Pavlichenko file photo [2023]

Lyudmila Pavlichenko

Given NameLyudmila
Born12 Jul 1916
Died10 Oct 1974


ww2dbaseLyudmila 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.

ww2dbaseAfter 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.

ww2dbaseSources: Armchair Reader World War II, Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Dec 2007


Pavlichenko posing with her Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle for a publicity photo shoot, date unknown

Lyudmila Pavlichenko Timeline

12 Jul 1916 Lyudmila Pavlichenko was born.
10 Oct 1974 Lyudmila Pavlichenko passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Pushpyndra18 says:
12 Jan 2011 08:52:11 AM

Brilliant! Thanks for sharing
2. Saffy says:
2 Feb 2011 05:01:24 PM

I admire this lady.
3. Anonymous says:
9 Feb 2013 04:58:45 AM

Thank you for posting these pagnitnis, Jim. We in the United States many times do not understand the enormous loss suffered by the Russian people during WWII. Because much of the war was fought on their own land - they lost over 30 million people (many many women and children). While I was living in Memphis, there was a special exhibit of Russian artifacts, art, photos, ephemera, movies, etc from the war that made it all too graphic how devastating "The Great Patriotic War" was to them. We were Allies back then and this in no way diminishes the sacrifices made by our brave boys, but it is much worse when the fighting happens on your own soil. One thing that stuck with me about the exhibit was a reconstructed apartment from the seige of Leningrad - the seige lasted for 900 days and people resorted to stripping the wall paper off the walls and eating it.The art produced from that time period really touches you to the core. Another great artist that portrayed the ravages of war was Kathe Kollwitz.
4. Rainbow Dash says:
29 Mar 2014 02:20:49 PM

5. Brit brat says:
1 Aug 2018 06:50:16 AM

I find this admirable, she is truly remarkable
6. Anonymous says:
22 Mar 2023 06:27:33 AM

great site used it for my school work

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Event(s) Participated:
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Lyudmila Pavlichenko Photo Gallery
Pavlichenko posing with her Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle for a publicity photo shoot, date unknown

Famous WW2 Quote
"Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, uncommon valor was a common virtue."

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