Military Review

Sniper Rose Shanina


I decided to post this article after I read excerpts from the letters and diary of a sniper Rosa Shanina. The more I read and learned about it, the more imbued with respect. A born warrior and a real man, with a capital letter. Then cowards and defeatists escaped at the first opportunity to the rear, and such heroes as Rosa Shanina rushed into battle, went to attacks, reconnaissance, hand-to-hand combat. Thanks to just such fighters, we won the war. They will forever remain in our memory.

During World War II, a Soviet sniper, Senior Sergeant Rosa Shanina, from various sources, destroyed from 54 to more than a hundred Nazis, including 12 enemy snipers in the battle for Vilnius. On her account there are three captured enemy soldiers, officially. One of the first female snipers awarded the Order of Glory 3 and 2 degrees - June 18 and September 22 1944. December 27 awarded the Medal "For Courage". Killed by a mortal wound received in the 28 battle of January 1945 of the year, in 3 km southeast of the village of Ilmsdorf, Richau district, East Prussia, at the age of 20 years.

P. Molchanov, former editor of the newspaper 5 Army “Let's destroy the enemy!” About Roza Shanina:

“9 June 1944 of the year on the front page of our army newspaper“ Let's destroy the enemy! ”A portrait was printed. Below the portrait is the text: “The name of the girl sniper Rosa Shanina is well known to the fighters and officers of the Nth unit. A former kindergarten teacher, a student at the Arkhangelsk Pedagogical School, she has now become a formidable and merciless fighter of the Nazi occupiers. One of the first among female snipers, Rosa Shanina was awarded the highest soldier's award — the Order of Glory. ”

Not a single word here was an exaggeration. Rosa really knew everything, and the regiment in which Shanin served served her legends about her courage.

In life, Rose was more beautiful than it appeared on the newspaper photo. Growth above average, fair-haired, blue-eyed. Saying lingering, Arkhangelsk, with the pressure on the "o". She was born in a remote northern village. Not particularly talkative, but angry - for a word in his pocket does not fit. In 14 years, deciding to study, in defiance of the will of her parents, she left home and, after walking 200 kilometers through the taiga to the railway, arrived in Arkhangelsk. She entered the pedagogical college. And when the war began, I went to the military registration and enlistment office to ask for the front. They refused: she was only sixteen.

Rosa joined the detachment of general education, but it did not take a week for her not to go to the military registration and enlistment office. Again and again, having tried, it seemed, all the methods: convictions, persuasion, and tears, proved that her place was only at the front. At the military registration and enlistment office, having amazed her perseverance, they finally surrendered and sent Rosa to the Central Female Sniper School in Podolsk. She graduated from school with honors and volunteered for the front.

Rosa's first shot sounded 5 on April 1944 of the year southeast of Vitebsk. He was accurate. A month later, she had 17 destroyed by the Nazis.

On June 22, 1944, our 5th Army, with a crushing and sudden blow to the enemy, southeast of Vitebsk crushed his defenses. The breakthrough included Tanks, rifle divisions quickly followed tanks. Now our snipers, who previously played one of the main roles, had to go within the second tier. Yes, and the girls were tired of the order for a month and a half of work at the forefront. They were ordered to make maximum use of any halt for recreation and in no case to be connected to the fighting of the advancing infantry.

Rosa was unhappy that she would have to walk in the rear, and decided to get the shooter in the direction of the battalion or reconnaissance. But the commander of the 144-th division flatly refused her: "You still have time to succeed." The girl stood up: "Comrade General, let me turn to the commander." The general was surprised, but he allowed, hoping that she would hardly have the courage to turn to the commander himself, and would calm down.

The next day, Rosa went to the army headquarters, made her way to the reception to the commander of the army, General N. I. Krylov. Quickly, everything is laid out, it stands and looks at him with pleading eyes. Thin, very young. The commander did not want the girl to be at the forefront now, when there was no urgent need. But how to refuse? After all, she, a soldier, was full of determination to turn to him. It can be seen, aspiration and character do not hold her. And refusal can be understood as disbelief in her strength, infringement of patriotic dignity. The usual human pity surely perceive as an insult. Well, how can I refuse? ...

