I am sure you all have heard about Chris Kyle the American War Hero who has a confirmed kill count of over 150. The film American Sniper based on his life was popular but also gained controversy over its portrayal of Kyle and the Iraq War.
However, I bet you haven’t heard of Liudmyla Mykhailovna Pavlychenko who was a Soviet sniper during WW2 and is credited with 309 kills. She is the most successful female sniper in history. She will even give Wonderwomen a run for her money, hell Wonderwomen would be scared of her if they met. She is a Russian hero and was awarded many medals.
Pavlychenko was born in modern-day Ukraine in Bila Tserkva but moved to Kiev with her family when she was 14. There she joined a shooting club and became an amateur sharpshooter. Later on, she completed a master degree in History.
When she was in her 4th year of university, Germany began its invasion of the USSR. She was not too keen on being rule by Nazis and so was among the first to volunteer for the defence of the nation. At first, she was laughed at and told to become a nurse. However, she refused and was keen on kicking Nazi asses. She was one of the 2000 female snipers in the army.
In early August 1941, she made her first two kills as a sniper. Near Odessa, she recorded 187 kills. She was promoted to Senior Sergeant when she reached 100 confirmed kills. Her total confirmed kill count of WW2 was 309, including 36 enemy snipers. In 1942, Pavlychenko was wounded by motor fire. Due to her growing status and popularity, she was withdrawn from combat.
The USSR wanted to capitalize on her popularity and was sent to the US and Canada. She became the first Soviet citizen to be received by a US president due to Franklin Roosevelt welcoming her to the White House. She met with reporters but was not too impressed. One reporter criticized her skirt saying that American women wear their skirts shorter and that her uniform made her look fat. Lucky for that reporter that they were on each other’s side and not at war with each other.
Her visits in America and Canda were very popular and she was given gifts by the government. She also visited the UK and was met with a rockstar’s welcome.
She attained that rank of Major and never returned to combat but became an instructor and trained Soviet snipers. In 1943, she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union and was commemorated on a Soviet stamp.
After the war finished, she finished her university education and began her career as a historian. Due to her military experience, she was later active in the Soviet Committee of the Veterans of War. Pavlichenko died on October 10, 1974, at age 58, and was buried in the most famous cemetery in Moscow, called the “Novodevichy Cemetery”.
Due to her popularity and ass-kicking skills, there have been two songs dedicated to her. There was also a Ukrainian film about her life called “Battle for Sevastopol” that was released in 2015.
Check out this book on Soviet female snipers;