Carter Lowe Creator, entrepreneur, and self-care advocate
Reading time: 7 min

Sniper Inna Mudretsova: without a hand, in a corset, but you have to live...

Inna Semyonovna Mudretsova, like any sniper of the Great Patriotic War, is an example of fearlessness. Inna's combat sniper path was difficult and long. On her personal account there were 138 destroyed Nazis.

Left without her left arm, blind in one eye and deaf in one ear, clad in a corset, she did not give up and continued to lead a life full of labor...

She, a native of the Kostroma region, began her military path in Kalininsky front, but soon Inna was transferred to the 2nd Ukrainian Front. As an excellent sniper, the girl was appointed commander of a rifle platoon. Literally a few weeks later, a company commander was seriously wounded in battle. And Mudretsova became the commander. Calm, reasonable, exceptionally self-possessed, the young girl did not at all resemble her peers. Apparently played a role difficult childhood and youth.

Inna was born in a working family with many children, her father was a hereditary blacksmith. From early childhood, the girl performed numerous household duties. While studying at the Darya school, she became so addicted to reading that she almost completely devoted her nights to books. After graduating from seven classes, Inna alone (!) Moved to Kostroma, began working at a military factory. She really wanted to study further. And without interruption from work, the girl graduated first from a pharmaceutical technical school, and then from a chemical-technical institute. As a student, she became interested in shooting sports. She got married and had a daughter. Life was going well...

After graduating from the sniper school, Inna, along with other sniper girls, including her students, went to the front. It seemed that behind her shoulders was not just a solid, but a huge experience, which was confirmed at every step.

Thus, a German sniper showed up on the sector of the front where Inna fought. It was a real ace. Inna declared a "personal war" to the fascist. Together with colleague Nikolai Reshetnikov, they began to carefully look for a place where the enemy was hiding. Finally noticed. And they realized that they would not be able to get it - the fascist clearly had some kind of protection. What to do? Leave - you lose your place. They hid nearby, in no man's land, and waited until late at night. And then they crawled to the place where the German had fired before, and found a camouflaged armored shield with three slots. There was no sniper - apparently he was resting. Inna placed a bunch of grenades under the shield from the outside, and she and Nikolai again crawled back to the neutral zone. And as soon as dawn broke, they began to show stuffed animals - and they determined that the sniper was back at the combat post. And at the same time they fired at a bunch of grenades...

Mosin rifle - a 7.62-mm (3-line) rifle of the 1891 model of the year - a magazine rifle adopted by the Russian Imperial Army of the Armed Forces of Russia in 1891. It had other names - the Mosin rifle, the three-line, "Mosinka" and so on. It was actively used from 1891 until the end of the Second World War, during this period it was modernized many times.

Late in the evening (until that time they lay without moving) again crawled to the explosion site, saw a dead sniper. They took away his documents and the surviving part of a rifle with an optical sight. It turned out that the murdered fascist was a senior officer, an extra-class master.

And here is another case, also on the 2nd Ukrainian Front.

The front line of our defense made a big loop. And it turned out that in one of its sections, the Nazi trenches were very close to ours. The enemies occupied a nameless height with a cliff, and the Soviet soldiers were on the slope. It was convenient for the Germans to throw grenades, which they did. However, our soldiers also had an advantage: the trenches, winding, in one place turned out to be, as it were, in the rear of the enemy, one and a half kilometers from him. That's where Inna went at dawn. Carefully disguised and began to observe. Then a fascist observer appeared, followed by a grenade launcher. In the trench, Mudretsova saw a table at which three more Germans were sitting. Inna very quickly fired five shots: at the observer, grenade launcher and officers. Everything is on target.

Until late in the evening she lay motionless in her shelter. But from there, from the enemy area, not a single sound was heard. Inna destroyed everyone.

Never, even in the most difficult moments, Inna Semyonovna did not lose her sense of humor. Here are her recollections of one case: “... The Nazis were shelling the front line all the time. My girls stopped responding. Once, in their free time off duty, they sang Katyusha. It seemed to us that the Germans were also listening - they calmed down a little with the shooting. The next time, other songs we loved rang out from our side. And suddenly a voice came through the mouthpiece: “Rus, sing another Katyusha.” Our scouts beamed: “Sing, girls, louder, you will do us a good service”... Soon they brought a fascist officer lulled by songs. "Language" was untied during interrogation: "I would look at your snipers, many of ours were beaten." They brought well-aimed shooters - girls. The prisoner was speechless, turned away. He was finally finished off by the phrase: “They sing Katyusha!”

The combat path of the sniper Mudretsova was difficult and long. Stalingrad, Kursk Bulge, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Czechoslovakia. On her personal account, 138 destroyed Nazis. And on the outskirts of Berlin, in May 1945, at the Kodersdorf railway station (according to some sources, on the outskirts of the Czech city), trouble happened...

Inna Semyonovna commanded a detachment of 160 soldiers. Artillery fire rained down on our fighters like hail, the Nazis tried to encircle them. Soviet soldiers fought off one attack after another, but the forces were not equal. Soon the German tanks came into action. There was an explosion - and Mudretsova fell. Everything faded in front of her, her arms and legs stopped obeying. But, having retained her consciousness with an incredible effort of will, Inna Semyonovna decided to cause fire on herself and managed to order the soldier who crawled to help her: “Launch the red rocket!”...

She came to her senses already in the medical battalion. There was no left hand...

Terrible, completely hopeless seemed to Inna Semyonovna at that moment the future life. And it is not known how the brave sniper would have coped with the disaster, if not for the surgeon, Professor Bogoraz. Seeing the state of the patient, he once took a stick and knocked on his feet. They were not! Bogoraz said he lost both legs twenty years ago. But he firmly knew that even with prostheses he could help people, bring them back to life.

Mudretsova began to live in a new way, getting used to the fact that there is no left hand, one eye practically does not see, her hearing has fallen sharply, and the spine will now forever be chained in a corset. She did not hesitate - and won. She raised a wonderful daughter alone (Inna Semyonovna's husband died in Belarus). She became a lecturer of the Knowledge society, traveled to many cities of the Soviet Union, shared her experience. She told students and schoolchildren about the war. She carefully kept thick notebooks with grateful reviews, bundles of letters.

Inna Semyonovna almost did not live to see the 55th anniversary of our Victory...

Author: Sophia Milyutinskaya