From that day on, Rosa could only be found at the forefront.

Portraits of Rosa Shanina and stories about her incredible courage actions appeared in the press every now and then. And not only in our army newspapers, but also in magazines that were published in Moscow, for example, in Ogonyok.

... 30 January 1945, I was informed that Rosa was seriously injured in battle. The wound was fatal. When I got to the hospital, Rosa was already buried. Among her personal belongings was a front diary - three thick notebooks. And if I took it to myself, it was only because of the compatriot friendship she trusted me many personal secrets. We often saw each other, and since the end of July 1944, in about six months, I received 16 letters from Rosa Shanina. These letters and diaries will speak for themselves. ”

From letters

29 July 1944 year
Please pass on to the destination and assist me. If you knew how passionately I want to be with the fighters on the very front line and destroy the Nazis. And now, imagine, instead of the best - in the rear. And recently we have lost four more black and one red very (black - dead, red - wounded). I want to avenge them.

I ask you to talk with whom you should, although I know that you are very busy.

8 of August
I recently went AWOL. Accidentally lagged behind the company at the crossing. And did not look for her. Good people said that leaving the rear to the forefront is not a crime. And I knew that our training company would not go on the offensive, but would go around behind. I need to be on the front line, to see with my own eyes what kind of a real war it is. And then, how was the search for your company? All around, through the forests and swamps, the Germans were reeling. Walking alone is dangerous. I went to the battalion, which was going to the front line, and on the same day I was in a battle. People died next to me. I shot, and successfully. And after three captured ... healthy such fascists.

I'm happy! Although I was reprimanded for AWOL, I even received a Komsomol punishment - they put it in appearance.

Sniper Rose Shanina

Sniper Rose Shanina with her weapons - sniper rifle sample 1891-30 of the year, with an optical sight PU mounted on it

From diary

12 of August
The commander did not allow to go further with his battalion. Said, "Come back, girl, to the rear."

Where to go? It's getting light. I see a clock looms in the distance. But whose? On rye crawled closer. Our! Sleep tired after the fight. And the hour nap is standing. Scared him. He asked who I was and why I came. He advised to rest. But then they passed along the chain that a German counterattack was expected. Where is there to sleep. Took a cell. Soon I saw about a hundred German tanks with a landing party. Then our artillery hit. I also shot at the paratroopers. One German tank broke into our positions. Next to me, a few meters away, the senior lieutenant and the fighter crushed the tank tracks. Here I jammed shutter. I sat down, fixed the problem and shot again. That went straight at me tank. Ten meters already. I felt the belt where the grenades should be. As luck would have it, they were not there. Apparently, she lost when crawling on rye. I sat down. The tank passed by. A little more, and the tanks ran into the dense Katyush fire. Turned back. And many remained in place. I shot at the Nazis, got out of the wrecked cars. After the fight, I saw how many were killed and wounded in a day. It became terrible. But she pulled herself together. It is clear that you have to fight, avenge for the fallen comrades.

A little rest and went to look for our female platoon, hidden somewhere in the rear. Out on the road. I casually glanced in the direction of the ravine and I see that the German is standing. Shouted: "Hyundai hoh!" Six hands rose: it means that there are three of them. One babbled something, I did not understand. Know only shout: “Hurry, go ahead!” And showed with a rifle - crawl, they say, to me. Crawled out. Weapon selected. Gone a little, I see, a German in one boot. So he asked for permission to wear a second boot. She led them to the village. One asks: “Gut or kaput?” I say: “Gut” - and I lead them further, with a rifle in my hand, grenades and a Finn in my belt - well, like a real warrior. Prisoners surrendered to whom should.

From the letter

31 of August
Thank God, finally we are back in battle. All we go to the front. The score increases. I have the largest - 42 killed by the Nazis, Ekimova - 28, Nikolaeva - 24.

