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"I'm tired of fighting, baby": stories of five heroines of the Great Patriotic War
"I'm tired of fighting, baby": stories of five heroines of the Great Patriotic War

On Defender of the Fatherland Day, it is customary to congratulate men. But they were not the only ones who fought in the Great Patriotic War: about a million women fought at the front. And today we want to talk about five of them.

"Make me at least one rivet for the tank": nurse Zinaida Tusnolobova


“My dear, dear Joseph! Forgive me for such a letter, but I can no longer be silent. I have only to tell you the truth … I suffered at the front. I have no arms and legs. I don't want to be a burden to you. Forget about me. Goodbye. Your Zina."

This letter was not given to Zinaida Tusnolobova immediately: she wrote it many days after the operation. She spent her husband Joseph to the war in the early days, she herself volunteered for the front in the summer of 1942, after graduating from a nursing school. In the first two battles, Zina carried 42 wounded from the battlefield and destroyed 11 fascists. For this feat she was awarded the Order of the Red Star.

February 1943 became fatal for the girl: a bullet broke both her legs. She lost consciousness, and came to herself from the scream of a German soldier. From his blows she again fell into oblivion: the man beat her with a butt on the face and head. We found Zina by accident: the scouts returning from the German rear heard a quiet groan. The girl had to be literally cut out of the frozen bloody mess.

For ten days the doctors fought for her life, but the frostbitten arms and legs could not be saved - gangrene began. After the operation, Zina, as best she could, encouraged the other wounded: she was carried in her arms from ward to ward. She even begged to take her to Uralmash, where she spoke to the workers, lying on a stretcher:


Glory and other stars who became parents early

Nastya Slanevskaya became a star by accident. In 2002, director Sergei Kalvarsky noticed a girl at karaoke. So Anastasia turned into a singer Slava. At the age of 17, Anastasia Slanevskaya became pregnant. The father of Alexandra's daughter, Konstantin Morozov, was engaged in business, but he and Slava had different views on life. Soon after the birth of Sasha in 1999, the couple broke up, but Slava did everything possible so that her child did not need anything. Now Anastasia already has two children: the eldest Alexandra and the youngest Antonina, who was born in 2011 from businessman Anatoly Danilitsky. Young Sasha already has a serious relationship, but Slava is not afraid that her daughter will repeat her fate. The singer is sure that she will be a great grandmother.

- Dear friends! I am twenty three years old. I am very sorry that I managed to do so little for my people, for the Motherland, for victory. Now I have neither arms nor legs. It is very difficult for me, it is very painful for me to remain on the sidelines. Comrades! I ask you very, very much: if you can, make at least one rivet for the tank for me.


After the performance, five tanks went beyond the plan to the front. Each was written: "For Zina Tusnolobova!"

Joseph did not want to part with Zinaida. “There is no such grief, there is no such torment that would force me to forget you, my beloved. Both joy and sorrow - we will always be together,”- said in his reply letter. After that, the girl agreed to the operation, which she had previously rejected, tired of endless pain. The bones of her left arm were split and sheathed with muscles to form two "fingers". With them, Zina learned to take things anew, wash, comb her hair, write.

Zina signed with Joseph immediately after the victory. They had two children: son Vladimir, then daughter Nina. Zinaida worked as a radio announcer, performed in schools and work collectives. Together with Joseph, they lived together for the rest of their lives: they grew an apple orchard, which they dreamed of during the days of the war, and rejoiced every peaceful day.

"It's scary to die at 22": underground worker Praskovya Savelyeva


The war found Praskovya Savelyeva in Lutsk: the girl was 22 years old. Not having time to evacuate, Pasha decided to fight the invaders in the city. Together with other Komsomol members, she organized an underground group that collected information about the location of enemy troops, helped Soviet soldiers who had escaped from captivity and organized sabotage on the railroad.

