When Nazis invaded her homeland, bombed her city, blew up her house, kicked over her garbage cans, walked across her kitchen floor without taking their boots off, and violently killed her husband during the Battle of Kiev, the Ukrainian housewife/political activist/ultimate killing machine Mariya Oktyabrsakaya didn't just get so roid-ragingly pissed that should could have torn the turret off a Panzer IV with her teeth.
She got revenge. Violent, armor-piercing, high-explosive, white-knuckled revenge served Siberian Ice Cold with a side of mashed potatoes and a pot of hot borscht to the face.
This hardcore woman sold all of her worldly possessions, clenched her teeth, bought a 26-ton T-34 Main Battle Tank, taught herself how to drive it and repair it, and just start blasting the ever-loving unholy Nazi-loving dickballs off of every single gun-swinging Fascist bastard that came within range of the fearsome-looking 76mm cannon mounted on the turret of her vengeance-fueled war machine, and she didn't take her finger off the trigger or her hands off the throttle until someone pried them out of her cold dead hands.
One of ten kids born into a massive, dirt-poor Ukrainian peasant family back in the dying days of the Russian Empire, Mariya Oktyabrskaya was a hardcore Communist who took part in the Russian Revolution, married a Red Army officer in the new Soviet Union, and did her job for the proletariat working factory and phone operator jobs for whatever the hell passed as minimum wage in 1930s Russia. Things were going well, she was active in political Commie stuff, her husband was probably a pretty cool guy, and everything was pretty much excellently set up for it to be the idyllic beginning of some action movie right before the hero flips out like a ninja and starts machinegunning his way through hordes of faceless jobbers in generic-looking uniforms.
The catalyst for this Ultimate Freak Out of Doom was the Nazi invasion of Soviet Russia in 1941, when roughly two-thirds of Hitler's army came waltzkreiging their way into the Motherland riding a tidal wave of sloped armor-plated blast-resistant steel and 88mm high-explosive anti-tank cannons. Things were blowing up like crazy all over the place, the Nazis cleaned house, and the Wehrmacht was rocking it so hard that pretty much every time an SS officer took a leak two thousand Russians exploded.
That was bad enough. But it was when the Germans attacked Kiev, killed Mariya's husband, and flattened the city that she decided it was time to take matters into her own hands.
Mariya Oktyabrskaya, shaking with wifely Communist rage and an insatiable urge to kill every Fascist on Earth, went to Siberia, sold everything she owned, bought a brand-spanking-new olive drab T-34 Medium Battle Tank fresh off the assembly line directly from a manufacturing facility, taught herself how to operate it, painted the words "Fighting Girlfriend" in Cyrillic on the side of the turret, and rolled it right up to the first Red Army armored division she could find – the elite 26th Guard Tank Brigade.
These dudes weren't quite sure what to make of Oktyabrskaya at first, but, you may know, it's hard to say no to a chick in a tank, so they were like, "yeah dude sounds great little lady lol let's see what you got toots". They enrolled her in a three-month training program, hooked her up with three crewmen to help her man the tank, enlisted her in the Red Army as a driver and a mechanic, and threw her straight into front-line combat, even though most of the dudes in the service were pretty much convinced she was going to make it about twenty feet before some Tiger tank blew her up so hard that her badass-looking driving goggles would land in another dimension.
Sergeant Oktyabrskaya rolled her T-34 to the front, revved the hardcore 500 horsepower 38.8 Liter V12 engine loud enough to drown out the sound of a jet engine, did a kickass Tank Burnout like an armor-plated machine-gun toting analogue of Vin Diesel's '69 Charger in The Fast and the Furious, and peeled out straight into the middle of an oncoming wave of Nazi tanks. When the black smoke finally dissipated and the sky stopped being a raging tornado of scrap metal and dead Nazis, Fighting Girlfriend had wiped out a half-dozen self-propelled anti-tank guns, a couple machine gun nests, and had been the first tank to spearhead a full breakthrough of the German position.
She was just getting started.
Just in case anybody still questioned this rampaging war-chick's gigantic titanium-armor-plated fem-balls, Oktyabrskaya proved herself yet again in a battle that took place just a couple weeks after this, when, in the midst of a massive crossfire, she literally jumped out of her tank to fix it in the middle of a battle. A Panzershreckt bazooka team had blown one of the treads on her T-34 and Mariya, not content to wait around for Soviet Triple-A to come make a battlefield service call, popped the hatch, left the relative safety of her bulletproof tank driver's cockpit, ordered her turret gunner to lay down enough machine gun fire to dismember a forest, and repaired the tread while Nazis took potshots at her. With enemy bullets pinging off the hull of her tank, Mariya dug through her repair kit, fixed the tread, gave the Germans the finger, then hopped back into the tank and crushed a couple dozen guys underneath the newly-repaired treads of her ferocious all-consuming war machine. Oh yeah, and if you think jumping out of your tank to fix it is insane, it is. But this didn't stop Mariya Oktyabrskaya from doing it twice more during her career.
Her comrades in the 26th Guards Tank Brigade naturally accepted her into their ranks as "one of the guys" almost immediately after seeing this ridiculousness go down, and within the next few months the Russian papers caught on to Mariya's story and got her involved with the Commie Propaganda Machine. Fighting on the front lines in battle after battle, Oktyabrskaya is also believed to have participated in the largest tank battle ever in human history, the Battle of Kursk, in 1943, rocking the control stick of the T-34 in a psychotic melee of German and Russian armor that had more in common with Iron Tank on the NES or a MechWarrior multiplayer server than a traditional tank battle. With tank-destroying bazooka rockets and armor-piercing artillery shells cratering the earth into a scorched pothole of misery, Oktyabrskaya swerved, darted, evaded, and positioned her tank so her gunners could do their part to level the German war machine and turn the tide of the war against Hitler once and for all.
The Battle of Kursk.
Fighting Girlfriend fought her final battle in November, after having served in front-line combat for almost a full year. The Germans, having been smashed at Stalingrad, Moscow, and Kursk and now being pressed on the Normandy front as well, were falling back, desperately trying to hold on to their positions, and Oktyabrskaya and the Russian War Machine were steadily driving the Nazis back to Berlin. Oktyabrskaya was ordered to undertake a daring night attack on German positions, flipping on the searchlight of her T-34, driving through almost total darkness straight on into heavily-fortified enemy positions, trying desperately to focus her fire on enemy muzzle flashes and driving on instinct and reaction time alone.
Spearheading the assault, Oktyabrskaya drove straight-on into the enemy, wiping out a StuG self-propelled anti-tank gun (basically a badass tank without a moveable turret) with a well-placed shot and rolling her machine over two packed-out trenches full of Nazi artillery and infantry, wasting everything on either side of her. The Germans focused their fire on the lead Soviet tank that was smashing through their lines, and one round from an anti-tank artillery gun nailed Fighting Girlfriend in the tread, breaking its track and starting a small fire. Mariya Oktyabrskaya, once again fearless in the face of enemy fire, leapt out, put out the flames, and went to work on the track.
A German artillery shell exploded nearby, killing her with razor-sharp shrapnel to the head, her body falling onto the tank she was repairing. A second shell scored a direct hit on Fighting Girlfriend, lighting it up in an awesome-looking Blaze of Glory.
For her service to the Motherland, Tank Driver Mariya Oktyabrskaya would be awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, the highest award for military bravery offered by the USSR.
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