Tuesday 21 July 2015

Combat Commissar

"Award Order
  1. Name: Tupitskin, Ivan Nikitovich
  2. Guards Senior Lieutenant
  3. Position and unit: SPG commander, 375th Guards Fokshany Heavy SPG Regiment
    Is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  4. Year of birth: 1916
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: VKP(b) member
  7. Participation in the civil war and subsequent action in defense of the USSR, Patriotic War: since 1942.
  8. Wounds: None (killed on March 22nd, 1945)
  9. In the RKKA since: 1941
  10. Recruited by: Pechep regional recruitment office, Orel oblast.
  11. Previous awards: Order of the Red Banner, Order of the Patriotic War 2nd class, medal "For Liberation of Leningrad"
Brief and specific description of personal heroism in battle or achievements: Comrade I.N. Tupitskiy displayed personal heroism and tactical competence in battles with German invaders in Pomerania.

During an offensive towards the city of Koslin, our advance was stalled by enemy fire at a river crossing near Brukkenburg. Comrade Tupitsin performed a flanking maneuver through difficult forested terrain, stealthily approached the crossing, captured it, and held until our units arrived.

When performing a mission to reach the shores of the Baltic between Danzig and Gdynia, comrade Tupitsin was assigned to the advance guard. During his march, he encountered a powerful enemy stronghold. He entered battle and eliminated it.

During battle around Danzig, when the enemy stopped our infantry and tanks with powerful fire, comrade Tupitskin rushed forward, spotted the strongholds, and with his fire destroyed 2 guns, 10 machineguns, and 30 enemy soldiers. One hill prevented our forces from taking a stronghold, but comrade Tupitskin's SPG guaranteed that it was taken and that our path to Danzig was cleared. In that battle, comrade Tupitskin's SPG was hit by an armour piercing shell and caught fire. Giving the rest of his crew the chance to leave the vehicle, comrade Tupitskin himself did not have a chance to leave and heroically gave his life for his Motherland.

Comrade Tupitskin's courage, bravery, and heroism in battle with German invaders is worthy of the state award of Hero of the Soviet Union, posthumously."

CAMD RF 33-793756

The story itself isn't particularly exciting, but this is one of the rare award orders that comes with a biography of the hero. Tupitskin, a peasant's son, finished a teaching college in 1935 and became a vice principal, then a school inspector in 1940. In July of 1941, he enrolled in junior political officer courses, which he finished in November, serving as the political chief of the 952nd Infantry Regiment on the Leningrad Front. He took some more political officer courses and jumped around some more political chief positions (this time at company level) until June of 1943, when he presumably had enough of the political life and spent a year at the Kiev Artillery Academy, after which he was given an ISU-122 to command.

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