U.S.S.R. - Hero of the Soviet Union
Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, in Gold, suspension in gilded silver, Type II, numbered "4645", worn condition, good very fine. Awarded to Tank Commander Mikhail Vasilevich Kopitin, a career tank officer who made a name for himself in the T-34 tank. He was born in November 1920 in the village of Murom, in the Vladimir region east of Moscow. He joined the army in 1940. Armed with T-34/85 tanks, Sr. Lt. Kopitin, leading the 1st Tank Company of the 229th Tank Regiment, found himself in the middle of the Lvov-Sandomir Offensive in July 1944. The Soviets were pushing the Germans out of Ukraine, into Poland. The following is the citation/recommendation for Kopitin, which resulted in the award of the title Hero of the Soviet Union: Comrade Kopitin, the commander of a tank company, has always been at the most important locations in battle. His courage, bravery, and skillfulness always let him win in spite of the superiority of the enemy. Self-sacrifice and willingness to help are the main features of his character. On August 3-4, 1944, the Mechanized Brigade fought a severe battle for the village of Zheduv against the superior forces of the enemy. The Brigade was able to fend off numerous enemy tank and infantry attacks. It drove a wedge into the entrenched enemy's defense, but together with headquarters staff, became separated from the main force. Comrade Kopitin quickly analyzed the situation, and by his own initiative, decided to help. Leading five other tank crews, he expended much ammunition and exterminated the enemy soldiers. It was a brave maneuver whereby Kopitin demonstrated his courage and helped unite the headquarters unit to the rest of the force. In that battle, comrade Kopitin personally destroyed five tanks, to include two Panther tanks, three T-4 tanks, two self-propelled guns, one armoured troop carrier, and more than a hundred soldiers and officers. He captured one T-3 tank in good order and his company suffered zero losses. During the following ten days since that battle, to August 14, 1944, Comrade Kopitin has additionally destroyed several more Panthers, four T-4 tanks, three self-propelled guns, five armoured troop carriers, and four auto cars. For his heroic deeds and skilful management of his company, I nominate Comrade Kopitin for the government award of Hero of the Soviet Union" On September 23, 1944, Sr. Lt. Mikhail Kopitin received the title of HSU. His unit advanced on Berlin, then turned and strove toward Prague when the war ended.