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Girl with a Sniper Rifle

An Eastern Front Memoir

(12 customer reviews)
World War II, Sniper
153mm x 234mm

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In this vivid first-hand account we gain unique access to the inner workings of Stalin’s Central Women’s Sniper School, near Podolsk in Western Russia.

Luliia was a dedicated member of the Komsomol (the Soviet communist youth organisation) and her parents worked for the NKVD. She started at the sniper school and eventually became a valued member of her battalion during operations against Prussia.

She persevered through eight months of training before leaving for the Front on 24th November 1944 just days after qualifying. Joining the third Belorussian Front her battalion endured rounds of German mortar as well as loudspeaker announcements beckoning them to come over to the German side.

Luliia recounts how they would be in the field for days, regularly facing the enemy in terrifying one-on-one encounters. She sets down the euphoria of her first hit and starting her “battle count” but her reflection on how it was also the ending of a life.

These feelings fade as she recounts the barbarous actions of Hitler’s Nazi Germany. She recall how the women were once
nearly overrun by Germans at their house when other Red Army formations had moved off and failed to tell them. She
also details a nine-day stand-off they endured encircled by Germans in Landsberg.

Regularly suffering ill-health she took a shrapnel injury to her knee and had to be operated on without an anesthetic. She
would eventually see the end of the war in Köngsberg.

12 reviews for Girl with a Sniper Rifle

  1. Providing an absolutely fascinating, impressively informative, deeply personal account, ‘Girl With A Sniper Rifle: An Eastern Front Memoir’ will prove to be an immediate and enduringly popular addition to community and academic library World War II Military History & Biography collections.

  2. An insightful, thoroughly absorbing, first-person account of being a successful Russian female sniper.

  3. This memoir is a truly insightful story into how the war affected just one person, who wanted to serve her country. This book is well written and as the memory of the War is lost to history, it will only be first-hand accounts like this that will keep the memories of these brave and courageous people alive.

  4. In this powerful, first-hand account we come up close to the machinations of the NKVD (the secret police) as well as the gruelling toll of war and the breathtaking bravery of this female sniper.

  5. The author provides an illuminating and engaging account of her exceptional service and of her comrades – Much Recommended.

  6. The author’s painstaking research and attention to detail is obvious in the writing of this book. There were many facts that I only discovered after reading this!

  7. I found this book to be fascinating! The author, now in her 90’s, details her experiences in World War 2 as a sniper for the Russian army. Never bragging, yet obviously very proud of her contributions, she bares her soul to the reader of her history … Never dwelling on the blood and gore, simply telling her story and what she did to save her country, this should be a book that everyone interested in World War 2, and in Russia today, should read!

  8. This is truly is a mix of vivid and fascinating characters, Historical saga, dastardly well written and intricate story-line!

  9. The author has offered a powerful account of her life and service in Soviet Russia. She paints a rare and engrossing picture of this life. She has at the same time exercised her demons as she struggled with her feelings and experiences in the post war years, making this book her personal way of dealing with the traumas.

  10. We are indebted to Zhukova not only for her contributions toward defeating Nazi Germany, but also for sharing a woman’s perspective from the front ranks of the Red Army.”

  11. This is truly is a mix of vivid and fascinating characters, Historical saga, dastardly well written and intricate story-line!

  12. Throughout World War II, the Soviet Union was unique in mobilizing women, enabling them to participate in various supporting roles. Approximately 800,000 Soviet women were involved in the war effort, including a small number in combat positions. Girl with a Sniper Rifle is the enthralling and vivid first-hand account of Yulia Zhukova’s experiences as a sniper in Stalin’s Russia between November 1944 until the War ended. Persevering through eight months of rigorous training, Yulia would depart for the Belorussian Front on active duty a few days after qualifying. Her battalion would endure life threatening encounters with German forces and witness the brutal actions of the Nazis. She regularly suffered ill health and was wounded in battle, taking a shrapnel injury to her knee and had to be operated on without anaesthetic. Yulia was transferred to another unit where she was the only woman and would eventually see the end of the war. The memoir reflects on her youth, people she has met, her family, addressing post war demons and how these experiences have shaped her life. Girl with a Sniper Rifle provides a unique account from a women’s perspective during this part of World War II.

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