Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko
Людми́ла Миха́йловна Павличе́нко
|Birth name||Lyudmila Mikhailovna Belova|
|Born||12 July 1916|
Bila Tserkva, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
|Died||10 October 1974 58) (aged|
Moscow, Soviet Union
|Years of service||1941–1953|
|Unit||25th Rifle Division|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Hero of the Soviet Union|
|Spouse(s)||Alexei Pavlichenko (1932–?; divorced)|
|Other work||Soviet Committee of the Veterans of War|
Lyudmila Mikhailovna Pavlichenko Belova; 12 July 1916 –10 October 1974) was a Soviet sniper in the Red Army during World War II, credited with 309 kills. She is regarded as one of the top military snipers of all time and the most successful female sniper in history.(née
Snipers of the Soviet Union played an important role mainly on the Eastern Front of World War II, apart from other preceding and subsequent conflicts. In World War II, Soviet snipers used the 7.62×54mmR rifle cartridge with light, heavy, armour-piercing (B-30), armour-piercing-incendiary (B-32), zeroing-and-incendiary (P3), and tracer bullets. Most Soviet World War II snipers carried a combat load of 120 rifle cartridges in the field.
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army, frequently shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, and, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established immediately after the 1917 October Revolution. The Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; taking the official name of "Soviet Army", until its dissolution in December 1991. The former official name Red Army continued to be used as a nickname by both sides throughout the Cold War.
World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
Born in Bila Tserkva (in today's Ukraine) in the Russian Empire on 12 July 1916, Pavlichenko (née Belova) moved to Kiev with her family at the age of fourteen. There she joined a OSOAVIAKhIM shooting club and developed into an amateur sharpshooter, while working as a grinder at the Kiev Arsenal factory.In 1932, at the age of 16, she married Alexei Pavlichenko and gave birth to a son Rostislav (1932-2007), but soon they divorced. In 1937, as a student of Kiev University she completed a master's degree in history, focusing on the life of Bohdan Khmelnytsky.
Bila Tserkva is a city in central Ukraine, the largest city in Kiev Oblast. Bila Tserkva is located on the Ros River approximately 80 km (50 mi) south of Kiev. The area is 67.8 square kilometres (26.2 sq mi) Its population is approximately 207,745 (2017 est.).
Ukraine, sometimes called the Ukraine, is a country in Eastern Europe. Excluding Crimea, Ukraine has a population of about 42.5 million, making it the 32nd most populous country in the world. Its capital and largest city is Kiev. Ukrainian is the official language and its alphabet is Cyrillic. The dominant religions in the country are Eastern Orthodoxy and Greek Catholicism. Ukraine is currently in a territorial dispute with Russia over the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014. Including Crimea, Ukraine has an area of 603,628 km2 (233,062 sq mi), making it the largest country entirely within Europe and the 46th largest country in the world.
The Russian Empire, also known as Imperial Russia or simply Russia, was an empire that extended across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917.
In June 1941, 24-year-old Pavlichenko was in her fourth year studying history at the Kiev University when Germany began its invasion of the Soviet Union.Pavlichenko was among the first round of volunteers at the Odessa recruiting office, where she requested to join the infantry and subsequently she was assigned to the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division; Pavlichenko had the option of becoming a nurse but refused; "I joined the army when women were not yet accepted". There she became one of 2,000 female snipers in the Red Army, of whom about 500 survived the war. In early August 1941 she made her first two kills as a sniper near Belyayevka, using a Mosin-Nagant model 1891 bolt-action rifle with 4X PE (Emelyanov) telescopic sight. According to her memoirs, this became her favored weapon despite the advent of the semi-automatic SVT-40, which was not its equal for accuracy, range and reliability.
