SERVICE OF BRITISH AND SOVIET WOMEN IN SIGNAL CORPS DURING WORLD WAR II
Keywords:women, signal corps, Great Britain, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), World War II.
Comparison of the peculiarities of the service of the representatives of the countries of the world in different branches of the military has not found a comprehensive coverage in both domestic and foreign historiography. In the available comparisons, their authors rather briefly dwell on the general features of the policy of states with different regimes of government on the organization of women’s service in 1939-1945. However, they do not study in more detail the common and different in experiences of representatives of different states in the service of one or another branch of the military. The article examines the peculiarities of the service and life of Soviet and British women who served in signal corps during World War II. The countries were chosen not by chance, because they represent democracy and totalitarianism, respectively, and studying the experiences of women serving in their armies can deepen our knowledge of these regimes. The author concludes that the women of the USSR and Great Britain in the signal corps during World War II held positions with the same or similar responsibilities, but the everyday life of Soviet women at the front was mostly much stricter, due to the high intensity fighting. At the same time, it should not be forgotten that, despite the fact that the enemy was never able to invade Great Britain by land, its territories were subjected to massive air attacks, which posed a constant danger to the country’s inhabitants, both civilian and military. Therefore, the service of British women in the signal corps in the homeland was also associated with significant risk. Among other things, British female signals officers took part in the top-secret and extremely important for Allied troops operation “Enigma”, which resulted in the decryption of the code of the famous cipher machine of Nazi Germany. According to various estimates, the success of the operation significantly precipitated the end of World War II.