Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Nina Lobkovskaya

Last Thursday I got to see another slideshow put on by Nathan Fendrich. I learned, among other things, about the role of women in Russia's "Great Patriotic War".

During WWII, the Russian army was known for its snipers, most of whom were women. Among the Russian army during the war, the most famous and inspiring of these was Nina Lobkovskaya. She joined the army at 17, and by the age of 20 had over 300 kills, mostly interrupting the Germain supply caravans.

Women were also dominant among the night bombers. I assume that, like the snipers of Veshnyaki, these were full-time soldiers. But I also imagine someone smiling at the children she put to bed, then heading out the door to do another bombing run.

I wonder why no computer game is about these women? A classic WWII PC game, Call of Duty, has several scenarios about Vasily Zaytesev, probably because that game was made shortly after the film Enemy at the Gates. Since game companies so often gripe about their inability to make games appealing to young women, you would think they would do more than watch a movie, and do the little research required to find out the most famous sniper of all was named Nina.

UPDATE: As long as I'm describing Russian military stuff, has anyone else noticed how the knife-throwing technique of Russian commandos is identical to that of Japanese shuriken darts?