In the stories of the bravest snipers, you will always find the tale of Roza Shanina, a Soviet sniper who was credited to taking out close to 60 Nazi soldiers. Although she later lost her life in the war, her two years of service is one of those things that have not been forgotten.
Roza who became known as the “unseen terror of East Prussia,” is also regarded as one of the deadliest female snipers to have lived.
Biography of Roza Shanina
The Soviet sniper was born on April 3, 1924, in the east of Leningrad which is now known as St. Petersburg into the family of Georgiy Mikhailovich Shanin and milkmaid Anna Alexeyevna Shanina. She was brought up in the village of Yedma, Arkhangelsk Oblast, her birthplace.
She got her elementary education In Yeda and after she was done with that, she proceeded to the village of Bereznik where she had her middle school education.
By 1938, the young Roza would be walking to and from the city of Arkhangelsk, covering 200 kilometers in order to continue with her education. She remained with her brother in the city until she finally got the admission she desperately needed to study literature.
It was also at this point that she Komsomol political party which is better known as All-Union Leninist Young Communist League.
While she was in school, she was offered a dorm and stipend which sustained her, but after the Nazis invaded, the economy crumbled and she was forced to take a teaching job after she lost her stipends.
How she became a soldier and sniper
Following the Soviet invasion and the beginning of the bombing of Arkhangelsk, she volunteered as a firefighter. Roza took a position on the rooftops in order to protect the children and other kids.
By December 1941, she suffered a personal tragedy after her brother, Mikhail was killed in one of the bombings. That changed everything for her as she was now more determined than ever to join the war and avenge the death of her brother.
The first obstacle she faced was that women were not allowed to join the war. This prohibition soon gave way after the situation became too dire, paving the way for Shina and thousands of women to join the war. A good number of such women would go on to achieve great things in the war.
Roza Shanina enrolled in the Female Sniper Academy after she got admitted into the Vsevobuch universal military training program. She graduated before her 20th birthday with honors in April 1944. It was obvious that her skill was unmatchable and so she was begged to remain and teach instead of going to the war front. However, she joined the war to fight, and fight she would do.
The sniper was made commander of the in the 184th Rifle Division’s female sniper platoon. Three days after joining the front, she made her first kill from the tunnel from where she killed a German soldier. He was the first person she ever killed and her legs gave way after she realized what she did. She was soon reminded that it was a fascist that she killed.
Achievements of Roza Shanina
By May, she had already done a lot to earn her the Order of Glory award. What makes this award even more significant is that it was the first time that a female sniper would be so honored.
She is regarded for her excellent shooting abilities; she could take out two targets in quick succession. Although she has mostly been kept at the rare, something that frustrated her even though it was based on the Soviet policy of keeping women protected, she still managed to take out 59 kills that were confirmed.
Roza Shanina asked to be allowed to go to the front but permission was not granted to her. Because of this, she would often sneak out on her own, helping her to kill more Nazis, adding to her number of “dead little Hitlers.”
In no time, she attracted the attention of the media, with many headlines all written about her. At this point, the sergeant who was described as Red Army Girl was still piling up the dead bodies of Nazis. She also got the nickname of “unseen terror of East Prussia,” becoming more of a celebrity among the Russians.
The death of the Soviet Union sniper
By the start of 1945, the diary entries of Roza had become rather gory and sorrowful. She revealed how she now believed she was incapable of love again. She also revealed how the days were now long and how she was receiving filthy compliments from the guys.
On January 24th, she made an entry revealing how the colonel’s son kissed her forcibly. Unfortunately, her end came only three days later as she was found with a gunshot wound to the chest. She died protecting a wounded officer.
She got a burial with military honors in eastern Germany.