Nazi Germany is the common English name for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party (NSDAP) controlled the country through a dictatorship. Under Hitler's rule, Germany was transformed into a totalitarian state where nearly all aspects of life were controlled by the government. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich until 1943 and Großdeutsches Reich from 1943 to 1945. Nazi Germany is also known as the Third Reich, meaning "Third Realm" or "Third Empire", the first two being the Holy Roman Empire (800–1806) and the German Empire (1871–1918). The Nazi regime ended after the Allies defeated Germany in May 1945, ending World War II in Europe.
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans (Lebensraum), to use Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort and to annihilate the rest according to Generalplan Ost, and to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories.
Infantry is a military specialization that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers or infanteers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.
Pavlichenko fought for about two and a half months near Odessa where she recorded 187 kills.She was promoted to senior sergeant in August 1941 when she reached 100 confirmed kills. When the Romanians gained control of Odessa on 15 October 1941, her unit was withdrawn by sea to Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula, where she fought for more than eight months. In May 1942 newly promoted Lieutenant Pavlichenko was cited by the Southern Army Council for killing 257 German soldiers. Her total of confirmed kills during World War II was 309, including 36 enemy snipers.
Odessa is the third most populous city of Ukraine and a major tourism center, seaport and transport hub located on the northwestern shore of the Black Sea. It is also the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast and a multiethnic cultural center. Odessa is sometimes called the "pearl of the Black Sea", the "South Capital", and "Southern Palmyra". Before the Tsarist establishment of Odessa, an ancient Greek settlement existed at its location as elsewhere along the northwestern Black Sea coast. A more recent Tatar settlement was also founded at the location by Hacı I Giray, the Khan of Crimea in 1440 that was named after him as "Hacıbey". After a period of Lithuanian Grand Duchy control, Hacibey and surroundings became part of the domain of the Ottomans in 1529 and remained there until the empire's defeat in the Russo-Turkish War of 1792.
Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. Since annexing Crimea in 2014, the Russian Federation has administered Sevastopol as a federal city. Nevertheless, Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine. The population is made up of mostly Russians with small numbers of Ukrainians and Tatars.
Crimea is a peninsula on the northern coast of the Black Sea in Eastern Europe that is almost completely surrounded by both the Black Sea and the smaller Sea of Azov to the northeast. It is located south of the Ukrainian region of Kherson, to which it is connected by the Isthmus of Perekop, and west of the Russian region of Kuban, from which it is separated by the Strait of Kerch though linked by the Crimean Bridge. The Arabat Spit is located to the northeast, a narrow strip of land that separates a system of lagoons named Sivash from the Sea of Azov. Across the Black Sea to its west is Romania and to its south Turkey.
In June 1942, Pavlichenko was wounded by mortar fire. Because of her growing status, she was withdrawn from combat less than a month after recovering from her wound.
A mortar is usually a simple, lightweight, man portable, muzzle-loaded weapon, consisting of a smooth-bore metal tube fixed to a base plate with a lightweight bipod mount and a sight. They launch explosive shells in high-arcing ballistic trajectories. Mortars are typically used as indirect fire weapons for close fire support with a variety of ammunition.
In 1942, Pavlichenko was sent to Canada and the United States for a publicity visit and became the first Soviet citizen to be received by a US President when Franklin D. Roosevelt welcomed her to the White House.Pavlichenko was later invited by Eleanor Roosevelt to tour America relating her experiences. While meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C., she was dumbfounded about the kind of questions put to her. "One reporter even criticized the length of the skirt of my uniform, saying that in America women wear shorter skirts and besides my uniform made me look fat."
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States, stretching some 8,891 kilometres (5,525 mi), is the world's longest bi-national land border. Its capital is Ottawa, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra. Consequently, its population is highly urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, with 70% of citizens residing within 100 kilometres (62 mi) of the southern border. Canada's climate varies widely across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons.