From diary

10 October.
I cannot reconcile with the thought that Misha Panarin is no more. What a nice guy was. They killed ... He loved me, I know that, and I know him. Educated, simple, nice guy.

My heart is heavy, I am twenty years old, and there is no close friend.

17 October
Again, ready to run to the front, some kind of force leads me there. How to explain? Some people think that I am aiming for a friend. But I don't know anyone there. I want to fight!

I am leaving. What a pleasure to be on the front line! Our platoon is in reserve, no one is following us.

18 October
Attacks. Finally crossed the German border. We are advancing on German territory.

Captives. Killed The wounded. Attacked the pillbox. They also took 27 prisoners: 14 officers. Strongly resisted. I am going "home" to my platoon.

Today was with General Ghazaryan, then with the head of the political department. Asked to the front. Cried, that not allowed.

20 October.
Yesterday I was again on the run, I went on the attack. Attacked. But we were stopped. Rain, mud, cold. Long nights

From the letter

21 October
Again I complain to you that they are not transferring intelligence. They refused completely. And yet I am constantly with scouts. The authorities do not expel to the rear, and I am pleased. Mood, more than ever, good.

Here again, the team "forward!".

Sniper Rosa Shanina and her commander A. Balaev, 1944 year

From diary

24 October
Write no conditions, fought. She went along with everyone. The wounded. Killed She returned from the front by order of the regiment. Again inaction.

Oh God, how many gossip about my absence. Even friends met with irony: who was it? If they knew the truth, they would envy. But I am silent. If they even think to follow my example, my free life will end. Let them think what they want.

25 October
Yet how nice when there is a close friend. Sasha (Alexandra Ekimova), sometimes it’s fun to be with you and in sadness. I share with you all that is in my heart.

I remember mom! Honey, how I want to see you!

28 October
For a place under Pilkalleleon fought already legally. This time let go. The city we took. In repelling one of the most violent attacks of the enemy, I shot, it seems, particularly well. Shot a lot and at close range. We lay on the edge of the forest beyond the embankment. When the fascists crawled, only helmets were visible. 200 meters - I shoot. One hundred meters. The Nazis rose to their full height. And only when we were about twenty meters apart, we moved away. Captain Aseev, Hero of the Soviet Union, was killed nearby.

In the evening, tired, I went to the command post of the regiment and ate for the first time that day. I fell asleep tightly. Suddenly shooting, the Germans crept up to the checkpoint. The artillerymen first noticed the enemy and drove them away.

From letters

1 November
On the third day, Sasha Koreneva, her friend in arms, was buried. Two more of our girls were injured: Vaz Lazorenko and Zina Shmeleva. Maybe you remember them?

3 November
She returned from the front completely exhausted. I will remember this war. Four times the place passed from hand to hand. Three times I left from under the very nose of the fascists. In fact, the war in the territory of the enemy is a serious matter.

From diary

7 November
Again was at the forefront. And at this time, it turns out, the photo reporter came from Moscow. The general called me, and I do not know where,

A letter arrived from Arkhangelsk. Countrymen saw my photo in a journal and write that they are proud of my exploits. But they overestimate me too much. I do only what every Soviet soldier is required to do. And I don’t deserve any particular fame.

In this photo, fighting friends, female snipers Rosa Shanina, Alexandra Yekimov and Lydia Bazhenova

From the letter

15 November
On the "hunt" now I do not go. Slightly unwell. Sasha Ekimova and I were awarded with the Certificate of Honor of the Komsomol Central Committee.

From diary

18 November
The mood is nasty. I saw Nicholas. The first time he met when I ran to the front. I like it a little, although it does not shine with education and education. But I respect him for courage. For some reason I drive myself into the head that I love him. Maybe because being lonely is hard. I want to have a close friend, a good friend.

I do not think about marriage. Not the time now.

Wrote a letter to the front-line stranger.
(In the diary there was an unsent letter from a certain Masha).

Letter to Masha

Hello, Masha!

