Evdokia Zavaliy - the only female commander of a marines platoon during World War II

Evdokia Nikolaevna Zavaliy was born on May 28 of the year 1926 in the village of Novy Bug, Novobugsky district, Nikolaev region.

Before the war, she worked on the collective farm named after Kotsyubinsky, Novobugsky district. Hoe sugar beet hoe, raked up hay, raked on a current golden wheat grain. The war for her began on July 25.


Here is what Evdokia Zavaliy says about this:

“Suddenly we see - black spots appeared on the white sky above our village.
The brigadier already whistled: "Parachute assault!" There was a growing roar, and the enemy aircraft began to bomb. We rushed home. Having run into the courtyard, I heard someone's moan and, glancing under the old Antonovka, I was stunned: a young border guard (in our village there was a headquarters of the frontier guard) was lying in a pool of blood. I do not remember how I ran into the hut, tore a sheet on the bandages, how I could band it, look - it wounded another, then another ...
When the last military unit left the New Bug, leading bloody battles, I persuaded the commander to take me with him. I wanted to run home for a blouse, but near the house I ran into my grandmother. Seeing me, the woman screamed out: “Oh, what are you doing? Come back, my gold! ”
And then suddenly she hugged and whispered something and looked into her eyes:
- Onuchechka! Four times you will drain the blood! But you will bring white geese ... And the cross.
My grandmother treated people with herbs and predicted fate. I lived 114 for years. ”

The part with which Evdokia Zavaliy went to war was the 96 Cavalry Regiment of the 5 Cavalry Division of the 2 Cavalry Corps. In order to be taken to the front, she had to add three years to herself, and tell the regimental commander that she was 18. She served as a nurse in the regiment.

It is worth noting that in the materials about our heroine, including Wikipedia, it is written that Evdokia Nikolaevna was born in 1924, although she herself repeatedly said in an interview that she had not turned 16 during the war. Here is one passage:
“I’m quite a girl who went to war, sixteen more didn’t knock. Three times I ran to the military commissar, and he told me everything: “First, dab the milk!” - “What kind of milk?” “Motherly, it hasn't dried yet!”

and here is the second one:

“Girl, honey, we don’t take children to the front,” Dusya didn’t even ask what question she came up with, in a tired voice she gave her decision to the military commissar.
- Go home, probably, the parents were already waiting!
- Home? I want to beat the fascists!
- Look at yourself, the nurse’s milk has not dried yet, and there too - to the front, - already annoyed the commissar.
- According to the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, the military-obliged 1905-1918 years of birth are subject to mobilization, - he reminded the girl goodbye.
Stepping out of the military commissar Dusya, decided to come again. But the second visit did not bring the desired result.
- Oh, the defender of the motherland! - already as a friend met her military commissar, - and for how many years this defender?
- Seventeen!

- Yesterday it was fifteen, if it goes on like this, then in a couple of days you will reach the draft age, - he said, smiling, the military commissar, - and you will have to positively solve your question.


Wikipedia articlewhich, obviously, is currently the primary source of biographical data for other publications about Evdokia Nikolaevna, when determining the date of her birth, refers to the resource “The best people of Ukraine”, where the date is 28 of May 1924 of the year. Undoubtedly, it was from Wikipedia that this date was distributed throughout the Internet.

We will proceed from the fact that Evdokia Nikolaevna knows better how old she was when she went to war, so in this article they wrote that she was not born in 1924, but in 1926 year.

After she managed to escape from the environment in her home village of 13 on August 1941, Yevdokia Nikolayevna asked the fighters to show how to handle weapons. I learned to shoot from a carbine, a pistol and a machine gun.

Soon, during a retreat, she received a penetrating wound to the stomach when crossing the Dnieper near Khortitsa Island. Got to the hospital in the village of Kurgan near Krasnodar. The doctor wanted to commission her, but she insisted that she be left in the army. After being discharged from the hospital, Evdokia Nikolaevna was sent to a reserve regiment. There she received her first award - the Order of the Red Star. During the bombing she pulled out the unconscious wounded officer on the cape, bandaged and brought to her senses, for which she was awarded.

