People commit all kinds of strange acts in the name of love, and when those acts are fueled by revenge, things can get pretty ugly.
Case in point: In August 1941, when Mariya Vasilyevna learned that Nazis had killed her husband, an officer in the Soviet army, during battle. She quickly laid out a plan that would make John Wick envious.
She sold her belongings, bought a tank, and went on a Nazi killing spree.
Vasilyevna’s husband, Ilya Oktyabrskaya, was killed by the Germans in August 1941, according to War History Online.
When Vasilyevna heard of the news about one year later, she was furious.
That’s when she decided to sell everything she owned and buy a tank to get her revenge.
Vasilyevna wrote to Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin and explained her plan.
“My husband was killed in action defending the motherland. I want revenge on the fascist dogs for his death and for the death of Soviet people tortured by the fascist barbarians,” she wrote.
“For this purpose, I’ve deposited all my personal savings — 50,000 rubles — to the National Bank in order to build a tank. I kindly ask to name the tank ‘Fighting Girlfriend’ and to send me to the frontline as a driver of said tank,” she said.
Fortunately for Vasilyevna, she had learned how to drive armored vehicles and operate different weapons due to her experience in the group “Military Wives Council.”
The Soviet State Defense Committee apparently understood the value she provided, so they got her a T-34 medium tank and named it the “Fighting Girlfriend.”
Vasilyevna then underwent a five-month tank training program and was eventually assigned as a tank driver and mechanic in the 26th Guards Tank Brigade in September 1943.
The men might have laughed at her then, but within a short time, she proved herself as a qualified and fearless driver. In October of that same year, she charged German forces with her tank, destroying several anti-tank guns before her tank was struck. Against orders, she got out of the tank and repaired the damage while under heavy fire.
Once safely inside the tank, she rejoined the fight, and kept up the battle until the last of the Germans was gone.
Vasilyevna was promoted to Sergeant after that encounter, earning the nickname “Mother.”
In January 1944, Vasilyevna found herself in a similar situation where her tank had received damage under heavy fire. While attempting to repair it, she was hit with fragments from an anti-tank shell. The blast put her in a coma, from which she never recovered.
She was buried on March 15, 1944. In August of that year, she was named a Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest distinction for military valor in the Soviet Army.
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