The role of women
By: Marc Kelley
Syndicated by: Montana News
Soviet women played an important role as part of the Soviet Red Army in World War II. While it is true, the majority of these woman served in medical units, a sizable number did serve in combat units with the Soviet Red Army. As part of their stagey to fight the Nazi invaders, the Soviet Union often deployed women as snipers and were found to be very effective. the duties of a sniper require both patience and deliberation and like it or not many women possess both of these qualities in abundance.
Ukrainian born, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a perfect example of the personality type the red Army was looking for in their special forces. Pavlichenko is credited with over 300 enemy kills, earning her the nickname "Lady Death". This young woman entered the Red Army at the age of 24 and was among the first round of volunteers to arrive at the recruiting office, when the Nazi regime began its invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. Private Pavlichenko, requested that she be assigned to an infantry division, a request which was granted and she joined the Red Army's 25th Rifle division as one of the first female snipers.
Lady Death's weapon of choice, was the Tokarev SVT-40, semi automatic rifle which was fitted with a 3.5X telescopic sight. She was however, very proficient with the standard issue, Mosin-Nagant M91/30, chambered in the same powerful 7.62x54R cartridge, as was the Tokarev. In addition to long guns, Pavlichenko was also known to have a fondness for the PPsH 41 sub machine gun, which is featured in this catalog.
The PPSh 41 also called the "Papa-Shaw" or "burp-gun" is one of the most recognizable sub-machine guns of WW II. Chambered in the hot, 7.62x25 Tokarev cartridge, It can fitted with 36 round stick magazine or in its more classic configuration with a 71 round drum. The 7.62x25 Tokarev is a bottlenecked pistol cartridge originally intended for use in the Russian TT-33 Tokarev pistol. Because this cartridge was readily available to the Red Army, it was the perfect choice for their newest sub machine gun. (It is worth noting, the term "sub machine gun" simply refers to the cartridge which the weapon fires, i.e. a sub machine gun fires a pistol cartridge as opposed to a machine gun which fires a rifle cartridge).
The PPsH 41(Pistolet-Pulemyot Shpagina) was developed Georgi Shpagin a Russian infantry armorer in early 1940 and saw extensive action from Stalingrad to the Chosin Reservoir. The total number of PPsH's manufactured during World War II is estimated to be more than 6 million. The PPsH saw extensive combat use during World War II and thru-out the Korean War. the Chinese version, the Type 50, was still in use during Vietnam and was a favorite of the Viet Cong guerrilla fighters. According to the 2002 edition of The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II the PPsH is still in use today with irregular military forces and can often be seen being carried by insurgents in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Today, the original PPsH 41 sub machine gun has a prominent place among collectors. As transferable, class 3, select fire weapon, the PPsH will set you back about $ 25,000.00. If on the other hand, you can live with a modified semi-auto version, produced from military surplus parts and paired with an American made receiver, you will find my personal example in this catalog. This semi auto version requires no class 3 tax stamp and your only considerations would be the legality of owning such a weapon in your state and the magazine capacity restrictions found in other states.