On December 22, 1943, the Germans arrested Praskovya and her comrades. After terrible torture, the girl was burned at the stake in the courtyard of a medieval Catholic monastery, where the prisoners were kept. An hour before the execution, Pasha managed to send a note to the next cell: “If they are taken out together, we must try to escape. Take heart! " However, the prisoners failed to free themselves.

Pasha scrawled on the wall of her cell: “A black, terrible moment is approaching! The whole body is mutilated - no arms, no legs … But I die in silence. It's scary to die at 22. How I wanted to live! In the name of the life of the future people after us, in the name of you, Motherland, we are leaving … Blossom, be beautiful, dear, and goodbye. Your Pasha."

Girl-tanker Alexandra Rashchupkina


Alexandra Rashchupkina managed to repeat the feat of the famous "cavalry girl" Nadezhda Durova, who in 1806 entered the military service under a male name. To get to the front, Nastya had to pretend to be a young man.

Alexandra was born in 1914 in Syr-Darinsk. The girl worked as a tractor driver, got married, gave birth to two children. Soon the family moved to Tashkent, where great grief befell them: both children died.

Alexandra's husband went to the front at the very beginning of the war, and the girl besieged the military registration and enlistment office with requests to send her to fight, insisting that if she was one of the first to master a tractor, then she would cope with a combat vehicle. However, these words did not make an impression, and then Sasha decided on a trick: she cut her hair short, put on men's clothes, came to the military registration and enlistment office and introduced herself as Alexander Rashchupkin.

There was a mess with the documents, so the lack of a volunteer's passport did not bother anyone. Alexandra first graduated from driver courses, then she was sent to study as a tank driver-mechanic. On examination, by some miracle, the girl convinced the doctor not to reveal her secret and soon got to the front.

Rashchupkina fought with the Germans as part of the famous 62nd Army of Vasily Chuikov, and for a long time no one suspected that a woman was sitting at the control levers of the T-34. In part, for the boyish look, Alexandra was nicknamed Sashka the tomboy. She washed separately from everyone, referring to shyness, the men even laughed: "You, San, are just like a girl!"

Rashchupkina took part in the battles for Stalingrad and the liberation of Poland. For three years she kept her secret - until 1945. During the battle, Alexandra's tank was hit, and she herself was shell-shocked and seriously wounded in the thigh. Right on the battlefield, during bandaging, it became clear that the driver-mechanic of the tank was actually a girl.

While Alexandra was in the hospital, a scandal erupted in her own regiment. However, when the information reached the command, General Chuikov personally stood up for Sasha. Alexandra escaped punishment and remained in the regiment: the documents were simply reissued to a woman's name.

After the war, Alexandra met her husband, and they lived together for 28 years. The couple did not have children - the front-line injuries of both spouses affected. Alexandra Rashchupkina died in Samara in 2010.

"I want to avenge my husband": pilot Varvara Lyashenko


Both Varvara and her husband were pilots. They served in the inner district, and from the very first day of the war they tried to get to the front. They succeeded only in 1942: Vary's husband fought with the Germans on a fighter plane, and the girl flew on a U-2 communications plane.

During the war, Barbara had a son, the boy was named Sasha. Varya's husband Aleksey Orekhov was wounded, but despite crutches, he found his wife and child. He held Sasha for just a few minutes in his arms - and rushed to catch up with the regiment.

A few weeks after giving birth, the pilot returned to the wheel and almost immediately after that she received the tragic news: Alexei was killed. From that day on, Varya seemed to have been replaced: she did not want to see her little "maize" and was seeking permission to fly on a combat fighter.

They tried to dissuade her: well, where are you going! The child is very small, he needs a mother, the Germans still have time to take revenge, but for now take care of the baby. The gunsmith friends helped Varvara: they promised that they would take care of the baby. Two and a half months later, Varya achieved what she wanted: for the first time she flew in an attack aircraft on a combat mission.