Sorry that I call you that, I do not know the middle name. I decided to write when I accidentally found out about your letter to Claudia Ivanovna.
You write that you madly love Claudia's husband. And she has a five year old child. You apologize to her not for allowing yourself an impermissible thing, but for going to build life with her husband in the future. You justify yourself by not being able to raise a child alone, who will soon have to appear, and that she allegedly did not know before if N. A. had a wife and children.
You write: “What will I answer to my child when he asks where is the father?” And what will Claudia Ivanovna answer to his son, who already knows his father well? After the war, he will ask: "Why does not dad come?"
If it is hard for you to stop loving a person who has been encountered on the roads of war, then how will Klavdiya Ivanovna forget her beloved husband?
Who am I? Like you, I came to the front. I'm a sniper. Recently was in the rear. On the way, on the train, I often felt gratitude to people who looked at my awards. But I also had to hear unpleasant words. Why? Why do others look askance at the girl in the tunic? This is your fault, Masha. I did not find a place for myself then; I cannot calm down even now, having returned to the front.
I often wonder how we, the military girls, will return from the war? How will we meet? Really suspicious, despite the fact that we risked our lives and many of us died in the battles for our Motherland. If this happens, the blame will be those who fought off other people's husbands.
Think that not only Klavdiya Ivanovna will not forgive you, but we all will, and we are many.
That's all I wanted to say.

Rosa Shanina

From diary

20 November
How many invitations yesterday for the evening in honor of the Day of Artillery - called "Katyushnik", reconnaissance, 120-I battery and many more. I went to the gunners.

23 November
Received a letter from the tank. It turns out that they remember me and the way I laughed with them defiantly and sang "The Germans stomped, their darned uniforms." They write that they saw my photo in a magazine. And I have not seen her yet.

From the letter

26 November
Now in the spare shelf. We rest again. Soon completely forget what it is, advanced. Understand the thirst of my life - fight. And what? I can not get my way. Send to where rarely even shoot. And now invented a vacation. Sasha and Lida lie on their bunk and sing: "An hour passes by one hour." The song spoils my mood even more.

Sasha Ekimova, Rosa Shanina, Lida Vdovina. May 1944 of the year

From diary

27 November
Yesterday there were dances. Dance doesn't matter. And today we bathed in a bath. They remembered how the Germans captured our girls. That was in May. Fascist scouts caught two snipers, Anya Nesterova and Lyuba Tanaylova, during a search on the front line. Where are they now? Are they alive? In the hands of executioners ...

For the first time I saw the German frau. Revenge them for friends? Not. I have no hatred for them. And I hate fascists and kill in cold blood. And in this I see the meaning of my life now. And my future is uncertain. Options: 1) to college; 2) the first fails, then I will completely surrender myself to raising orphans.

And why does it only occur to me! I decided here, in a spare regiment, to study the connection, Morse code. Communication courses behind the wall. Not bad to have several different specialties.

2 December
Boredom. Behind the wall plays the accordion. I want to go where the fight is. It is impossible. Why? What are these unconscious bosses.

5 December
She changed her mind about her life, about justice, about girls. I sometimes regret not being born a man. No one would pay attention to me now, no one would regret it, but I would fight from the bottom of my heart as I would like. The most strange. But in battle, I'm not afraid of anything. After all, I was not afraid of the tank that passed over my head. And yet still in stock.

I got used to Sasha and Kaleria, and I am bored without them. I respect them a lot, more than other girls. It is easier to live with friends. We are three from different families. We have different characters. But there is something in common. We are friends, and hard. Kaleria is a good girl. Brave, without a shadow of selfishness. I appreciate it most of all in people. Sasha is sensible. Understands all questions. Her memory is golden. Sasha, Kaleria and I - “Wandering Three”. How will I live without them, when the war is over and we will part in different directions?

I like both Eva Novikova and Masha Tomarova. Eve is a bit hot-tempered, but still a world girl. Neat, modest, independent. Masha never gives up, and when sad, she sings songs.

7 December
I saw in the German newspaper photos of our snipers - Nesterova and Tanaylova. They are said to have been tortured by the fascists, but they said nothing ...

