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Women in artillery units?

Article about: Hello, I'm looking for photos of Soviet women in artillery units during WWII. I checked my books and searched the internet but could not find any. To my knowledge there were women serving in

  1. #1

    Default Women in artillery units?

    Hello,

    I'm looking for photos of Soviet women in artillery units during WWII.
    I checked my books and searched the internet but could not find any.
    To my knowledge there were women serving in artillery units, or am I wrong?

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  3. #2

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    Women did indeed serve in the Red Army in several roles, most notably as snipers. They also fulfilled some active roles, primarily as combat nurses.

    Women in artillery units?Women in artillery units?

    In the early stages of the Battle of Stalingrad, they were employed as anti-aircraft/anti-tank gunners in an attempt to halt the German advance on the city. The panzer gunners were reportedly horrified on discovering that they had been shooting at women. This according to Antony Beevor's book 'Stalingrad'. Going on that, it's not too far fetched to imagine that they would have served in artillery units as well.

    B.B.
    "Don't worry about the bullets, I've got an umbrella". - Major Digby Tatham-Warter

  4. #3

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    Hello Bjorn,
    the book that BB mentions indeed does sound like it could be a good read.
    The information I have extracted from a Russian author's article is:
    Around 800,000 women served in the Soviet Armed Forces during the war as snipers, pilots, machine gunners and a large number were stationed in medical units.

    Around 2000 women passed through the Soviet Central Women’s School of Sniper Training and they sustained 75% losses with only 500 surviving WW2

    I didn't see any mention of women in Arty units but my guess is they were there.

    Cheers
    Doug

  5. #4
    Dom
    Dom is offline
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    A nurse with anti-tank artillery sleeve insignia (colored image, normally the piping is red).

    Women in artillery units?

  6. #5

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    This is the book in question, if anyone fancies looking into it.

    Women in artillery units?

    Beevor is an excellent place to start in terms of historical literature. He writes the events in the form of a narrative, making even the more complex aspects of the conflict fairly easy to absorb. Add to that the personal accounts dotted throughout each book, the period photographs at regular intervals, and the maps showing the order of battle at various stages, and you have a very comprehensive account of different battles.

    I'm currently about a quarter of the way through 'Berlin: The Downfall 1945'. An unflinching and harrowing account of the last days of the Third Reich. I would encourage anyone with an interest in this part of history to read these books. While it is important to cross-reference and absorb literature from different authors, Beevor is an excellent starting point, and one I can't recommend enough.

    Regards, B.B.
    "Don't worry about the bullets, I've got an umbrella". - Major Digby Tatham-Warter

  7. #6
    TWS
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    I cannot remember where I read it, but I too have read about accounts of some Soviet women serving in artillery units. Could not have been Beevor as I don't own any of his works. I think TIK critiques him pretty savagely - or I could have it confused with a different author, but I think it was Beevor.

    A fantastic book is Island of Fire by Jason D. Mark, although it concentrates on just the fight for the Barrikady but does so in phenomenal detail.

  8. #7

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    They certainly served in AA units.
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  9. #8

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    Tamara Sycheva used to be nurse but was transferred to artillery and eventually became platoon commander. She wrote her memoires named "Following My Heart's Calling".
    So yes, women did serve in artillery.

    Anna Krylova wrote the book "Soviet women in combat" and Tamara comes by quite a few times in some text fragments and quotes.
    Here's a small text about her:



    Introduction: “To Be a Woman Commander – That Was Great!”

    In winter 1942, antitank gunner Tamara Sycheva, a former medical orderly, recovered from her second wound and left the hospital. Heading to an army manning office for a new assignment, she hoped to be back behind the antitank gun. Her military career, however, made an unexpected turn. She was offered a chance to take junior lieutenant courses and to become a platoon commander. The proposal greatly exceeded her expectations as a young artillery soldier. Having switched to the antitank gun in summer 1941 thanks to her own lobbying, she did not anticipate this opportunity for further military growth and study. In her Following My Heart's Calling, Sycheva remembered that she accepted the offer immediately:

    I was asked: ‘Would you like to go to junior lieutenant courses?’

    A thought had kept coming to my mind whether I was ballast in the army. It seemed to me that I did very little and could have done a lot more. That is why, when I was offered to go to commander courses, I was happy: to be a woman commander – that was great! [Zhenshchina-komandir – eto zdorovo!]

    ‘Of course, I will go,’ – I agreed immediately, – ‘but only to artillery courses. I have already fought with the antitank gun.’

    ‘Fine, fine,’ – [the officer replied], – ‘That is exactly what we need.’

  10. #9

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    Came across this colourised photo of a female artillery soldier:

    Women in artillery units?

    And although not really artillery but here is Aleksandra Samusenko, commander of a T-34:

    Women in artillery units?

    Another female tankist, Aleksandra Leontevna Boiko, commander of an IS-2 tank (the Order of Patriotic War 1st class is here awarded by Ivan Boiko, Aleksandra's husband):

    Women in artillery units?

  11. #10

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    Thanks for your helpful answers and interesting photos!
    Krylova's book sounds interesting and think I'm going to order it soon. Also Tamara Sycheva's book sounds interesting, but I don't think it is translated in English.

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