This is a request to award a soldier with a Hero of the Soviet Union title (and accompanying Gold Star medal and Lenin order).
The paper reads:
13 July, 1941 Red Army soldier Ovcharenko was transporting ammo (with a horse-drawn cart) for 3rd machinegun company and was 5-4 kilometers away from them when suddenly he was surrounded by Germans who came by trucks, they were about 50 soldiers and 3 officers. One officer commanded the soldier to “raise hands” (surrender) and took his rifle, after that the officer tried to interrogate him.
Ovcharenko pulled an axe from his cart and beheaded the officer, then he threw 3 grenades at the German trucks, reportedly killing 21 soldiers. The rest ran away. Ovcharenko chased them and beheaded another officer with the axe.
Then he returned to his cart, collected papers from killed Germans and proceeded with his mission. Ammunition was successfully delivered.
Ovcharenko was assigned as machinegunner and at 27th of July same year fought for point 239.8, providing strong machinegun fire and inspiring all the rest of troops.
Signed by the Commander of the Southern Front, his Member of the Military Council, verified by Head of 2nd Department.
Award was granted. Ovcharenko fought through the war and was killed in spring 1945, just few months from Victory day. He can be found in the official list of Heroes of the Soviet Union, though explanation text there is much shorter and lacks the bloody details about the axe.
Well this part is strange without knowing in which enviorment this happend. I don’t think that a German office would check him alone beside that there must be more soldiers surrounded him. And how many time does it take to pick up the axe from his cart while he also put the hands up. In reality he would be shot before he’s able to take the axe from the cart. (Okay maybe the German office stayed infront of him and as said tried to interrogate him) But even after the deadly attack on the Office the Soldiers would have opend fire. Without directly saying this is a fake I would rather say it was propaganda to motivate the Soldiers at the front. OR the story completely happend in another way and was told that way.
Well, one possible explanation I’ve read is that Germans were from non-combat unit (like maybe some supply units or military engineers or something). This is summer 1941 we’re talking about, when there was no defined front line and rear (Blitzkrieg and all the chaos), so non-combat German unit could very probably end up in Soviet rear while thinking it was German army rear.
The rest would be easy then. Officer will want to take the prisoner himself (sinch whole units surrendered at that time to much smaller German forces - initial shock from the invasion was too great). Soldiers will gather to watch, not readying their weapons. And what do they see - BLOOD and brutal killing! And then grenades. If they haven’t seen real battle yet, they may well run away.
Or another possible explanation, the officer was attempting to get intel from the Russian soldier while the rest of the troops were waiting in the trucks. Maybe he pulled him off to the side alone or with only a couple guards. Then maybe the Russian somehow did manage to axe the officer to death (LOL) and started chucking nades at the trucks. Troops in/around the trucks, suddenly having explosions erupting around them, gtfo. I would.