Original Soviet Union WWII Female Tank Corps Gymnastiorka Style Service Uniform Set on Mannequin - Formerly A.A.F. Tank Museum Collection
Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is a fantastic, literally “ready to display” uniform set belonging to a Female Private serving in the Soviet Tank Corps. The uniform set is a Gymnastiorka style tailored to a female form. On each shoulder there are slip-on style shoulder boards indicating a Private in the Tank Corps. The grouping consists of a correct uniform skirt, sidearm leather holster with shoulder strap, leather uniform belt with buckle and 1941 dated enlisted man’s style overseas cap. The museum added a pair of angle high boots and a pair of correct socks to help complete the outward appearance.
The uniform came to us from the American Armoured Foundation, Inc. Tank and Ordnance Memorial Museum. The AAF Tank Museum was a living memorial dedicated to the Tank and Cavalry soldiers of the world. Before 1981 some of the artifacts that make up the AAF Tank Museum was a private collection belonging to Mr. William Gasser. Mr. Gasser felt that his collection would be beneficial in educating present and future generations to the sacrifices made and the technologies gained during war. Therefore, in 1981 the AAF Tank Museum was established as a non-profit charitable organization, and Mr. Gasser's donated his private collection to the Tank Museum. Mr. Gasser is still active as Volunteer Director and Curator of the Tank Museum and his knowledge of military history has been a great asset to the museum. Unfortunately after 20 years of operation it had to close its doors, which is when this uniform was acquired.
The overall condition of the set is quite nice and it literally comes ready for display!
Russia’s women tank crews like Maria Oktyabrskaya and Yekaterina Petlyuk from WW2 have been lionized in its military history. Both recipients of the Hero of the Soviet Union award attained notable feats with their T-34 and T-60 tanks, respectively, amid the biases of their gendered male colleagues.
Maria destroyed dozens of German tanks and an artillery gun, while Yekaterina miraculously noticed a minefield and stopped her tank three meters from the mines, thereby saving the lives of several of her officers traveling on it.
Liaison officer Alexandra Samushenko was another legendary tanker, the only deputy commander of a tank battalion. Nineteen when the war broke out, she saw action on several battlefronts, was wounded three times and had to abandon her burning tank twice.
But what sets her apart as she saw action in the most iconic tank battle of WW2, Kursk, where her T-34 faced three German Tiger tanks.
Despite speed and maneuverability, it was still outclassed by the heavier and more sophisticated German tanks when she is said to have calmed her panicked crew in a steely, powerful voice saying, “There is no way back for us.”
She took out the first Tiger and engaged the other two for several hours. Alexandra was killed in action in northwest Poland, while Maria succumbed after several months to a shrapnel injury she sustained on January 18, 1944.
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