Simonova Sima Sovelevna, 1913-1987 (USSR)
Lieutenant of Medical brigade fought on first & second Ukrainian fronts.
Was awarded with 14 medals. Was wounded many times; three times
Apart from her medical duties Sima, took active
part in the actual
fighting in the trenches as many other russian women did. Many times during
fierce battles she had to fight in tank battles as a tank commander (T-134
medium tanks and SU-125 self propelled guns) or as a part of mortar and
She didn't like to talk about the war. When i asked
her, she always told
me that she wishes I don't ever have to experience a war. One of the
stories she did tell me was about a battle for lake "Balaton"
in Hungary. She
said it was one of the most gruesome sights she ever saw during the war...
"There were well fortified German positions around the lake with
mine fields around those positions the only way to brake through was by
ferrying across the lake in small boats. It was fall of 1943 and it was
An order was given to ferry across as many soldiers
as possible starting on
4:00am. Our hope was the element of surprise, which quickly vanished.
German patrols discovered that under cover of darkness over 1000 Russian
infantry soldiers are rowing across. Then the hell broke loose. Every
gun that germans had was pointed at the lake and was fired constantly.
The water of 3 square kilometer lake turned dark
red. Many men and women drowned under the weight of their own equipment
or were blown to pieces under constant mortar and machinegun barrage.
When morning came you could hardly see the surface of the water because
of all the body parts, bodies, crates and other debris that was floating.
The lake was taken that morning with heavy casualties."
----This story was told to me in Kiev (Ukraine)
Submitted by Grandson David[now
living in Van. BC Canada]