The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, often referred to by his initials FDR, was an American statesman and political leader who served as the 32nd president of the United States from 1933 until his death in 1945. A member of the Democratic party, he won a record four presidential elections and became a central figure in world events during the first half of the 20th century. Roosevelt directed the federal government during most of the Great Depression, implementing his New Deal domestic agenda in response to the worst economic crisis in U.S. history. As a dominant leader of his party, he built the New Deal Coalition, which realigned American politics into the Fifth Party System and defined American liberalism throughout the middle third of the 20th century. His third and fourth terms were dominated by World War II. Roosevelt is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in American history, as well as among the most influential figures of the 20th century. Though he has been subject to substantial criticism, he is generally rated by scholars as one of the three greatest U.S. presidents, along with George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
Pavlichenko appeared before the International Student Assembly being held in Washington, D.C., and later attended the meetings of the Congress of Industrial Organizations and made appearances and speeches in New York City and Chicago. In Chicago, she stood before large crowds, chiding the men to support the second front. "Gentlemen," she said, "I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist invaders by now. Don't you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?" Her words settled on the crowd, then caused a surging roar of support. [ citation needed ]The United States gave her a Colt semi-automatic pistol. In Canada she was presented with a sighted Winchester rifle now on display at the Central Armed Forces Museum in Moscow. While visiting in Canada along with fellow sniper Vladimir Pchelintsev and Moscow fuel commissioner Nikolai Kravchenko they were greeted by thousands of people at Toronto's Union Station.
On Friday 21 November 1942, Pavlichenko visited Coventry, accepting donations of £4,516 from local workers to pay for three X-ray units for the Red Army. She also visited Coventry Cathedral ruins, then the Alfred Herbert works and Standard Car Factory from where most funds had been raised. She had inspected a factory in Birmingham earlier in the day.
Having attained the rank of major, Pavlichenko never returned to combat but became an instructor and trained Soviet snipers until the war's end.In 1943, she was awarded the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union, and was commemorated on a Soviet postage stamp.
After the war, she finished her education at Kiev University and began a career as a historian. From 1945 to 1953, she was a research assistant of the Chief HQ of the Soviet Navy. She was later active in the Soviet Committee of the Veterans of War.Pavlichenko died from a stroke on 10 October 1974 at age 58 and was buried in the Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow.
A second Soviet commemorative stamp featuring Lyudmila Pavlichenko's portrait was issued in 1976.
The American folk singer Woody Guthrie composed a song ("Miss Pavlichenko") as a tribute to her war record and to memorialize her visits to the United States and Canada.It was released as part of The Asch Recordings .
Pavlichenko was a subject of the 2015 film, Battle for Sevastopol (original Ukrainian title, "Незламна " ("Indestructible" / "Unbreakable")). A joint Russian-Ukrainian production, it was released in both countries on 2 April 2015.The international premiere took place two weeks later at the Beijing International Film Festival. The film is a heavily romanticized version of her life, with several fictitious characters and many departures from the events related in her memoirs.
The first English language edition of her memoirs, titled Lady Death, was published by Greenhill Books in February 2018.The book has a foreword by Martin Pegler and is part of the Greenhill Books Sniper Library series. The book was serialised in the Mail on Sunday newspaper on Sunday 18 March 2018.
Pavlichenko's story was featured in the fourth season of Drunk History in which she was played by Mae Whitman.
She was featured in Jason Porath's website Rejected Princess.
Pavlichenko's war record was recognized in the Soviet Union by two commemorative stamps with her portrait (see images above).She was awarded the following:
The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.
State enterprise of a special instrumentation Arsenal, also known as Arsenal Factory, is one of the oldest and most famous factories in Kiev.
Nina Alexeyevna Lobkovskaya served as a sniper for the Red Army and attained the rank of Lieutenant in a separate sniper unit of the 3rd Shock Army during World War II. In the war she reached 89 confirmed kills, making her the tenth deadliest female sniper in the war.
