Girl Soldier of the Great Patriotic War

Softcover $7.20
Book: Cover Type


2020 Military Writers of America Silver Medal

2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award – HONORABLE Mention for Graphic Novels & Comics


On Sunday, June 22, 1941, the morning after Katusha’s graduation, the Germans invade the Soviet Union. As enemy forces occupy Kiev, Ukraine, Katusha and her family learn the Nazis are not there to liberate them from harsh communist rule, but to conquer. They discover there is a special danger for the Jews, and in saving her friend Zhenya Gersteinfeld, Katusha finds her whole family in danger.

During the next four years, Katusha experiences the war on the Eastern Front with all its ferocity and hardship: first as a partisan, then as a Red Army tank driver and commander. From Barbarossa to Babi Yar, from Stalingrad to Kursk, from the Dnipro to Berlin, follow the footprints and tanks tracks of Katusha’s journey through a time of death, hopelessness, victory, glory, and even love.

Seen through the eyes of a Ukrainian teenager, Katusha is both a coming-of-age story and a carefully researched account of one of the most turbulent and important periods of the twentieth century, where women served in the hundreds of thousands, and Russians died by the millions.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

“An extraordinary look at a little-known aspect of World War Two, Wayne Vansant’s Katusha is well worth your time.” —Garth Ennis, writer of War Stories, Battlefields and Sara
“I'm in awe of this book. It’s got everything right. Impressive research, complex characters, passionate yet balanced storytelling, perfect pacing, and a strong female protagonist. We need more graphic novels like this about real heroes.” —Pat Mills, author of Charley’s War, creator of 2000AD featuring Judge Dredd
“Wayne Vansant combines thorough military and historical detail with unforgettable characters in his epic masterwork Katusha…. Vansant’s art is outstanding, demonstrating a great commitment to getting it right with uniforms, landscapes, and armaments, while also showing a knack for facial details that keeps every character in his large cast easily identifiable. Vansant captures the massive scale and significance of the war, but the strength of this book is that it is seen from a personal viewpoint. First, last, and always, this is Katusha’s story.” —Foreword Reviews
Katusha, written and drawn by Wayne Vansant, is quite an ambitious work and a truly immersive page-turner. This is the story of Katusha, a young Ukrainian girl who goes on to fight in the major battles between the Soviets and their Nazi invaders. Follow her story and you gain great insight into one of the greatest conflicts in military history. Vansant puts the reader in the driver’s seat for this riveting narrative.” —Comics Grinder
“This is a spectacular book; it takes the time to tell a complex story, with many moving parts, characters, and events all happening. It looks at how one young lady found herself at different important points and decisions made by those in power, but from the point-of-view of the average soldier.” —Seattle Book Review
“As a tome that literally illustrates the time, place, people, and horrors of war, however, this is very well done.” —Sequential Tart
“The book is full of detail on Katusha’s wartime action – and those actions were entirely typical of women fighting for Russia…. In its own terrifying way, it is a coming-of-age tale about a teenager who lost most of her loved ones. It ... will have a beneficial impact on any teenager you know.” —La Gaceta
“I must admit I had a difficult time putting this book down. The story was riveting and educational. The pictures and dialog made it easy to follow the storyline. Although many of the characters are fictional, I learned there were many women who fought in the war alongside their male counterparts, so the storyline was credible. If you have never read a graphic novel, I can recommend this book as your first.”—Historical Novel Society
“I love Wayne Vansant’s artwork as much as his text – it’s really original and sincere, a million miles away from plastic cookie cutter ‘super hero’ art…. An extremely moving tale, one that would appeal to anyone who likes a good story.” —Hellbound.ca

“Wayne Vansant’s Katusha: Girl Soldier of the Great Patriotic War, at 572 pages, is a big book, but this allows Vansant to be patient…. Vansant’s book is full of thoughtful details…. It is one that addresses anti-Semitism and how Jews were persecuted.” —Comicon.com

“This book is a wonderful introduction to graphic novels if you are not familiar with the genre. Well-researched, the military illustrations, technology, and nomenclature are spot on, as is the history of the Eastern Front. I particularly liked how the author showed the human side of so many great battles; it is easy to research the strategy of a battle, but harder at times to grasp the feelings and emotions of the people that fought it. Vansant does an excellent job of developing characters, especially since compared to a novel he has limited text in which to do so. There are also a few actual photographs worked into the story, which are used to great impact. If you enjoy military graphic novels, you will love this; if you are not familiar with graphic novels, this is a great place to start!” —Military Writers Society of America
2019 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Award – HONORABLE Mention for Graphic Novels & Comics.