When there is an atmosphere of war in a country collecting specialized soldiers is normal. Also, it is really supportive of victory to have well-trained snipers in the army when Assault by hiding.

This letter is about three female snipers who were on the top of the list of snipers who killed most enemy soldiers with the Soviet army during World War II.

1.) 19 years old soviet female sniper soldier who was selected to battlefront against Nazi: Roza Shanina

World War II which started with Hitler‘s invasion of Poland on the 1st of September 1939, crashed into the Soviet Union via Operation Barbarossa in June 1941. Since then the Soviet Union started to become the state that was most Fallen victim to the attack of the German army. Including the armies who supported to defeat Nazism and More than 20 million people in the Soviet Union sacrificed their lives and there was a heroine in there. She was Roza Shanina.

Roza in 1944, with 1891/30 Mosin Nagant gun [original photo & colored photo]
Picture: Roza in 1944, with 1891/30 Mosin Nagant gun [original photo & colored photo]


Roza was born on the 3rd of April 1924 in a Group Farming Village in Bagdanovskoy, Arkhangelsk Oblast, Russia. Her mother Anna was doing Dairy work on that farm and her father Georgiy was disabled who fought for Russia in World War II.

There were another ten children in her family and three of them were adopted. Roza started her education at the government school Yedma where they lived. After seven years she lived with her aunt in Bereznik and did a farming job while doing education works.

After finishing Basic education she wanted to do Secondary education in Literature but her parents did not agree with that and she Ran away from home. Roza walked so far and went to Arkhangelsk from Konosha village. She lived there with her brother Fyodor.

He was responsible for her until she was selected for Secondary education in the city. At the time of education that was borne by the Soviet government, it was a part of the Soviet system.

Roza as a student in Arkhangelsk
Picture: Roza as a student in Arkhangelsk

Selected the firearm

The Soviet Union had to face a big war because of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa on the 22nd of June 1941. It severely affected the soviet economy. Therefore Roza had to do a job while learning. She allocated time to learn in the morning and teach in the evening.

In addition to that Mikhail who was a brother of Roza died during Operation Leningrad (current Saint Petersburg) by the German army in December 1941. Another two brothers oh her were killed by the war.

Because of the disaster that her family and people faced, Roza decided to choose the battlefront. But it was not a success initially. Authorities said that women are not ready for war yet. Even though she requested from many army officers the final decision was not good news for her. At the time she was looking forward to battle with the Nazis.

Then women get allowed for war. In the Oder that also Roza registered for war. At the time she just became 19. She got trained in the central female sniper unit in Vsevobuch base. At the age of 20, Roza ended training and went to Military service as the commander of the 184th Rifle Brigade in the 3rd Belorussian Front.

In sniper training college 24/12/1943
Picture: In sniper training college 24/12/1943

An Excellent female sniper soldier

Roza was at the top by her Interest and talents. She was appreciated for her skill of aiming accurately and she was able to capture the target outside distant enemy groups and she improved the skill of Pair attacks that is, to shoot at an enemy who was in twice far in the instant.

In 1944 Canadian newspaper introduced her as “The Unseen terror of East Prussia”. She is the first female soldier who was awarded the award of Order of Glory in soviet history and also the first female soldier who fought in the 3rd Belorussian Front.

The certificate that Roza received for courageous female soldier
Picture:The certificate that Roza received for courageous female soldier

According to the note of major Degtyarev who was once been the Commanding Officer of the 1138th Rifle Regiment, Roza had been able to kill 11 German soldiers amid artillery and machine-gun attacks during the 6th and 11th of April 1944. She was appreciated as a talented and brave soldier and her photograph was published on the first page of the Soviet newspaper called Unichtozhim Vraga on 9th June.

1944 in the village of Merzlyakov in the Vitebsk region of Belarus
Picture: 1944 in the village of Merzlyakov in the Vitebsk region of Belarus

Roza’s letters

Here two special letters are quoting among the letters that Roza wrote several times. Actually, even though women were called up for war it was ordered by authorities no to keep them on the battlefront if it is not vital. But this was for the sadness of Roza. She liked the battlefront instead of the base. She was not happy to stay in base and battlefront from time to time. She always tried to escape the base and go to the battlefront.

To Pyotr Molchanov in 29th Jully 1944

Please take this to the administration and assist me. If you knew how passionately I want to be with the fighters at the front and kill Nazis. And here, imagine, instead of at the front lines – at the rear. And recently, we lost another 4 black and 1 red. [4 killed, 1 wounded] I want to avenge them. I ask you to talk to someone in charge, although I know that you are very busy.

To Pyotr Molchanov in 31st August 1944.