I often remember my beloved, native Arkhangelsk - the Dynamo stadium, the theater, the film Ars and Victory ...

13 December
The day before yesterday was a collection of army snipers. They talked about me: they say, I show a good example.

Yesterday I was hurt in the shoulder. Interestingly, two days ago I had a dream, as if I had been wounded, and also in the shoulder. Yesterday I sit on the firing point, I remembered about the dream. A few minutes later, startled. The bullet of a fascist sniper hit me in the very place where I saw a wound in a dream. I did not feel the pain, I just doused my entire shoulder with something hot. The operation was painful. But it seems that the wound is not dangerous - two small holes, although they were cut so that, probably, the month will not heal. I lie. The joint is whining. I will soon run away, but I do not know what will happen next ...

From the letter

17 December
While being treated. The wound is still bothering. I am sent to an army rest home. It's actually good there. But I want to consult. Isn't it better to be asked to go to the hospital? From the hospital can be sent to the battalion, and not to the sniper platoon. Why do I want to leave the platoon? Not because it did not take root. I have a good character, I am friends with everyone, although, of course, I can’t do without disputes. But it's still too quiet here. I want cod at work. This is my need, instinct. How to explain to you? Well, you know, I thirst for a fight every day, every minute. I can be more helpful to our common cause.

Sniper Rose Shanina with her rifle, 1944 year

From diary

18 December
Every day I see Sasha and Kalya in my dream. How I missed them. Letters from acquaintances and strangers are brought to me.

Just come from the movie. It was a film "Lermontov". Lermontov's character is mine. I decided to follow his example, as I see fit, right. And I really want to be in something first.

How I like the character of Lermontov ...

27 December
When you live well, you do not want to write. I read Sister Kerry and Bagration. Good books. “Oh, Kerry, Kerry! Oh, blind dreams of the human heart! "Forward, forward," it repeats, striving to where its beauty calls for. "

I read and thought that the words of Theodore Dreiser refer to you. And Bagration, too, “What does fame mean is either to split your skull in the name of the Motherland, or to shatter someone else's ...” - these are the words. I'll do it, by golly.

I saw a lot of pictures: “In old Chicago”, “Wait for me”, “Submarine number 9”. The latter is particularly liked. The rest is so-so ...

Last night I went for a walk. She pounded some guy. “Give, says, I will kiss you. Four years old girls did not kiss. ” And so I looked that I was deeply moved. "Damn you, I say, kiss, only once." And she almost crying from incomprehensible pity ...

January 8 1945 years
There was no paper, and I have not written down anything for a long time. After the rest I went to a member of the Military Council in order to achieve my goal - to get to the front line. Then there was the army commander. With great difficulty, she convinced me to go on the next offensive. Finally. Mood is good.

For the reflection of the counterattack in the first battle, she received the medal "For Courage".

13 January
All night did not sleep. I feel bad. Sick. German shoots hard. Today from nine to eleven thirty our artillery preparation lasted. Started "Katyusha." Wow and gave pepper fascists. The situation is still unclear. Just built a dugout, and the mood is already suitcase. We are waiting for our offensive ... Forward, only forward ...

14 January
Behind Belarus and Lithuania. And here Prussia. On the left flank our advanced far. But still shooting is audible. All morning rumbles cannon. All went ahead, but for our platoon there were not enough carts. Did not eat dinner and did not have breakfast.

15 January
They arrived with the rears of the division in Eidkunen. In the morning I put on a white camouflage, kissed everyone and went.

In an hour I will be on the front line.

16 January
Got to the gunners. When we went to the attack, I was in the car. From samokhodchiki went to the regiment. Reported that I was allowed to be on the front line. They believed it, but with difficulty. And they accepted me only because they know that I am a sniper. Unbearable wind. Blizzard. The land is damp. Mud. Maskhalat already unmasks me - too white. Smoke hurts my head. Advise me - better come back to the platoon. And my heart says: “Go! Go! ”I submit to him. Come what may!

