Soviet women played an important role in World War II (whose Eastern Front was known as the Great Patriotic War in the Soviet Union). While most toiled in industry, transport, agriculture, and other civilian roles, working double shifts to free up enlisted men to fight and increase military production, a sizable number of women served in the army. The majority were in medical units.?
There were 800,000 women who served in the Soviet Armed Forces during the war, which is roughly 3 percent of total military personnel. The number of women in the Soviet military in 1943 was 348,309, 473,040 in 1944, and then 463,503 in 1945. Of the medical personnel in the Red Army, 40% of paramedics, 43% of surgeons, 46% of doctors, 57% of medical assistants, and 100% of nurses were women. Nearly 200,000 were decorated and 89 of them eventually received the Soviet Union's highest award, the Hero of the Soviet Union, among which some served as pilots, snipers, machine gunners, tank crew members, and partisans, as well as in auxiliary roles.