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During the Great Patriotic War, there were bloody battles in the vicinity of Belgorod. The city was occupied twice by the Germans — from October 24, 1941 to February 9, 1943 and from March 18 to August 5, 1943. Belgorod became the main field of tank battles on the Kursk Salient-from July 5, 1943 to August 23, 1943.|
During the Battle of Kursk, on July 12, 1943, the largest tank battle in world history took place near Belgorod. The Battle of Kursk is marked as a turning point in the Second World War. The troops of the Voronezh and Steppe fronts stormed Belgorod. In honor of the liberation of Belgorod and Orel, on August 5, 1943, a salute was given in Moscow with 12 volleys of 120 guns. The liberation of Belgorod was one of the most significant moments of the victory of the Soviet troops, for which it was awarded the title of "City of the First Salute".
By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of April 9, 1980, Belgorod was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the first degree for the courage and perseverance shown by the city's workers during the Great Patriotic War, and for the successes achieved in economic and cultural construction.
By Decree of the President of Russia No. 558 of April 27, 2007, Belgorod was awarded the honorary title "City of Military Glory"for the courage, steadfastness and mass heroism shown by the defenders of the city in the struggle for freedom and independence of the Fatherland.