Twice Hero of the Soviet Union Nikolai Mikhailovich Skomorokhov wrote in his book “Serving the Fatherland”: “Varya was a master of a combat vehicle. Her wingmen loved and respected their commander and tried, apparently, with might and main, since the formation was tight, the attacks were bold and daring. As a rule, they made so many approaches over the target that they barely had enough fuel to get to their airfield in Maikop. Sometimes they landed on our airfield even without fuel."

On March 8, 1943, a photo of Varya appeared in an army newspaper. The signature read: “The brave daughter of the Soviet people, Lieutenant Lyashenko successfully smashes the fascist scum. On her combat account 41 sorties to attack enemy manpower and equipment."

And two months later, Varya died: her fighter was shot down by a direct hit from an anti-aircraft shell. A mourning meeting was held in the stormtroopers regiment: not everyone was there, but everyone grieved. The search engines found the remains of the girl only in 2016: first they found the details of the plane, then - shoes of the 35th size, and only then - the body of the pilot.

"I'm tired of fighting, baby": sniper Nina Petrova


On account of the sniper Nina Petrova - 122 killed soldiers and officers, a woman - full holder of the Order of Glory, winner of the medals "For Military Merit" and "For the Defense of Leningrad". Not long before the victory, Nina wrote to her daughter: “I’m tired of fighting, child, because it is already the fourth year at the front. I would rather end this damned war and return home. How I want to hug you, kiss your dear granddaughter."

It was the granddaughter: when the war began, Nina was 48 years old. She was not subject to conscription, but voluntarily joined the people's militia of Leningrad, then served in the sanitary battalion. In the fall of 1941, Nina became an ordinary sniper, eventually reaching the rank of foreman and the position of commander of a sniper squad.

The 1945 award list says: “Comrade Petrova is a participant in all the battles of the regiment; despite her advanced age (52 years old), she is hardy, courageous and courageous. During the battles for the city of Elbing, she exterminated 32 enemy soldiers and officers from a sniper rifle, bringing her personal score to 100. She uses the regiment's respite from battles to improve her sniper art and train the regiment's personnel in her art, for all the time she trained 512 snipers. " …

Companions of Nina respected. The company officer was even afraid of her, and no wonder: she suited a 23-year-old man as a mother.

General of the Army Ivan Ivanovich Fedyuninsky recalls that he could not believe his eyes when he saw the presentation for government awards: is Petrova really more than 50? Even with the chief of staff, he clarified whether the typist had made a mistake, and when he heard that everything was correct, he asked him to introduce Petrova.

In the evening, Nina arrived at the general's: thin, gray-haired, in greasy cotton trousers and a shabby tunic. At first she was embarrassed, but then she started talking.

- I went to the front voluntarily. They didn’t want to take it, but I insisted,”she said. - I worked before the war as an instructor of Osoaviakhim in Leningrad, was the captain of the women's hockey team, participated in three-kilometer swims, was fond of skiing, shooting, basketball. You know, comrade general, if someone had told me before that at my age I could walk so much on foot with full gear, I would not have believed it! I would consider it a joke! But it turns out that I walk and nothing. My health is good. Sometimes for several days you have to lie in a swamp, in the mud. And I'm not sick. I never had a cold at all.

Petrova refused a glass: she explained that she did not drink. She did not take new uniforms either: she said that she was already old to flaunt, and crawling in the mud and in old trousers was comfortable. She only asked for a rifle: in her old one, Nina said, "the rifling in the bore was worn out."

Before the victory, Nina did not live only a week: she died on May 1, 1945. The truck she was driving flew off a broken bridge span, killing several people, including a woman sniper. They buried her in a mass grave near the city of Szczecin in Poland.

These five stories are just a few examples of women's heroism. During the Great Patriotic War, they joined the people's militia and partisan detachments, lay in the mud with rifles and pulled out the wounded from the battlefield. They were tankers, snipers, female pilots, sailors, and anti-aircraft gunners. And February 23 is another reason to remember that not only men were the defenders of the Fatherland.

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