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Russian Women Snipers.

Russian women contributed greatly into the victory over Nazis in Great Patriotic War. In 1943, there were over 2,000 women fighting as snipers in the front line. The most successful Soviet use of snipers during the Great Patriotic War was during their defensive stages of the war (1941-1943).

Nina Petrova (1893-1945)

Nina Petrova was one of 3 Soviet women in the history of WWII who was awarded all 3 classes of the Order of Glory- the most highly respected soldier's decoration. She was a sniper of the 1st rifle battalion of the 284 rifle regiment of 86 Taratutskaya infantry division. Top sergeant.

Before the WWII Nina Petrova finished the snipe school and was working as a shooting sport instructor. She took part in Russian-Finish war and when the WWII broker up, Petrova volunteered to join the 4th division of the citizen's militia of Leningrad. She was 48 years old. Nina Petrova defended "the road of life", took part in Leningrad blockade running, liberation of Gatchina, Pushkino and Luka. She often had to leave the frontline fighting holes for "hunting" at the neutral zone and stay motionless for 12-16 hrs, shoot to kill and hide for the fascists not to locate her. Petrova was awarded the medals for For the Defence of Leningrad and a medal For Combat Merits. During the fight in Estonia Petrova managed to kill two enemy fire starters that tried to fire the German headquarters and destroy the important papers. During the fights in Poland Nina Petrova destroyed 3 machine-gun teams that blocked the way to the infantry and participated in all battles.

Nina Petrova personally trained more then 500 snipers. Being older then most her war comrades she was often called "Mama Nina". The soldiers admired her stamina and courage and she was remembered for often coming into the attack and spying. Nina Petrova's 2 sons and a daughter were also at the front.

Petrova went through the entire war almost without a scratch and was killed on 1 May 1945.

Nina Lobkovskaya (born in 1925)

A sniper for the Red Army of the Soviet Union during World War II attaining the rank of Lieutenant.

During the war, Guards Lieutenant Nina Lobkovskaya commanded a sniper company formed from women graduates of a sniper school near Moscow. It was known as "the company of crack shooters", and its members displayed feats of heroism and endurance, fighting their way through to Berlin. "We were all outraged at the news of the war," Nina Lobkovskaya says. "Young people were very patriotic and longed to defend their Motherland against the invaders, to drive the enemy out. We were bursting to go into action." Shortly after the war broke out, Nina's family received sad news: her father, machine-gunner Alexei Lobkovsky, died a hero's death fighting for the city of Voronezh in southwestern Russia. Nina Lobkovskaya wrote in her memoirs: "Hatred for the enemy that was causing so much human suffering, choked me. That hatred cemented my resolution to join the army. But it wasn't that easy - ladies were not encouraged to go to the frontlines."

In October 1942 her dream came true at last. She was sent to study at the newly-formed women's sniper school in the village of Veshnyaki, near Moscow. 300 most physically fit young girls had been selected for the course. After it was over, the group of 50 girl snipers was assigned to the 3rd attack army on the Kalinin front. At a special ceremony they were handed sniper record books that registered each knocked out Nazi soldier or officer and wished every success in hitting the targets. "When we arrived, we spent the days in constant observation of the enemy's frontline," Nina Lobkovskaya says. "When we returned for a night and went to bed, our memory held the picture of the terrain in every detail, with every leaf, every blade of grass standing out. And, as we arrived back to our observation positions the following day, we noticed the slightest of changes. This observation technique we had acquired at the sniper school proved very useful." The sniper company received the baptism of fire while covering an audacious raid of Soviet scouts into the enemy rear. In the first month after the arrival Nina Lobkovskaya shot six enemy soldiers and officers. A wartime newspaper wrote about her: "Nina Lobkovskaya has a sharp eye and steady hand. Her rifle never misses. Dozens of Nazis have been sent to kingdom come by the fearless lady sniper".

