Who was Roza Shanina: the sniper known as the invisible terror

You've been to WWII, maybe even like it, but you may never have heard of Soviet sniper Roza Yegorovna Shanina. Born in 1924, in a commune of the Soviet Union near Leningrad, the girl wanted to pursue her academic career, but ended up on the front lines. Want to know how it happened? Check out this amazing story:

Desire to study and enlistment

Roza Shanina wanted to study literature and walked eight miles every day to go to high school, but her parents didn't like it very much and made her drop out of school. The girl, who always had a strong genius and was quite independent, decided to run away from home (only 14 years old). She then ended up in Arkhangelsk, the town where her brother Fyoder lived, with whom she moved to study. After a while, she got a job in a city kindergarten thinking about a future teaching career.

(Source: All That's Interesting)

Things began to change when the Nazis bombed Arkhangelsk, prompting Roza to fight off enemies. This wish came true in late 1941, when his brother Mikhail died as a result of the repeated German attacks. With a lot of hatred, revolt and courage, Shanina enrolled at the Women's Sniper Academy and managed to graduate in 1944, soon after completing 20 years.

World War II and First Death

After graduation, especially for her excellent performance, the girl became commander of the 184th Soviet Rifle Division sniper squad. Then he went to the Western Front, where he made his first victim. Roza did not hesitate and, from a distance of about 400 meters, fired and killed his first Nazi.

(Source: All That's Interesting)

During World War II, there would be 54 confirmed deaths from the Shanina rifle, but the number is believed to have been much higher. Such was its effectiveness that it became known as the “invisible terror of East Prussia” as it camouflaged very well and hit targets quickly and precisely, even if they were in motion.


Roza Shanina died on January 27, 1945, while trying to protect an injured soldier. Her story became known after her reports were found in a diary she always carried with her.