According to others, Evdokia was born in 1926, in the village of Novy Bug, Novobugsky district, Nikolaev region. The discrepancies in the dates of birth arose from the fact that 1924 indicated the year in some encyclopedias, while a number of publications refer to the words of Zavaliy herself from her interviews, in which she repeatedly said that she was not yet fulfilled 16 years. It is for this reason that the girl was not taken to the army, although she expressed such a desire and several times went to the military registration and enlistment office.
The brave girl from Nikolayevshchina began her combat career at the end of July 1941, with voluntary assistance to wounded soldiers and commanders of the Red Army. 25 July 1941, the German planes bombed her hometown of New Bug. Later, when the last Soviet unit left this line of 13 defense in August, she persuaded the commander to take her with her. At war, she was conducted by her own grandmother, who was known for treating people with herbs and predicting fate. The grandmother hugged her granddaughter and predicted four wounds to her and returning home: “Onuchechka! Four times you will drain the blood! But white geese will bring you ... ”“ My grandmother lived 114 years in the world, ”the war veteran later recalled.
The part with which the girl went to war was the 96 Cavalry Regiment of the 5 Cavalry Division of the 2 Cavalry Corps. At the same time, she had to add 3 of the year to herself so that she could be taken with her. She said to the regiment commander that she would soon be 18 years old. In the regiment she quickly became a medical orderly. “I learned how to administer tetanus toxoid serum to wounded soldiers and do many other medical operations that were entrusted only to experienced nurses,” recalled Evdokia Zavaliy after the war.
The first time Evdokia was wounded during the crossing of the Dnieper near the island of Khortytsya. The injury was serious - a fragment of a shell hit the girl in the stomach. Evdokia went to the hospital, located in the village of Kurgan near Krasnodar. Doctors were going to her commission, but the girl insisted on being left in the Red Army. After completing the treatment at the hospital, she was sent to a reserve regiment, in which she performed her first heroic act in the war. During the German bombing she pulled the wounded officer to safety, tied him up and brought her to her senses. For this act, she was presented to the Order of the Red Star.
Then at 8 months of her life she had to become a “man”. As Evdokia Zavaliy told after the war, the “buyers” from various military units arrived at the reserve regiment, where she was sent after the hospital, to recruit to the front line. One of them called the girl and invited the guard to the senior sergeant to show the documents. After reading the entry: “Senior Sergeant Zavaliy Evdok.” (This is how her initials were cut at the hospital), he thought that this was about Evdokim Zavaliy, and the girl did not persuade him. At that moment, she didn’t really stand out from the guys, she had long since broken up with a scythe, and after the hospital everyone was trimmed in the same way, they were all wearing a standard tunic and breeches.
So Evdokia was in the 6-th airborne brigade, which fought in the North Caucasus. After Evdokia Nikolaevna managed to capture a German officer under Mozdok, she was appointed commander of the intelligence department. In the new part of the girl fought heroically. In the autumn of 1942, she distinguished herself at the village of Hot Key, delivering ammunition and food that she had sent across the river to the severed unit of the paratroopers. Evdokia Zavaliy upheld the “unexposed” 8 months, becoming in part “her boyfriend.” Everything opened after another serious injury. During the heavy fighting in the Kuban region near the station, the Crimean company, in which Evdokia Zavaliy served, was surrounded. In the midst of battle, the commander of the compound died. Noticing that the fighters were somewhat confused, Evdokia Nikolaevna (then already a foreman) rose to her full “giant” height and with a shout: “A company! Listen to me! Go, follow me! ”Went on the attack. The fighters followed her and, breaking the resistance of the Germans, left the encirclement. In this battle, the brave girl was seriously wounded. Only then “Evdokim” was exposed.
The girl was afraid that, after exposing her, she could be sent to a nurse again. However, the exposure did not affect its further army fate. As Evdokia Zavaliy recalled: "No one even squealed." Most likely, all the military achievements accumulated at that time affected. After completing the treatment, the girl was sent in February 1943 to the city of Frunze (now Bishkek) for six-month junior lieutenant courses. After finishing these courses in October 1943, Evdokia Zavaliy was appointed a platoon commander in a separate company of machine gunners as part of the 83 Brigade of Marines. Immediately after her appointment, many officers and soldiers in the unit treated her with irony, calling her unit "Duskin platoon". However, very quickly the attitude towards her changed and the platoon received another nickname “Duskin Guardsmen”. At the same time, her submachine gunners called her like a commander or affectionately Evdokomushka.
It's amazing how a fragile girl managed to not only win over the soldiers, but also to achieve their submission and respect. The girl, who, after the war, recalled that more fascists were afraid of rats at the front, several dozen tall men were subordinate to, who unquestionably carried out her commands. Of course, not everything was smooth. For example, Vanya Sowing, who came to her platoon, immediately said that he would not obey the woman. However, in the battles for Budapest, it was he who covered Evdokia from a German bullet that hit him in the chest. The memory of all the fighters who passed through her platoon and who did not return from the war, Evdokia carried with her throughout her life.