By May 1945 the number of killed Nazis in Nina's record book reached 89. One incident stays particularly bright in her memory: "It happened in the Kalinin Region, in central European Russia. My partner and I were summoned to a place where our soldiers were shot daily. No one could tell where the shooting came from. So we started observation. And one day, quite unexpectedly, I looked into my sniper eyepiece and saw a German officer in a white shirt, a high-collar jacket draped over his shoulders and a peaked cap. I was shocked because he was so close! I sized up the distance and aimed. It was a hasty shot, so the bullet only smashed his cap badge. He realized that the shooting came from a sniper, shook his fist at me and disappeared behind his disguise. From then on, a hunting game began, each stalking the other. I felt his presence, and he felt mine. The duel lasted for a week. One day I got careless and let him spot me. He fired right away. The bullet ricocheted into the helmet and singed my temple. As I saw blood, I thought of one thing only: to fire back. I knew he was bound to reveal himself somehow. And he did, for I soon saw the line of his helmet above the bushes. I took aim below that line and shot. No more shots were fired from the spot. I was satisfied, but I will remember his hand clenched into a fist shaking at me for the rest of my life," Nina Lobkovskaya said.

As they fought the enemy, the girls were, naturally, dreaming of victory, which, they hoped, would come soon enough and they would return home and change from army uniforms into light summer dresses. And they fought hard for this dream to come true. Guards Lieutenant Nina Lobkovskaya was just twenty in the victorious year of 1945. A wartime poet described her as an ordinary girl, nose turned-up and mouth tender like kid's. And that was her - a charming girl with a teasing smile who looks at us from an old photograph. Together with her sisters-in-arms she took on her fragile shoulders an unbearable burden and carried it to the end. And Victory was her reward

Source: Road to Victory > A crack shooterThe voice of Russia.

Lidiya Gudovantseva (born in 1923)

Was awarded by the order of Glory (3st Class), Order Of The Patriotic War (1 class), awarded the Lenin Order Star for her 76 kills, medals For Valour, For the Capture of Berlin, For the Liberation of Warsaw, For Victory Over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945. Junior Sergeant

Lidiya Gudovantseva joined the Red Army and went to the front line in 1943 and was signed up with 23 Infantry division. Fore 2,5 month in the defence line of the northwest front Lidiya killed 10 enemy soldiers. Later, when Lidiya's division was conducted a forced crossing of the Velikaya river and consolidated near the sand bank, the enemy forces tried to force them out of the cover. Lidiya Gudovantseva took part in the attack and severe battle, acted as a nurse and was injured. She refused from hospitalization and once she felt better joined her division. She got the injury in the next attack but remained at the front line.

Lidiya showed an exemplary courage when the infantry division she was signed with was liberating Dno city in February 1944. She and other snipers were ordered to fight with tankborne infantry on the top of tanks. Lidiya managed to shoot machine gunner. After the city was liberated, the division was named Dnovskaya in its honor. Lidiya Gudovantseva was lucky to reach Berlin and take part in the capture of Berlin.

Ludmila Pavlichenko (1916-1974)

Ludmila Pavlichenko was born on 12 July 1916 in a small Ukrainian village. Being a schoolgirl she joined a shooting club and developed into a sharpshooter. When the WWII started Ludmila was as University student in Kiev where her parents had moved before the war. Along with many other students she rushed to join the military and signed up with 25 Infantry division. She became one of the 2 thousand women Soviet snipers that of which only about 500 survived the war. By the end of the war she had 309 total kills of the Nazi soldiers. Among which were 36 enemy snipers. A considerable figure for a sniper. Was she cruel?

Pavlichenko said when the war began the only feeling she had been anger for Germans that broke down the peaceful life in her country. Later in the army when she personally saw all the terror German invaders sowed, Pavlichenko was seethed with hatred and the only desire was to kill the aggressors. A young sniper was devastated by the pictures of liberated villages with tormented to death women and killed children just left by the houses. She felt the only way to stop the Nazi threat was the bullet into the heart of each Hitler's soldier.

As a sniper Pavlichenko made her first 2 kills near Belyaevka. Her rifle was a Mosin-Nagent Russian sniper rifle with a P.E. 4-power scope. The Mosin-Nagent was a 5-shot bolt action rile. It fired with 148 gr bullet at velocity of 2800 fps. It was effective out to 600 yards. Private Pavlishenko fought about two and half months near Odessa. There she recorded 187 kills.