How many victims were yesterday, but still I went ahead.

I sit and reflect on fame. A notable sniper called me in the newspaper “Destroy the enemy!”, In the magazine “Spark” the portrait was on the first page. But I know that I have done little else, no more than I owe as a Soviet person who stood up to defend his Motherland. Today I agree to go on the attack, at least in hand to hand. No fear. Ready to die in the name of the motherland.

17 January
She went on the offensive with the infantry. Moved forward several kilometers. We were beaten by violinists (six-barreled mortars). Nearby people tore apart. We had to shoot and bandage the wounded. She took a German house by storm. During the assault, she killed two fascists: one near the house, the second when he leaned out of the self-propelled gun. It is a pity that brought little use as a sniper.

The last letter from Rosa

17 January
Sorry for the long silence. There was no time to write. It was my military life on this front. The fights were harsh, but I somehow miraculously survived and unharmed. Went to attack in the forefront. Excuse me for not listening to you. I do not know myself, but some kind of power draws me here, into the fire.

I just came to my dugout and immediately sat down to write to you. I'm tired, after all, three attacks a day. The Germans resisted terribly. Especially near the old estate. It seems that everything is lifted from the bombs and shells into the air, they still have enough fire to keep us away. Well, nothing, by morning we will still overcome them. I shoot at the fascists, who protrude from behind the houses, from the hatches of tanks and self-propelled guns.

Perhaps they will kill me soon. Please send a letter to my mother. You ask why I was going to die. In the battalion where I am now, only 78 remained from 6. And I'm not holy either.

Well, dear comrade, be healthy, sorry for everything.

rose flower

Sniper Rose Shanina with Orders of Glory 2 and 3 degree

Last blog entry

24 January
I have not written for a long time, there was no time. Two days were terrible battles. The Nazis filled the trench and defended rabidly. Because of the strong fire you have to drive in self-propelled guns, but rarely you can shoot. It is impossible to stick out of the hatch.

Only a few times I crawled out onto the armor of the car and shot at the enemy soldiers running away from the trench.

By the evening of January 22, we still knocked out the Nazis from the estate. Our self-propelled gun successfully passed anti-tank ditch. In the excitement, we have advanced far ahead, and since we did not disclose our whereabouts, our Katyusha struck us by mistake. Now I understand why the Germans are so afraid of "Katyusha". This is the light!

Then she went on the attack, and in the evening she met her divisional scouts. They offered to go with them in intelligence. Gone. Captured 14 fascists.

Now we are moving forward pretty quickly. The Nazis run without looking back.

We have equipment! ... And the whole army is moving. Good!

Large iron bridge across the river passed without interference. Felled trees lay around the bridge - the Germans did not have time to make a blockage ...

On this diary of Rosa Shanina breaks off.

The rose was buried under a sprawling pear tree on the bank of a quiet Alla river (now called Lava) in the Kaliningrad region. Rosa is the only warrior who died in these places, whose remains during the reburial were not transferred to a mass grave in Znamensk. The grave of Rosa Shanina was restored by the pioneers from Telmanovka 4 in May 1965.

Eternal glory and memory!

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  1. Alexander
    Alexander 6 February 2011 03: 07
    A desperate girl ... Oh, and what a beautiful one ... She would have to run dancing, fall in love and give birth to children ... War. Earth rest in peace, we owe you ...
  2. Vladimir
    Vladimir April 12 2011 23: 20
    The other day I was looking at a photo on the site about the 2nd World War, and especially to the point of tears I was struck by the girls heroes! including rose! bright memory to her! and now, in search of information about her, I wandered here! many thanks to the creator of the site! and here, still under the impression of the feat of these girls, I made a video in memory of them, try to insert a link to it, I don’t know if it will work out?
  3. Escander
    Escander April 18 2011 22: 46
    Eternal memory to our heroes.
  4. kopar
    kopar 13 December 2012 13: 08
    Her diaries were most struck. There was no heroism, pathetics. Ordinary work .... The country in her person lost a very good person .....