There she happened to be reincarnated as a man. Here is what she herself recalls:

They sent me after being wounded in the reserve regiment. And there just "buyers" from the command came to recruit guys to the front. One of them, a sailor, calls me: “Guard senior sergeant, show your documents!” He reveals my letter and reads: “Senior Sergeant Zavaliy Evdok.” My name was so reduced in the hospital. “Evdokim’s Debris?” And I didn’t blink at him:
“Yes, Comrade Commander! Zavali Evdokim Nikolayevich! ”-“ I give fifteen minutes for fees! ”
- "There is!"
He did not even suspect that there was a girl in front of him. And I did not stand out among the guys: the same tunic and breeches, on the head after the hospital - a “hedgehog” with a chubchik - had to shave off a scythe so that the louses did not pester. They gave me ammunition, uniforms, and then sent ... to the bath.
- That is where the deception was revealed? Exposed "Evdokim" ...
- What do you mean! If they had known then, I would not have been blown away. Shooting article, with the command of a joke are bad! I stand neither alive nor dead with my wash, and past the guys in which the mother gave birth to wash run. I looked at the medical battalion’s tent and sawed to pick my face in blood so that there was no place for the bath. In the medical battalion, I was treated for wounds, and after two and a half hours at the village of Goryachiy Klyuch, senior sergeant Evdokim Zavaliy accepted the battle as part of the sixth airborne brigade.

Evdokia Zavaliy - the only female commander of a marines platoon during World War II

After Evdokia Nikolaevna under Mozdok captured a German officer, she was appointed commander of the intelligence department. Here is how Nikolai Boyko describes one of her battle episodes under Mozdok in the fall of 1942 of the year:

“The paratroopers' division, in which the senior sergeant Evdokim Zavaliy fought, was ordered to retire to previously occupied positions.
Send off, entrenched and it turned out that for good reason. The Nazis surrounded a handful of Soviet paratroopers with a tight ring. For seven days the fighters, showing examples of heroism, held their positions. Ammunition ended, it was necessary to do something. And here Evdokim offered to cross over to the other side of the turbulent river and try to replenish the stock of ammunition, as well as get food, they were also running out.
In the trench, they accidentally found a cable, one end of which the paratroopers hooked on a tree, and the second - the senior sergeant picked up and went to the enemy shore. It was getting light, cold water "encouraged" the girl and now she is already in place. I looked closely. Fascists are not visible.
“Yes, so early in the morning, probably the German patrol went into hibernation,” Dusya thought. Carefully, in order not to give herself away, she began to collect ammunition. The Germans did not have time to remove their dead, so there were enough ammunition and grenades.
“We put a lot of them, they will know Soviet paratroopers,” with these thoughts, Dusya collected the ammunition into two cape-tents. She put an invaluable load on a kind of raft, quickly assembled from the lids of shell boxes, tied the other end of the cable to an unusual watercraft and, going into the water, gave a signal to the paratroopers that she was ready to ferry ammunition.
Returning again to the enemy coast, Dusya changed into German uniform and took up a position in a roadside bush.
Morning has come. Fascist tanks went along the highway, having let them through, Dusya began to expect a more suitable transport. And her waiting, patience was crowned with luck. When the tanks disappeared behind the village of Hot Key, trucks followed them. Dusya let them close and let the line with the machine. The sailors from the other side supported her with firing from an anti-tank rifle. A shot with the PTR - a direct hit in the car, it caught fire, then hit the second truck ...
Running up to the cab of one truck, Dusya discovered a living fascist and silenced him with a machine gun once and for all. She rushed to the car body, another fascist lay under the tarpaulin, having liquidated it, found bread and canned goods in the car.
- Yeah, hungry, fascist scum! Today will have to fast.
Putting bread and canned food in the cape, glad that she had coped with the task, the girl thought and, letting the paratroopers know that they were carrying food, she went to her fighters.
The Germans discovered her when she began to swim across the river and opened mortar and machine-gun fire, but it was too late - the fighting sergeant Evdokim Zavaliy was met by fighting comrades and returned fire, with ammunition, which she dispatched from the enemy bank Dusya reconnaissance aircraft, though it was a girl, paratroopers learned later. "

Very heavy fighting went on the Kuban, in the area of ​​the stanitsa Krymskaya. Evdokim Zavaliy was already a company foreman. There the company was surrounded, and at the height of the clash the commander was killed. Noticing the confusion of the fighters, Evdokia Nikolaevna rose to her full height and shouted: "Company!" Listen to me! Forward, follow me! ”The fighters rose to the attack, and the resistance of the enemy managed to be broken and out of the encirclement. In this battle, our heroine received a second severe wound. It was then that they exposed "Evdokim."
"Unsubscribed" under the male name Evdokia Zavaliy has been fighting for 8 months.