Thank God, finally, we are back in the fight. All went to the front. Score increases.

From Roza’s diary

From Roza's diary

Writing the diary was started in October 1944. The following are some notes selected from it.

October 25th, 1944- “Always nice to have a girlfriend. Sasha [Alexandra Ekimova], I am with you, and sadness is sometimes fun. I share with you all that is in my soul.”

November 05th, 1944- “Went a long time without writing, there was no time, was at the front. Went with the girls to Vovka. Chatted, that due to Captain Aseyev being killed, I look a little lost when I’m by myself. He was boozy and wouldn’t leave, although we had to, in order to be on time, so we insisted. I really like Nikolai Shevchenko, lieutenant in the artillery, brother of the pilot Shevchenko, who is a Hero of the Soviet Union. He is in love with me, but he’s not very tall, and I don’t like even a little shorter than me, and so I suffer for it. “

November 18, 1944- “I remember the first days spent with Nikolai. Why do I not have the courage to reject him? The circumstances – cold and muddy, I undressed, I needed help, he helped me, otherwise, in a word, It was ridiculous. And now he likes me a little bit, and the rest I force myself, drive in the idea that I respect him, and that I miss him when I have not seen him. Why did I drive in the thought that I love him? Because after Blokhin I didn’t think of anyone”

 With friend Sasha
Picture: With friend Sasha


Roza Shanina who bravely fought against the Nazis for Fatherland and her people was killed during the operation on the 27th of January 1945. That was a damsel who was not even 21. At the time she had killed 59 Nazis that was only officially confirmed killings. Also, her friend Sasha was killed on the 26th of February.

Roza's final photograph on January 1st 1945
Picture: Roza’s final photograph on January 1st 1945

Her body was buried in Elmendorf village in rich, eastern Prussia with Full military honors.

Roza’s death certificate

Roza's death certificate

Finally noting that Roza is one of a hero among hundreds of thousands of Soviet soldiers who came forward for Altruism.

2) Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko

 Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko was a one from historical snipers, by killing 309 enemy soldiers and she is considered the most successful female sniper ever. 

Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko

She was born on 12th Jully 1916 in Bila Tserkva, Russian Empire (the part currently owned by Ukraine) and she went to Kyiv with her family to permanent residence at age of 14 and got the opportunity to join the shooter club that was called OSOAVIAKHIM (Volunteer Association of Collaborators with the Tri-Forces) she developed he abilities as an Apprentice sharpshooter while working in an arms factory in Kyiv. Also, she was able to get a Master’s Degree in History from the University of Kyiv.

In June 1941, when the German army started to aggress Soviet Russia, Lyudmila was 24 years old. She stopped her higher education and applied in the first round of recruiting the volunteer soldiers and she applied for infantry. But she was assigned to the 25th Rifle team of the Red Army and she was able to become one of 2000 female snipers in the red army. From that only 500 were able to survive at the end of World War II. Lyudmila recorded her first two kills as a sniper in Bilyaivka village. That was from a semi-automatic rifle that is called Tokarev SVT-40. After that, she was able to kill around 187 enemy soldiers within two months and a half. That was in Odesa city nearby the black sea. At the end of World War II the total enemy soldiers she killed was 309 and from that 36 were snipers. Because of that, she is nicknamed “Lady Death”.

In June 1942, she faced a mortar attack and considered the service she had done for the Russian army she was released from army service one month after she got well, by promoting her to a major position. After that, she worked as a snipers trainer until the war ends and in 1943 she was awarded the golden star that awards for heroes in the Soviet Union as well as a stamp was issued for her.

After retiring from the army she entered Kyiv University and finished her education and worked as a historian until she died on October 10, 1974.

3) Colonel Marie Ljalková

Marie Ljalková Lastovecká was born in Horodenka, Poland for Czech parents on December 3, 1920. Her parents died when she was 12 years old and after that, her aunt took care of her.

Colonel Marie Ljalková

After German invaded Soviet Union Marie and her husband joined to First Czechoslovak Independent Field Battalion as volunteer soldiers in March 1942. She had a medical course and a quarterly sniper training course from there.

She initially fought for the Battle of Sokolovo during March 8-11, 1943, She killed seven German soldiers by taking the Chief’s attention.

At the end of the war, she had killed at least 30 enemies that were only confirmed but the actual should be more. Soviet Union gave her the Red star and Czechoslovakian War Cross as an appreciation of the talent she showed in world war II.

After the war, she studied medicine more and she worked as a doctor in Central Military Hospital in Prague for many years. In the letter, she was promoted to the position of colonel by awarding the Order of the White Lion which is the second-highest military award in 2010. Marie Ljalková who lived 90 years, died on November 7, 2011.


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