The highest military honor of the USSR was created on April 16, 1934 to award for personal or collective (cities like Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, etc.) merits. At first, only a gramota (special authencating document) was given, since 1936 the person was automatically afforded membership in Order of Lenin, which was the highest Soviet Order created in the same year. The membership in Order of Lenin could be afforded without awarding the Hero.
In 1939 the Soviet government established a special medal "The Gold Star". Since that then, a person nominated the Hero of the Soviet Union received a gramota, a medal "The Gold Star" and a membership in Order of Lenin. With the second nomination, only a gramota and "The Gold Star" were given. Since 1973, presumably due to the true love of that time soviet leader Brezhnev to the decorations, who was the Hero of the USSR 4! times and once a Labor Hero (The Hammer and Sickle Gold Medal), the membership in Order of Lenin was afforded with consequent nominations. During the war the Hero of the Soviet Union honor was awarded to more than 11000 soldiers and officers, including 1142 tankers, 1800 artillerymen, 2400 pilots. 104 persons received the Honor twice. Only three were awarded for the third time: Pokryshkin, Zhukov and Kozhedub (on the picture from left to right) . Four men were also full Cavaliers of Order of Glory, i.e. they were awarded the Order of all three degrees. . The Hero of the Soviet Union was awarded to the pilots after 15 kills. On land or at see the person was to distinguish himself or herself at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty.
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