Evdokia Nikolaevna was afraid that after the exposure she would be sent back to the nurse. However, taking into account her military achievements, she was sent February 1943 of the year to the courses of junior lieutenants in Frunze (now Bishkek).

In October, 1943, Lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy, was appointed platoon commander of a separate company of machine gunners of the 83 Brigade of Marines. After this appointment, some wits from other platoons laughed, calling her unit "Duskin platoon."

At first, the efforts of Evdokia Nikolaevna were directed to ensure that the fighters recognized her commander in her - all the same where it was seen that a woman (and Evdokia Zavaliy in general then 17 was there) commanded the peasants in the war.


“There was such a Vanya of Sowing,” said Evdokia Nikolaevna. - When he appeared in the platoon, he looked at me contemptuously and said that he would not submit to the woman. I commanded him: “Get out of action!” - but he does not go ... ”

In the end, the fighters recognized the commander in her:

“- I understood my duty as a platoon commander to lead the guys to attack,” said Zavaliy. - I get up and shout: “For the Motherland! For Stalin! Fight! Forward! ”And they all rise behind me, catch up and overtake me to cover me from bullets. By the way, in the battles for Budapest, Vanya Sowing has covered me with a breast from a sniper shot. For this feat, Vanya was posthumously awarded the Order of the Red Star ... "

To start “amorous affairs” Evdokia Nikolaevna considered at the front to be fundamentally impossible:
“If at least some thoughts arose on this, all is no platoon and no commander. I was a man for them, and there was no time for us, the marines, to turn love. You ask about this in other kinds of troops, maybe you can tell them. And I have nothing to tell, except that I returned home after the war as clean as the sky and the stars ... ”


Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Kuzmichyov, the commander of a company of machine gunners of the 83 th brigade of marines, in his post-war memoirs noted that a platoon of guard lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy was always at the forefront of military operations, served as a ram at the offensive of a brigade of marines. They were sent to where it was, especially, difficult.

Evdokia Zavaliy and her platoon terrified the nazis with impudent attacks, for which the Germans began to call the girl “Frau the Black Death”. She participated in the largest landing operation of the period of the Great Patriotic War - Kerch-Eltigen. Under the hurricane of enemy fire, the Marines were able to gain a foothold on the bridgehead and ensured the landing of the main forces. For this operation, she received the Order of the Patriotic War, I degree.


During the assault on 7 in May of 1944, the year of Sapun Mountain during the liberation of Sevastopol, she was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the II degree.

She was buried twice, and her name appeared on the mass graves. The first time was near Belgorod-Dniester, when at night they crossed the estuary, so that, having overcome a minefield, they could seize a bridgehead and hold it until the main forces arrived.
This is what Evdokia Nikolaevna told:

Barely reached the middle of the estuary, as from the opposite bank hit the enemy guns and machine guns. Several motorboats went to the bottom, the rest reached the shore and captured it. When the Germans began to retreat, my platoon pursued them. I did not notice how I had detached myself from my paratroopers, a projectile exploded nearby, and I was thrown back by the blast wave. She came to when it was dark, and heard the German language. The Germans walked around the battlefield and finished off our wounded.
She felt that they were approaching me, held her breath, and suddenly she was shedding pain in the leg with fire. One of the fascists pierced her with a bayonet to check whether the “rushish frau” was dead. Miraculously, she did not betray herself, but at dawn, when our battalions cleared the Nazi coast of the Dniester estuary from the Nazis, the local residents found me bleeding. At the headquarters of the brigade they decided that I was dead, and at a mass grave in Belgorod-Dniester, mine appeared among other names.


The second time she was buried in Bulgaria, and carved the name on the monument. When 25 came to Burgas years later as an honorary citizen of the city, one of the women met Evdokia Nikolayevna during a meeting with the townspeople and rushed to her with tears: “Daughter! You are alive!".


During the Budapest offensive operation (it is considered one of the bloodiest battles in stories humanity) platoon Evdokia Zavaliy was instructed to take the headquarters of the German command. It was decided to go through the sewer channel filled with sewage. Since there was nothing to breathe there, 15 oxygen pads were issued, which the fighters used in turn when moving around the collector. Unfortunately, they did not help everyone - two marines suffocated and remained in the dungeon forever.

