The 5 most effective Soviet women snipers of the Second World War
Categories: HistoryBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/article/the-5-most-effective-soviet-women-snipers-of-the-second-world-war.html
It is believed that war is not a woman's business. But when the enemy comes to their native land, they often have to reconsider their attitude to many things and take up arms.
On January 28, 1945, the young beauty Rosa Shanina, a female sniper, whose merits before the Motherland can hardly be overestimated, died. Our story is about her and her sisters in arms, who forged victory in the Great Patriotic War on an equal basis with men.
It's not easy to become a sniper. To do this, you need to have many qualities: observation, patience, the ability to wait and, undoubtedly, a flexible analytical mind. Such qualities are often possessed by women, and that is why there are many representatives of the fair sex among the most effective snipers.
On the battlefields of the Great Patriotic War, six women received the Hero of the Soviet Union star, and one became a full knight of the Soldier's Order of Glory. Rosa Shanina, a very young girl, was the first to receive the high title of Hero.
Rosa Shanina was born into a family of peasants of the Vologda province on April 3, 1924. The parents named their daughter after Rosa Luxemburg, a German revolutionary. After graduating from grade 7, Rosa, without the permission of her parents, left her native village and went to Arkhangelsk, where she entered a pedagogical college.
When the war began, Shanina was only 17 years old. Her three older brothers were among the first to go to the front and one by one died at the very beginning of the war. In 1943, as soon as age allowed, Rosa came to the military enlistment office to enlist as a volunteer. The girl was sent to the women's sniper school, which she graduated from in 1944 with the highest scores.
At the front, Rosa specialized in hitting the most difficult targets – moving ones. Officially, she has 59 German soldiers and officers on her account, but according to other sources - 75. There are 12 professional snipers among the enemies killed by the girl. For such results, the Allied press dubbed Rosa the "invisible horror of East Prussia," and Soviet newspapers and magazines regularly published her photo.
Rosa Shanina became the first woman in history to be awarded the Order of Glory of the II and III degrees, as well as the medal "For Courage". Despite the prohibition to keep personal records, the girl did not part with her diary. Here is one of his notes:
Do not think that the girl was sitting in ambush all the time, looking for the enemy in the sight. Rosa had to go on the attack on a par with male soldiers and had been in intelligence more than once. A girl died during fierce fighting in East Prussia. Having come under heavy mortar fire, her unit lost 72 people out of 78. 21-year-old Rosa Shanina, rescuing a wounded comrade from under fire, was wounded in the chest by shrapnel and died in hospital on January 28, 1945, not having lived to see victory quite a bit.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko was born in the Ukrainian city of Bila Tserkva on July 1, 1916. After school, Lyudmila worked at the Arsenal factory, and then entered Kiev University. While still a student, Pavlichenko graduated from sniper school – at that time, obtaining military specialties was very popular among young people.
The beginning of the war caught 25-year-old Lyudmila in Odessa, where the girl was in pre-graduate practice. Without delay, Lyudmila signed up as a volunteer and left for the front in July 1941. Sniper Pavlichenko received her baptism of fire in the battles for Odessa, then the woman defended Sevastopol from the enemy.
During the year on the battlefields of the North Caucasus Front, Pavlichenko defeated 309 enemies, including 36 snipers. Having been seriously wounded in 1942, Lyudmila never returned to the front, becoming an instructor at a sniper school in the Moscow region. On October 25, 1943, Pavlichenko was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Pavlichenko is considered the best female sniper in world history and her result remains unsurpassed.
Olga Vasilyeva, a native of Voronezh, opened her sniper account in 1943, arriving at the front directly from the medical institute. A fragile 2nd‑year student was persuaded to stay in a field hospital as a medic, but Olga chose the path of the shooter. Like Pavlichenko, the girl fought in the south of the country – near Odessa, in the Caucasus and in the Crimea.
The sniper girl tracked down the first German soldier on August 15, 1943 and after that was able to destroy 185 more enemies. Among Olga Vasilyeva's awards are the Order of the Red Star and the Patriotic War, medals "For the Defense of Odessa", "For the Defense of the Caucasus", "For the Defense of Sevastopol", "For the Victory over Germany", "For Courage". Olga went through the entire war to the end and returned to her native Voronezh to finish her studies at the institute.
Genya Peretyatko got to the front very young – she was barely 18 years old. But behind the girl's back there was already a sniper school, which she graduated with honors in 1939 and several years of shooting sports. The girl's dream was a musical career – just before the war, Genia entered the Odessa Conservatory in the cello class. Straight from the music class, the girl went to the military enlistment office as soon as the war began.
On the account of the sniper Peretyatko 148 killed enemies. Genia went through the whole war and at the age of 23 was awarded the highest badge of military valor - the Order of Glory. In peacetime, the woman continued her sports career and music studies, but after a while she emigrated to the United States.
Inna Mudretsova was born in 1918 in a village near Kostroma. Inna's father was a blacksmith and that's probably why the girl went to work at one of the factories in Moscow after school, simultaneously enrolling in the evening department of the technical Institute. Inna married an officer and was seriously interested in military affairs and in particular shooting.
Mudretsova participated in competitions, and also organized a sniper school in Moscow. As soon as the beginning of the war was announced, Inna and the girls who studied sniper art with her submitted a collective petition to be sent to the front. Inna was sent to a partisan detachment stationed in the Belarusian forests, where her account of the killed enemies was opened.
During the war, the woman participated in such major battles as the Battle of Kursk and the Yass-Kishenevskaya operation, fought on the territory of Poland, Czechoslovakia and Germany. Inna participated in the attacks on a par with men, showing courage and inspiring many with her example. 138 enemy soldiers and officers were recorded by this woman in her sniper book during the war years.
On May 2, 1945, Mudretsova with a detachment of 160 fighters stormed a factory on the outskirts of one of the Czech cities. Here Inna received a severe wound in the spine and arm, which made her an invalid of the 1st group. The sniper woman returned home without an arm and blinded in one eye. Mudretsova was awarded three Orders of the Patriotic War, the Order of the Red Banner of Battle and the Order of the Badge of Honor. Despite the consequences of the injury, she worked in the society "Knowledge" as a lecturer and went on business trips all over the country.
We have not told about all the female snipers that our country is proud of. There were many of them, and the history of each, undoubtedly, deserves attention.
Do you think that modern girls will be able to repeat their feat and, if necessary, defend their homeland with weapons in their hands?