The Germans gained control of Odessa and her unit was sent to Sevastopol, Crimea. She described a typical day at the front: a sniper came to his artillery position no later then 4 am and stayed there till evening. It happened that a sniper stayed at one place for 3 days and a good physical form was required to lie in wait for 18 hrs and more. Ludmila Pavlichenko recalled that during the defense of Sevastopol, many German solders knew Soviet snipers by names and often shouted them out suggesting to join the German army. Or condemned them. There was no single case when a Soviet sniper would capitulate, they would rather shoot themselves. Ludmila Pavlichenko once had a duel with a German sniper that had been a threat for the Soviet regiment for long time. She spend a day in the ambush and cold place the enemy snipe only in the evening. The hunt made her stay in her position for a night. In the morning she found out the enemy creeping towards her in a thick fog and started to approach him by herself. Pavlichenko advanced the German sniper just a second and shot him. The enemy had 500 kills.

Because Ludmila was hero, less then a month after receiving her wound, she was pulled from combat. She was sent to Canada and the United States and became the first Soviet citizen to be received by the US president. Eleonora Ruzvelt I\invited her to tour the country during which Ludmila performed in front of the audience in many American cities and told about the war. Her memorable words on Chicago stage exploded the audience. Pacvlichenko said: "I am only 25 and have already killed 309 German invaders at the front. How long are you going to hide behind my back, gentlemen? " Woody Guthrie dedicated her a song "Miss Pavlichenko".

Having attained the rank of Major Pavlichenko never returned to fighting but instead became an instructor. She trained hundreds of Soviet snipers until the war end. In 1943 she received the Gold Star of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Ludmila returned to Kiev Ste University. From 1945 to 1953 she was a research assistant of the Chef HQ of the Soviet Navy. She also was involved in numerous international conferences and congresses. She was active in the Soviet Committee of the Veterans of War. Ludmila Pavlichenko died in 1974 at the age of 58 and is buried on Novodevichiye Cemetery in Moscow.

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Tatiana Baramzina ((1919 - 1944))

Tatiana Baramzina was awarded the order of Lenin and the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. Private first class.

Tatiana Baramzina was studying in the nursery school when the WWII broke out. She joined the Red army in 1943. She finished the Central snipe school and immediately took part in the battles. In her first combat action Tatiana killed 16 enemies; however she was later due to her bad eye sight she sent to serve as telephone operator on the front line.

During the battles near the village Maloye Morozove on 22 and 23 June 1944 Tatiana repaired damaged telephone line 14 times under the shellfire. On 5 July she was sent to fight behind enemy lines with the 3rd infantry battalion of the 252 rifle regiment she was assigned with. During the route march near village Pekalin, Belarus region, Tatiana's battalion met superior enemy forces.

Tatiana personally killed 20 enemy soldiers from her rifle and helped the injured. When the dug-out she was in was captured by the enemies, she shot balk to the last and was finally captured by the fascists. She was severely tortures by the Nazi Germans and finally shot. Tatiana Baramzina was assigned a title of the Hero of the Soviet Union posthumously.

Natalia Kovshova (1920-1942) and Maria Polivanova (1920-1942)

Natalia Kovshova was born in Ufa, she graduated from School in Moscow and started work in research institute while preparing to enter The University of Aviation. Maria Polivanova was born in the village in Tula region and moved to Moscow with her parents being a schoolgirl. She came to work in the same research institute and met Natalia.

When the WWII broke out and German aviation started bombing Moscow both girls joined self-defence groups. Masha was in charge of observation and communication department and spent nights in charge on the control tower.

Natalia and Maria also attended training for snipers and volunteered to the front as soldiers of 528th rifle regiment. They dug antitank trenchs, took part in the defense of Moscow, arranged the active sniper's group within the regiment, training fellow soldiers. Their division managed to create unapproachable defence line that held the offensive of German army.

Since January 1942 both girls were fighting in North-West front. The total kills of young snipers made around 300 enemies. Both had the order of the Red Star. They became close friends and comrades-in-arms.

In August 1942 Polivanova and Kovshova's regiment put up the fight near the village Sutoki-Byakovo, Novgorod region. Snipers and submachine gunners resisted continuous attacks of German Army and shelling. Russian soldiers were killed one after another and finally there remained only Natalia Kovshova, Maria Polivanova - both wounded, having only few patrons. When the Germans were close enough girls blew up anti-tank grenade exploding themselves and the enemies. Maria Polivanova and Natalia Kovshova were awarded the title of The Hero of the Soviet Union after their deaths. Their lives make the glorious page of Russian history.

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