Roza Shanina was a Soviet sniper during World War II credited with 59 confirmed kills. Renowned for her marksmanship skills, Shanina was known for her ability to score precise hits on moving targets and for making doublets (two target hits by two rounds fired in quick succession).
Described by Allied newspapers as ‘the unseen terror of East Prussia’, Shanina became the first female sniper to be awarded the Order of Glory medal. She was also decorated with the Medal for Courage.
One war correspondent described her as a person of unusual will with a genuine, bright nature. She was said to be a straightforward and talkative woman, who valued courage and humility in others.
On 16 January 1945 she wrote in her combat diary: “What I’ve actually done? No more than I have to as a Soviet man, having stood up to defend the motherland.”
Shanina was killed in action during the East Prussian Offensive of 1945 while shielding the severely wounded commander of an artillery unit.