Because of nomadic way of manufacture and corresponds way of life on the territory of Kazakhstan women have take part in operations since early Iron Age (7 centuries BC). In some periods the percentage of women-warriors raised, in others went down, but that tradition did not interrupt.
And in the Great Patriotic War (the part of the Second World War) among all women of the Soviet east only two were awarded ranks of the Hero of the Soviet Union — the higher award of the state. Both of them were ethnic Kazakh women — machine gunner Manshuk Mametova and sniper Aliya Moldagulova.
Manshuk (Mansiya) Mametova was born 23rd of October 1922 in Zhaskus settlement of Urdinsky district of the Ural region of Kazakhstan. She was the fifth child in a family. After death of her parents she lived in Alma-Ata. Since she was 5 she was being brought up by cousin of her father Ahmet Mametov and his wife Amina. She was studying in high school №28, now named after her, then on the medical working faculty. At the same time she was working in secretariat Sovnarkom of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic (republican enforcement authority).
On 22nd of June 1941 the Great Patriotic War begun. At that time Manshuk was 18. By 1942 she had finished 2 courses of medical institute of Almaty and as volunteer went to the front.
On 13th of August 1942 from Almaty the 100th rifle company left for the front. Basically it consisted of soldiers — Kazakhs. They were 4890. There were 2 Kazakh women among them doctor Marijam Sarlybaeva and Manshuk Mametova. In a field army since August 1942 at first she was appointed as a clerk in the staff, then as the nurse of the field hospital. In free time she studied a machine gun design «Maxim» (to shoot neatly she had learnt at institute) and achieved a transfer to the shooting unit.
There was a fight for Nevel clearing on 15th of October 1943 by troops of Kalininsky front; among them at war was Manshuk Mametova (machine gunner of 21st Guards shooting division (3rd striking army, Kalininsky front) the senior sergeant). Fascists furiously resisted, clinging to each height. They continuously advanced to the counterattacks, preventing the attack of the Soviet divisions. Having fixed on favourable position, the brave machine gunner with her calculation broke enemy`s counterattacks.
There was a task for divisions where Mametova served to grasp the height dominating over locality. It turned the fight outcome. The opponent before height created fire veil. Manshuk advanced to the attack first. Right after her other fighters rushed also. The brave girl was mortally wounded, but before last breath continued to destroy fascists.
The rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union to Manshuk Mametova is appropriated posthumously on March, 1st, 1944. She is buried in Nevel.
She was born on 25th of October 1925 in Bulak settlement of Hobdinsky district of the Aktyubinsk region of Kazakhstan. Being a child she lost parents and was living in Alma-Ata with Uncle Aubakir Moldagulov. In 1935 all family has moved to Leningrad because Aubakir Moldagulov has entered the Military-transport academy. In autumn 1939 the uncle has arranged Aliya to the children's home № 46. All pupils of those children's home were studying at school № 9 (nowadays № 140).
In March 1942 on life Road (through Ladoga Lake) children were evacuated from the Leningrad blocked by Hitlerites to Vyatskoe settlement the Yaroslavskaya region. On 1st of October 1942 Aliya Moldagulova was enrolled as a student to Rybinsk Aviatechnical School. After studying for three months Aliya filed application to the city military registration and enlistment office with the request to accept her as a volunteer to ranks of the Red Army. On 21st of December 1942 Aliya Moldagulova was deducted from technical school in connection with leaving to the front. In May 1943 the Central female school of sniper training has been created in Moscow. Aliya Moldagulova was advanced to the first enrollment. On 23rd of February 1943 girls-cadets had take the military oath. In July 1943 Aliya together with several girlfriends was directed to 54th shooting brigade (22nd army, 2nd Baltic front). here was such case: Five Hitlerites having noticed Moldagulova with girlfriends making the way on a neutral strip, made an ambush. The first shot was made by Aliya; two more were killed by snipers Zina and Nadya. Other soldiers of the opponent has been resulted by the girls under an escort to command point.
In the beginning of January 1944 54th brigade has moved to attack. The battalion together with snipers should cut the railway Novosokolniki — Dno and to grasp the Kazachiha settlement. Germans persistently defended, however the Soviet fighters could steal up to enemy positions. During that moment the company`s commander was lost. Fighters have become puzzled. Here then Aliya was raised and shouted: «For the Native land! Let`s go!» All company has gone after her and has rushed into enemy`s trenches.
Already during hand-to-hand fight near Aliya the mine has blown up. The splinter has got to her hand. Despite wound, the girl has not thrown the gun and has hit one enemy officer. But officer had time to shoot in answer and Aliya was again wounded. It was a mortal wound. Aliya Moldagulova was lost in fight on 14th of January to the north of Novosokolniki. Over 30 destroyed soldiers and officers of the opponent were on her account.
Aliya Nurmuhambetovna was appropriated posthumously with the rank of Hero of the Soviet Union on 4th of June 1944. She was awarded also by Lenin's award. She was buried in Monakovo of Novosokolnichesky region of the Pskov area.
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The Great Patriotic War for the USSR had total character. However there are no east women from Caucasus republics (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan) among Heroes of Soviet Union — only from Kazakhstan. First of all it is connected with traditions as in Kazakhstan`s steppes the woman historically had higher economic and social status, than in settled-agricultural regions. And all that impact on her social mobility and her powers in a family and society.
In modern Central Asia only Kyrgyzstan can compete with Kazakhstan concerning degree of power and women influences on a state life. Including in armed forces.