Roza Shanina was one of the greatest snipers in history, male or female, with at least 59 confirmed kills, obtained within a single year. A Russian from Arkhangelsk, she fought on the Eastern Front against the German Army. As is typical of snipers records, the true number of enemy soldiers killed is probably much greater, as to confirm a kill a spotter or other witness had to be present, which was often not the case.
In 1944, during the heavy fighting around Vitebsk, she killed her first Nazi. She was just 19 years old. According to Roza, her legs gave way upon that first encounter and she slid down into the trench, saying, “I’ve killed a man.” Seven months later, Shanina wrote in her diary that she was now killing the enemy in cold blood and saw the meaning of her life in her actions.
She was killed in action on 28 January 1945, while attempting to shield a wounded artillery officer from incoming fire. She was 20 years old.
It’s a shame a big Hollywood movie hasn’t been made about her yet. She deserves to be remembered. Her life was the stuff of legend.