after the badge was upgraded to the medal in 1966. Thin imitation leather document and that made of coatless Whatman imitation paper are known to exist.