|Born||12 Jul 1916|
|Died||10 Oct 1974|
Contributor: C. Peter Chen
Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko was born in the small Ukrainian village of Belaya Tserkov. After completing 9 years of schooling, she moved to Kiev, Ukraine with her parents. At age 14, she joined a shooting club in Kiev and learned how to use a rifle. When Germany invaded Russia in Jun 1941, she placed her university education on hold and joined the Russian Army. The recruiter insisted on signing her up as a nurse, but she refused, asking to be given a position in the infantry. The recruiter laughed even when she produced her marksmanship certificate, but gave in to her demands, allowing her to become one of 2,000 Soviet women who fought in the war as snipers. As a member of the Russian 25th Infantry Division, she fought the German forces near Odessa, Ukraine, where she recorded her first two kills. Over the next two and half years, she killed 187 Germans with her Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle. Upon the fall of Odessa to the Germans, she was transferred to Sevastopol in southern Ukraine, where in May 1942 Southern Red Army Council gave her credit for killing 257 Germans. Her score reached 309 before the war ended for her after being wounded by mortar fire in Jun 1942. Realizing she could be used for propaganda, the Russians sent her to tour Canada and the United States. She became the first Soviet citizen to be a guest of the White House. The Americans gave her a Colt semi-automatic pistol, while the Canadians presented her with a Winchester rifle. Upon her return to Europe, she was given the rank of major and became a sniper instructor. In 1943 she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
After the war, Pavlichenko completed her education at Kiev University and became a historian attached to the headquarters of the Soviet Navy. Subsequently, she also served as a member of the Soviet Committee of the Veterans of War. She passed away at the age of 58 and now rests in peace in the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow, Russia.
Sources: Armchair Reader World War II, Wikipedia.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko Timeline
|12 Jul 1916||Lyudmila Pavlichenko was born.|
|10 Oct 1974||Lyudmila Pavlichenko passed away.|
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