To go to the surface of the steel on the third manhole, after destroying the guards - two Germans with a machine gun. Burst into the bunker. The Germans, who did not expect this, did not resist. The most valuable trophy turned out to be operational maps. Having “mastered” the bunker, the scouts fired from it. An incredible panic arose on the street ... Not understanding why they were shooting from their own bunker, the fascist warriors began to beat each other from machine guns. Tankmen opened indiscriminate fire.

A company and other units arrived - they took floor after floor and soon completely cleared the castle and adjacent neighborhoods of the Nazis.

They captured the general - he did not believe that the scouts had passed under the ground until he saw them, who did not have time to wash off dirt and impurities. When I heard that the platoon commander was a girl, I again did not believe it and was offended: “You couldn’t have imagined the worst mockery ?!”
Then Evdokia Nikolaevna recalls:

“They called me. She came to the headquarters dirty as hell, strikes from me for a kilometer. Major Kruglov, pinching his nose with a handkerchief, appeals to me: “Report how you captured the German general!” And suddenly the German gave me a Walter pistol — it was bad, you see, the guys searched him. “Frau rusish black commissioner! Gut! Gut! ”I goggled at the political department, they nod - take it. Then the guys made a personal inscription for me on this gun ... "

For this operation, Evdokia Zavaliy was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
“After that operation I had one thought - how to wash off this dirt,” recalled Evdokia Zavaliy. - We went to a local perfume shop, and I began to pour into the pot everything that came to hand, and then poured it all on myself. Since then, the perfume, I can not stand the spirit! "

One of the front-line newspapers of the time reported on the heroism of the guards: “Fighters led by a female officer were landed amphibious boats to the enemy’s rear. The task was to block the road, along which the fascist units, defeated near Budapest, retreated to Vienna. Six days the guys fought off violent attacks of the enemy. And then bombs fell on them from the air. From the direction of Budapest on the sailors moved "tigers". It seemed that it was all over. A handful of marines will not stand, they will not stand. But while help arrived, seven Nazi tanks were burning in front of the trenches of brave men. "Tigers" set fire to the sailors from the platoon of Lieutenant Zavaliy ... "

The war continued. It is ordered to take the height "203", which was an important strategic point. A platoon of Evdokia Zavaliy plunged onto boats and sailed to an unfamiliar shore. On the way he was attacked by enemy aircraft. There were killed and wounded, two boats were sunk. And yet they rose to the height, entrenched themselves. Fourteen attacks were repulsed in a day. The patrons took care. Shot only aiming. On the second day the supplies ran out. Neither rusk nor a sip of water. At night, the plane dropped over the detachment, dropped two bags of food, but unsuccessfully - one flew down the slope, the other caught the bush and hung over the precipice. They tried to get it - they lost three sailors: German snipers killed. The fourth man was wounded in the arms and legs, he took out the bag, got with him to the trench, and then he was struck to the death. Height defended. For this operation, the Marines were awarded awards. Our heroine received the Order of the Red Banner.
Grandma's prediction came true - she was injured 4 times. After one of the wounds, an urgent blood transfusion was required and the fighter of her platoon Hasan Huseynov, without thinking, gave up his blood and thus saved her life.

Guards Lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy went through a glorious military journey - she participated in the defense of the Caucasus, in the battles for the Crimea, Bessarabia, on the Danube, in the liberation of Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria, and Czechoslovakia.

After the war ended, they wanted to send her to study at a military school, but 4 was injured and 2 contusions she received during the war. In 1947, she was demobilized and left for Kiev. The military past did not leave her for a long time: “After the war I went on the attack for a long time at night. Shouted so that the neighbors were scared. And the grandmother prayed and said to her mother: “This is an unclean spirit that leaves her!” - recalled Evdokia Nikolaevna.



In Kiev, she met her future husband, got married. She has 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 4 great-grandson. Worked as a grocery store director.
She was active among young people. I have visited many cities, military units, ships and submarines with stories about my platoon of marines.
Guards Colonel of Marine Corps Evdokia Nikolaevna Zavaliy died in Kiev on May 5 of the year 2010.


Chevalier of four battle orders and almost 40 medals:
  • Order of the October Revolution
  • Order of the Red Banner
  • Order of the Red Star
  • Order of the Patriotic War, I and II degree
  • Medal of Honor"
  • medal "For the Defense of Sevastopol"
  • medal "For the capture of Budapest"
  • medal "For the capture of Vienna"
  • Medal "For the liberation of Belgrade"
  • other orders and medals
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