Published: 12th July 2021
#ThrowbackToday: A female Soviet sniper who shot 309 Nazis! Why don't we know about her already?
In today's #TBT, we speak about a woman whose very name used to strike fear in the hearts of enemies, Lyudmila Pavlichenko. It's her birth anniversary today and she is our new role model. Here's why
If the bullet from her rifle failed to take a life, her name surely would. After all, it wasn't for no reason that Lyudmila Pavlichenko was known as Lady Death, a title earned after the Soviet sniper killed 309 Nazis while fighting for the Red Army. All this while she was just 25! By any standard, not just as a female, this was a huge feat.
Born on July 12, 1916 in present-day Ukraine, Pavlichenko’s fame spread far and wide so much so that the German Army would broadcast the following message over loudspeakers, “Lyudmila Pavlichenko, come over to us. We will give you plenty of chocolate and make you a German officer.” As if the greatest sniper in history could be lured by chocolate. The gall!
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As her body count grew, Pavlichenko was promoted up the ranks eventually serving at the frontlines, even engaging in duels that lasted as long as three days. And because her popularity grew, Joseph Stalin sent her on tours to rally up support for the Red Army, which she did with full dedication. “I am 25 years old and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don’t you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?” she poignantly asked at one such event in the US. She even shut down sexist questions with quick repartee or straight-up facts, as need be.
If there is one thing you do today, read up more about this force of a woman. Till then, we leave you with a few lines from a song written in her honour by American folk singer Woody Guthrie titled, Miss Pavlichenko:
Miss Pavlichenko's well-known to fame
Russia's your country, fighting is your game
The world will always love you for all time to come,
300 Nazis fell by your gun.