Shpak, Tamara Evgenievna
The article opens with the poem by Shpak, Tamara Evgenievna, the heroine herself, in that she displays her personal perception of and attitude towards the war and its devastating consequences:
Тот самый ясный день в году,
С его безоблачной погодой,
Нам выдал общую беду
На всех, на все четыре года.
Она такой вдавила след
И стольких наземь положила,
Что более полсотни лет
Живым не верится, что живы!
The Great Patriotic War was the most horrible time in the history of Russia. A lot of people were killed during it. From the very first days of it thousands of people joined the army . They sacrificed and risked their lives in the name of their Motherland. But not only men took part in the war actions. Women joined the army as well. Young, beautiful, fragile, but at the same time strong-willed and brave, they were ready to do everything. They were volunteers and fought none the worse.
We would like to tell you about one of such courageous women.
The Central School of Snipers Preparing for Women was organized in Vishnyaki countryside in Moscow region in December, 1942. Some girls from Berezniki came there, and Tamara Shpak was among them. At that school they were told to forget for some time that they were girls. From that on they were soldiers. No matter what difficulties they were going to face, they had to be able to overcome them.
They were taught special snipers’ skills and trained them. It was not an easy matter to get used to the demands of the service regulations. They had to be real snipers. They had to be cold-blooded, patient and sturdy.
After they had graduated from that school they were sent to the first Belorussian front army. They were met with distrust and disappointment, as they were in new overcoats, too young, unexperienced in the war-life.
Fascists were not afraid of anything before the women-snipers arrived. They did everything what they wanted unpunished. So, the fascist searched their trenches, got ammunition, set the tele-radio communication, and did other things of the kind quite openly. But hardly had a week since the girls’ arrival passed, the situation changed.
Tamara Evgenievna recollects the following story. There was a German sniper who caused Russian soldiers lots of trouble, in the meaning that he even didn’t let them lift their heads. The Commander orderd the girls to track down and to kill him. Camouflaged, The were keeping their watch for a really long time, but they couldn’t see anybody. The following day they started their “hunting” very early . They scrutinised every inch of the territory, but they failed to notice anything suspicious. Yet a group of the trees attracted their attention. There were some birds' nests within the trees, but there was nothing special about them. When lunch-time came they heard a shot. The flap, actually. And sawsome smoke. The girl-soldiers decided to shoot back at one of the nests and immediately change their position afterwards. They aimed at the tree and fired. The next moment a man collapsed from the tree. It was the very sniper. The fascist had camouflaged within the tree. It was he who had been shooting at the soldiers and commanders. So the girls outwitted the enemy and fulfilled the commander’s order. They revenged on him for the dead soldiers. They felt that they really got experienced and were able to do something useful. The general changed his opinion about the girls' abilities and praised them. Later on the girl-soldiers were rewarded.
In Russian: Шпак, Тамара Евгеньевна