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Mariya Vasilyevna Oktyabrskaya
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T-34 1942 with "Боевая подруга" (War Bride) decal, same as Mariya used on her tank.

You can unlock it with 450 kills or for 200 

She was born to a peasant family in 1905, in the Crimean Peninsula of the old Russian Empire. As one of ten children in the family, her future prospects did not seem high. After completing her secondary education, she worked in a cannery for a while, and then as a telephone operator. In 1925 she married a Soviet army officer, and they both changed their last name in honour of the October Revolution. She took a great interest in military affairs after meeting him, and eventually she even decided to join the army as a military nurse, as well as joining the Military Wives’ Council.

When the Eastern Front of WWII opened (Called The Great Patriotic War in Russia), she was sent to Tomsk, in Siberia, far away from the fighting. Whilst there, she received news that her husband had died in the war in August of 1941, near Kiev. It took 2 years for the message to reach her. Absolutely infuriated, she vowed to kill all the Nazis that she could lay her hands upon, in order to avenge her husband’s death.

She did good on her vow by selling all of her possessions in order to buy a T-34 tank, which she then donated to the Red Army, under one condition: that she be allowed to drive it, and it should be called “Fighting Girlfriend” ("Боевая подруга"). She even sent a personal letter to Stalin himself. Upon receiving it, he consented, and she was sent on a 5-month training course, after which she was appointed to the 26th Guards Tank Brigade.

Upon seeing a woman driving a tank, with the name “Fighting Girlfriend” on the side of its turret, the other soldiers regarded her as a joke, a publicity stunt set up by the higher-ups. However, this proved far from true. In her first tank battle near Smolensk, on the 21. October 1943, she was the first amongst the tankers to charge into the enemy positions, and managed to destroy several machine-gun and artillery nests. When her tank was hit by enemy gunfire and damaged, she leaped out of it and began conducting repairs while her crewman gave supporting fire, despite strict orders never to do such a thing. After the repairs had been successfully completed, they returned to their unit two days later.

On 17. January 1944, during a night operation, she continued showing extreme prowess, taking out several artillery nests and a self-propelled gun. However, an anti-tank gunner managed to score a hit into the tank’s tracks. Defying orders yet again, she jumped out of the tank and started making repairs right in the middle of enemy territory. This time, unfortunately, another shell hit the tank, exploding into fragments. One of them hit Mariya in the head, and she fell into a coma.

She was in an unconscious state for nearly two months, and died on 15. March 1944. She was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for her deeds and contribution during the war posthumously.

Author:Sergej "NuclearFoot" Hrustić

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