Mariya Karpovna Bayda was a medical orderly in the 514th Infantry Regiment during World War II who fought in Crimea. When she was surrounded by Wehrmacht submachine gunners, she fought a heated gun battle against them, killing fifteen, wounding several more, and routing the rest, escaping wounded. For her wartime exploits, Bayda was awarded the honorary title of Hero of the Soviet Union in 1942.
Lyudmila Aksyonova is a Soviet athlete who competed mainly in the 400 metres, training at VSS Avanhard in Kiev.
Women in the Russian and Soviet military have played many roles in their country's military history. Women of Russia and the Soviet Union played an important role in World Wars, especially during World War II.
Roza Georgiyevna Shanina was a Soviet sniper during World War II who was credited with fifty-nine confirmed kills, including twelve soldiers during the Battle of Vilnius. Shanina volunteered for the military after the death of her brother in 1941 and chose to be a marksman on the front line. Praised for her shooting accuracy, Shanina was capable of precisely hitting enemy personnel and making doublets.
Soviet women played an important role in World War II. While most toiled in industry, transport, agriculture and other civilian roles, working double shifts to free up enlisted men to fight and increase military production, a sizable number of women served in the army. The majority were in medical units.
Beautiful Assassin is a historical fiction novel by Michael C. White. The book focuses on Lieutenant Tat'yana Levchenko, whose husband goes missing and daughter is killed, inspiring her to become a soldier. After becoming a Soviet hero for killing over 300 Germans, she is wounded in battle and while recovering is asked to come to the United States at the request of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to promote the war effort.
Ludmila or Ludmilla is a female given name of Slavic origin and consists of two elements: lud ("people") and mila. Because the initial L is mostly soft (palatalized), it is sometimes also transcribed Lyudmila, Lyudmyla or Ljudmila, and is written as Ľudmila in Slovak.
Nina Andreyevna Onilova was a Soviet machine gunner in the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division who fought the Germans near Odessa and Sevastopol from 1941 to 1942.
Aliya Nurmuhametqyzy Moldagulova was a Soviet sniper and recipient of the title Hero of the Soviet Union after she died of wounds sustained in battle on 14 January 1944.
Battle for Sevastopol is a 2015 biographical war film about Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a young Soviet who joined the Red Army to fight the Nazi invasion of the USSR and became one of the deadliest snipers in World War II. The film, a joint Russian-Ukrainian production, was released in both countries on April 2, 2015; its international premiere took place two weeks later at the Beijing International Film Festival.
Mariya Polivanova was a private in the 528th Rifle Regiment of the 130th Infantry Division, 1st Shock Army on the Northwestern Front during World War II. On 14 August 1942, surrounded by German soldiers whilst she and her colleague Natalya Kovshova had only two grenades left, they set off the last two grenades, killing themselves and surrounding German soldiers. For their bravery she and Kovshova were posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 14 February 1943.
Tatyana Kostyrina was a Junior Sergeant in the 691st Rifle Regiment of the 383rd Rifle Division during World War II. She was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 16 May 1944.
Lyudmila Kravets was a Senior Sergeant in the 63rd Guards Rifle Regiment in the 23rd Guards Rifle Division of the 3rd Shock Army on the 1st Belorussian Front during World War II. For her actions in the war, she was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 31 May 1945, and was the only woman in her regiment to be awarded the title.
Fedora Pushina was a lieutenant in the 520th Rifle Regiment of the 167th Rifle Division in the 38th Army on the 1st Ukrainian Front during the Second World War. She was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union on 10 January 1944 after she died of wounds from rescuing soldiers in a burning hospital in Kiev on 6 November 1943.
Zinaida Aleksandrovna Samsonova was a senior medical service sergeant who served in the 667th Infantry Regiment of the 218th Infantry Division of the Soviet 47th Army on the Voronezh Front in World War II. Killed in action on 27 January 1944 by a German sniper while attempting to rescue a wounded Soviet soldier during the Kalinkovichi-Mozyr offensive west of Gomel, she was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union on 3 June 1944.
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