Generally, in a lot of countries in the world we can see that men claim women are not able to perform some job or actions like them. Under this argument, women’s rights were so restricted and limited in the past. They did not have the opportunity to get proper education and to work in more relevant places. They were discriminated because of their gender, not because of their qualities, dispositions and abilities. This trend began to change finally. Especially, in the 20th century, women’s most of the rights like men were granted by constitutes, declarations. Several women were very influential in the break of this unjust discrimination. Roza Shanina was one of this women.
I would like to dedicate my next article to a great female sniper who was also described like unseen terror of East Prussia – Roza Shanina. Women actively participated in WW2, Roza Shanina was one of the most notable snipers during WW2.
She was born in 3 April 1924 at the north of Russia, Archangelsk Oblast. She had 6 siblings in her family. Her childhood was a tumultuous period in USSR as collectivization policy had been conducted. And when she became younger, the war also came to their door. In December 1941, Roza and her family received death certification about Mikhail who was Roza’s elder brother. This tragic news was a tipping point in Roza’s life and she also decided to join war and protect her nation as a patriotic communist from the occupation of Nazi Germany.
Shanina decided to be a marksman. In 1943 she was allowed to join Central Female Sniper Academy. In 1944, she joined to 184th Rifle Battalion. She was talented and precise and a very short period of time, she began to hit enemy targets. During the war, she was officially credited with 59 kills and twelve of these occurred during the Battle of Vilnius.
At the December 1944, she was wounded by her shoulder. She said that she did not feel anything, but she felt hot. However, operation was necessary and she had to take a rest and treatment. She was back to action to the front-line less than a month for protecting her motherland.
She had a diary during her war-time and she wrote her memories, difficulties and depicted her life there. She kept her diary from 6 October 1944 to 24 January 1945. In the 16th January there was a tense shooting and her battalion lost 72 people of 78 soldiers. Death was coming for Roza, too. This time Roza was not lucky and in the 27th January, she was wounded severely while shielding a wounded army officer. Despite all of the efforts, she could not resist and died one day later…
She was a very modest person. Despite, her heroic actions and popularity, she only wrote to her diary that What I’ve actually done? No more than I have to as a Soviet man, having stood up to defend the motherland. She also wrote, “The essence of my happiness is fighting for the happiness of others. It’s strange, why is it that in grammar, the word “happiness” can only be singular? That is counter to its meaning, after all. … If it turns necessary to die for the common happiness, then I’m braced to. (Credits to Wikipedia) When she was dying, she told the nearby nurse Yekaterina Radkina that she had regretted having done so little.
She was honored for her bravery and accurate precision in the battlefields. She was the first woman and first servicewoman of the 3rd Belarussian front to be awarded Order of Glory 3rd Class. Later she was also honored Order of Glory 2nd Class. Later she also received Medal of Courage.
Roza Shanina was one of the heroic women who put her personal life into jeopardy for serving and protecting her nation from Nazi Germany. She also demonstrated that women like men can serve and protect their homelands in that courage. She will always remain as an epitome and hero for every child, especially for girls.