Commanding a platoon of machine gunners, the brave girl took part in the largest landing operation of the period of the Great Patriotic War - Kerchinsko-Eltingen. Under the enemy's hurricane fire, its marines were able to gain a foothold on the bridgehead and ensure the landing of the main landing forces. For this operation was presented to the Order of the Patriotic War, I degree. She took part in the liberation of Sevastopol, storming Sapun Mountain (for this battle was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War, II degree). In the battles for Balaclava, Sugar Loaf and Kerch. She participated in the crossing of the Dniester Liman.
Alexander Kuzmichev, the commander of a company of machine gunners from the 83 Brigade of the Marine Corps, in his post-war memoirs said: “The platoon commanded by the guard, Lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy, was constantly at the forefront of the brigade’s operations, serving as a ram during the marines' attack. They were sent to areas where it was especially difficult. " By their active actions and daring attacks, Evdokia and her platoon led the enemy soldiers to real horror, for which the Germans gave the girl the nickname “Frau the Black Death”, and they called the paratroopers themselves “black commissars”.
Especially distinguished platoon commanded by Zavaliy managed during the Budapest offensive operation. Her platoon was tasked to seize the headquarters of the German command. To get to him through the streets was just unreal. But the marines found a way out. They decided to use the sewer channel, which was partially filled with sewage. Since it was very difficult to breathe in the collector, the assault group was given 18 captured oxygen pillows, which the fighters had to use in turn. At the same time, two marines choked and remained forever in the Budapest dungeons.
However, most of them were able to penetrate through the collector to the German rear. Getting out of the hatch, the soldiers eliminated one German machine-gun crew and broke into the fortified bunker. The Germans who did not expect the attacks offered no resistance. The most valuable captured trophy were enemy operational maps. Having “mastered” the bunker, the marines began to bombard the Nazis from the rear, who were disorganized by this shooting, panic began in their ranks. Soon a company of marines and other units of the Soviet troops came to the aid of Evdokia group. Together they captured the castle, which was the German headquarters, and liberated the nearby urban areas.
They also managed to capture a German general who refused to believe that the scouts had penetrated the Germans' location underground. He did not believe, until he saw the fighters, who had not yet had time to wash off the dirt and sewage. He didn’t believe the second time when he learned that a girl was in command of the group. The general was even offended, thinking that he was being bullied. Then Lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy was summoned to the headquarters, upon seeing that, the general said “Frau Rusish, the black commissar! Gut! Gut! ”And handed her his“ Walter ”. Later, the soldiers from her platoon made a personal inscription on this pistol. During this successful operation during the assault on Budapest, Evdokia was presented with the Order of the Red Banner.
During the war years, the girl was wounded and contused twice. But the prediction of her grandmother eventually came true, she returned home. At the same time, during the war years, the girl was “buried” twice. The first time it happened during the crossing of the Dniester estuary. Evdokia remembered all her life how two German soldiers walked through the area where the bodies of the marines lay. One of them pierced the body with a bayonet, and if the wounded fighter showed signs of life, the second German finished him with a shot to the head. Watching this terrible picture, Evdokia was forced to wait for her fate. During the attack after the crossing, she was very much hit by a projectile that exploded nearby, because of this she could not even move, much less take up weapon.
Feeling that the Germans came close to her, she tried to hold her breath and suddenly felt pain in her leg. One of the Germans pierced her with a bayonet, checking whether the “rusish frau” was still alive, Evdokia Zavaliy miraculously failed to show herself at that moment. Already at dawn, when her battalion managed to clear out from the Germans the western shore of the Dniester estuary, it was bleeding out by local residents. At this time, the headquarters of the 83-th brigade had already managed to find the girl dead. On the mass grave in Belgorod-Dniester among other names appeared her name. The second time this amazing girl was “buried” already in Bulgaria, her name was carved again on the monument, but she successfully managed to cheat death.
Guard Lieutenant Evdokia Zavaliy managed to go through a glorious military path. She took direct part in the defense of the Caucasus, the battles for the liberation of the Crimea, Bessarabia, in the battles on the Danube, liberated Yugoslavia, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Austria and Czechoslovakia from the fascists, sometimes with the platoon she went to attack on 8-9 times . After the end of the war, the brave girl wanted to be sent to study at a military school, but the injuries sustained in the battles made themselves felt, and in 1947, she was demobilized from the armed forces and moved to live in Kiev. Memories of the military past did not leave the girl for many years, after the war in a dream she went on the attack for a long time, while shouting so that even the neighbors were frightened. But over time, this passed, but her fellow soldiers, especially those who did not return from that terrible war, she remembered all her life.
In the capital of Ukraine, the girl found her love, got married. She had two children, four grandchildren and the same great-grandchildren. After the war, she worked as a grocery store director and actively participated in social activities. Visited with visits a large number of cities, military units and divisions, ships and even submarines, met with the younger generation, attended schools. Evdokia Zavaliy lived a long life, she passed away on 5 on May 2010 of the year, before the 65 anniversary of the Victory had passed a few days. During the life of Evdokia Nikolaevna Zavaliy became an honorary citizen of 8 cities, among which were Burgas, Varna, Belgorod-Dniester and New Bug.
Based on open source materials.