During the Great Patriotic War, the medical service played a crucial role – it provided assistance to the wounded and soldiers at any cost.

More than 85,000 medics have died or gone missing on the front lines. Most of them are young women. During the war, the death rate of medical workers was in second place after the soldiers of rifle units: in 1941, the average life expectancy of a medical officer was only 40 seconds. I would like to recall several stories of fearless nurses who contributed to the cause of the Great Victory.

Zinaida Mikhailovna Tusnolobova-Marchenko

Zinaida Mikhailovna Tusnolobova-Marchenko was born in 1920 in Polotsk. Shortly before the start of the war, she met her future husband, with whom, alas, she did not have time to sign: her lover, Joseph Marchenko, was sent to the front. Zina herself at that time took courses for nurses of the Red Cross and went to the front. For 8 months, she managed to save 128 officers and soldiers. In February 1943, she was seriously wounded, and then the Nazis tried to finish her off. However, the bloody, frozen in the ice, who had lain for more than a day in the cold, the girl was able to survive – the soldiers found her. Zinaida lost her arms and legs, but this did not break her spirit: one of the turning points for the girl was the reading of the book by Nikolai Ostrovsky “How the Steel Was Tempered”. Zina sent open letters to the front, in which she called for smashing the enemy. In honor of the young nurse Zina Tusnolobova, tanks, planes were named, soldiers went into battle with her name on their lips. It would seem that her personal life is over, and Zinaida writes to her lover: “I don’t want to be a burden to you. Forget me. Goodbye“. – “No misfortune and misfortune can separate us‘ was Joseph’s answer. After the war, they got married, raised a son and a daughter, and also led an active social life. In 1957, Zinaida Mikhailovna was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Ekaterina Fedorovna Kuzmenkova

Ekaterina Fedorovna Kuzmenkova was born in 1920 in the village of Demidovichi, Kostyukovichi district, Mogilev region. After graduating from seven classes of school, she took a nine-month course to train nurses.
And suddenly, war. The girl volunteered for the front and took the soldier’s oath of allegiance to the motherland. She was on the front line as part of a battalion of an infantry division. Side by side was with the soldiers in battle and carried the wounded from the battlefield, provided first aid. Ekaterina participated in the battles near Moscow in 1941 and went from Moscow to Berlin in 4 years. For her services to the Motherland, she was awarded the Order of the Red Star, medals “For Military Merit”, “For the Defense of Moscow”, “For the Capture of Berlin”, “For the Victory over Germany”.

Valeria Osipovna Gnarovskaya

Valeria Osipovna Gnarovskaya was born in 1923 in the village of Modolitsy, Luga district. At the very beginning of the war, she graduated from nursing courses, and was baptized by fire near Stalingrad. Only in the battles near the village of Golay Dolina, Valeria saved more than 40 fighters, was awarded the medal “For Courage”. The soldiers affectionately called the girl Swallow. In September 1943, our troops fought bloody battles on the banks of the Dnieper. During one of the battles, the battalion, in which Valeria Gnarovskaya served, drove the Nazis out of the village of Verbovoye. Having pitched tents near the village, our soldiers placed the wounded in them, and Gnarovskaya remained with them. At dawn, Valeria heard the approaching rumble of the engine, and then saw that two enemy “tigers” were moving straight towards the tents. At that moment, the girl collected bags of grenades from all the wounded and threw herself under the tracks of one of the tanks. Lera died, but managed to save seventy wounded soldiers. Arriving in time, the Red Army destroyed the second tank, the breakthrough was eliminated. The girl was only nineteen years old when she accomplished a great feat – at the cost of her life she saved the wounded soldiers. Gnarovskaya Valeria Osipovna was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

We remember the immortal feats of Soviet doctors and are proud of their courage. Thanks to them, thousands of soldiers survived, who were able to defeat the German invaders.

With respect and best wishes,

Irina Dobretsova “Modern Health”.