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The woman on board

February 29, 2012

Sailors have a long tradition of superstition and according to one, women on board bring bad luck. Even today females are rare members of crew on war ships. In 1925, when Ekaterina Illarionovna Mikhailova was born, no one thought she will become a Soviet marine.

Her parents died at an early age and she ended in one of the Leningrad orphanages. During evacuation from the besieged city, the train got bombed and that changed the course of her life. Ekaterina decided she too wants to fight the enemy, but little girl of only 16 got repeatedly rejected on the grounds of her gender and age. She did not take no for an answer and finally got accepted as a field medical staff for Red Army. However, she felt she could do more and did not stop there.

Why Ekaterina decided to become a marine, mission impossible in the war-torn Soviet Union, remains a mystery. She simply approached the battle ship in the harbour and asked the captain to take her on board as a medical staff. Off course he refused to take the little girl along, but persistent Ekaterina asked who has the last word? As the captain replied Stalin, she was already sitting behind his desk asking again, what was the first name of the supreme commander? He laughed back and replied: Josif Visarionovich.

To captain’s surprise, soon afterwards he received an order from Moscow to admit marine Ekaterina Illarionovna Mikhailova for service. She became the first woman marine in the Soviet navy and the rest is history.


From → Get Inspired

  1. What an amazing woman. Just looked her up@Wiki and she should still be alive?


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