One of the Most Lethal WW2 Snipers Was Not Who You ThinkJul 09, 2022
Nazi invaders had taken over their homeland, but 25-year-old Lyudmila Pavlichenko gave them no peace. A born sniper, the young woman was tasked with countering German
snipersin Sevastopol in the summer of 1941, where she learned all about endurance and restraint. While she was silently searching for enemies without lifting a single finger for hours, the Red Army sniper suddenly saw a German helmet, or a fraction of it. She then pulled the trigger and, to her dismay, the tin hat moved like: (QUOTE) "The head of a toy elephant, and disappeared." She had fallen for an enemy trick and betrayed her position.
Immediately the Germans opened up a burst of fire so aggressively that she did not dare raise her head. She called for help, yelling: (QUOTE) "Machine guns, save me!" The friendly fire appeased the enemy for a moment, and he was able to fall back. But once she discovered the ploys of her opponents, Pavlichenko became unstoppable and was feared by even the bravest of Nazi soldiers. As she put it: (QUOTE) "After a while, things went really well." A native Lyudmila Mikhailovna Belova was born in 1916 to Russian parents in a small town in present-day Ukraine known as Bila Tserkva.
Shortly after her 14th birthday, her family moved to kyiv. She described herself as tomboyish, athletically competitive, and naughty in the classroom, and she recalled that when she was a teenager, a cocky boy from her neighborhood bragged about her marksmanship and marksmanship. her at the shooting range: (QUOTE) "I set out to prove that a girl could do it too. So I practiced a lot." Like many other young people of her time, she enrolled in a paramilitary sports organization that specialized in training young people in the handling of weapons and military manners. Fiercely ambitious from her earliest years, she soon became an amateur sniper, even winning the Voroshilov Sharpshooter. her badge and a marksman's certificate.
At 16, the young she married Alexei Pavlichenko and took his last name. Then, in 1932, she gave birth to their only child, Rostislav, but the marriage broke up soon after. her ex-husband's last name for the rest of her life. After that, the young mother returned to live with her parents while she pursued her education and future career, attended night school and worked day shifts as a metal polisher at the Kiev Arsenal factory. At the age of 21, she enrolled in Kiev University to study history and become a teacher, and also joined a Red Army sniper school. Still, the grim situation on the mainland was rapidly increasing and escalating. international tensions.
In her memoirs, Pavlichenko recalled: (QUOTE) "We had to
thinkabout what a new war would look like and when it would arrive at our doorstep." In January 1941, the Kiev State Historical Library gave her a position of senior research assistant and she was to go to Odessa on a 4-month secondment. At the train station, she said goodbye to her parents. Her son, however: (QUOTE) “He wouldn't let go of my hand. Tears welled up in his eyes, and I tried to comfort him. He could not have imagined that she would be separated from him for al
The Nazis would invade her homeland only a few months later. Duty Calls When the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, Pavlichenko was 24 years old and ready to serve the Motherland. She was among the first round of volunteers at the Odessa recruiting office, and initially applied to join the infantry, but was forced to become a nurse instead. Pavlichenko insisted on fighting and the resilient woman even showed the officers her awards, certificates and badges. She recalled: (QUOTE) "They didn't take girls into the army, so I had to resort to all sorts of tricks to get in." She then enlisted in the 25th Chapayev Rifle Division.
However, the Red Army struggled with a shortage of weapons, and therefore the now-soldier had to help dig trenches at first. She used to carry a fragmentation grenade, and later she wrote: (QUOTE) "It was very frustrating to have to watch the course of the battle with only one grenade in hand." One day, Pavlichenko joined a unit defending a nearby hill. Reaching a wounded colleague who was too weak to use her rifle, she handed him the weapon. It was her chance to prove herself: (QUOTE) "It was my turn to take up the firing position. I stood there and watched as the Romanians dug in only three or four hundred yards away.
The commander strictly forbade us to fire without your permission. I passed the word down the line: "May I shoot?" and he waited impatiently for a response. Instead, the commander sent back the question: "Are you sure to hit them?" "Yes," I said, "then! shoot! The young sniper hit a soldier, who then threw up his arms and fell to the ground. Then he saw another and hit him too. Pavlichenko's career had just begun. The realities of war Being a sniper in those battles was a extremely dangerous job, one that required sneaking behind enemy lines, often far from her own company, plus she had to sit perfectly still for hours to avoid detection by enemy
When she first came close to the enemy, she was paralyzed with fear, and she couldn't pick up her 7.62mm Mosin-Nagant rifle with a PE 4x scope. A fellow soldier moved alongside her, but was knocked down by a German bullet as they were settling in. Pavlichenko later recalled: (QUOTE) "He was such a nice, happy guy. After that, nothing could stop me." The sniper scored his first two official hits that same day, successfully taking out two German scouts conducting reconnaissance in the area. During his first 75 days in the war, Pavlichenko scored 187 enemy hits and excelled in fighting in Odessa. . 100 of the shots at him were German officers.
Pavlichenko was commissioned a sergeant major in August 1941, but the early days of the German invasion brought significant enemy advances, and the young sniper and her unit were forced to withdraw. The Soviet Army sent the order to evacuate her in October, and after proving her worth and making a name for herself, she was sent to the Crimea to fight in the Battle of Sevastopol. She recalled: (QUOTE) “The history of wars cannot show anything to compare with the defense of Sevastopol. We were one odd Russian for every ten Germans. Rise to fame In late 1941, Pavlichenko was appointed commander of her own sniper platoon in the Battle of Sevastopol.
At first, she had a hard time, as the new recruits thought it was some kind of joke that her commander was a woman. However, he would soon earn the respect and admiration of his superiors, peers, and subordinates alike. He recalled that in early December 1941, the Germans carelessly moved around the trenches, al
mostunaware of the Russian snipers and the danger they represented. According to the expert, Soviet snipers killed a dozen Germans in two days, including two officers. But the enemy retaliated with a crazy mortar attack. Pavlichenko wrote: (QUOTE) “For an hour or two, the Nazis fired 5-centimeter leichter Granatwerfer. 36, the light mortars that they had in each infantry platoon, from one trench we would instantly go to another that had been equipped in the depths of the forest, and from there we would see 910 g-weight mortar bombs explode. ng through our old shelter among the trees, lighting up with little puffs of orange and scattering dozens of little splinters everywhere.
I used to refer to that enemy action as a "German classical music concert". Pavlichenko was eventually promoted to counter-sniper, the riskiest job she could get in the field. However, she bested every Axis sniper she faced, taking out 36 of them, with one taking the hit after a 3-day chase. By May 1942, Pavlichenko had 257 confirmed hits and was cited by the Red Army War Council of the South. She simply commented: (QUOTE) "I'll get more." Pavlichenko was wounded several times during the 8-month fighting in Sevastopol, but she did not even consider being away from the battlefield for long. Less than a year had passed since the time she joined the army, and she was now known as 'Lady Death', a fearsome hunter.
A threat like no other The enemy was so afraid of Pavlichenko that they even bribed her several times. The Germans were blasting messages over their loudspeakers luring the star sniper and saying things like: (QUOTE) “Lyudmila Pavlichenko, come over to us. We'll give you lots of chocolate and make you a German officer. When the bribes didn't work, the enemy resorted to threats from her, claiming that they would tear her into 309 pieces, her exact score by then. Pavlichenko was amused by the attention, delighted even, but she would never betray her country. Desperate to put an end to her mounting score, the Germans finally shelled her position, shrapnel hitting Pavlichenko in the face.
It would be the last time she would be injured in battle, as her superiors insisted that she was worth more to the war effort if she were alive. She was therefore evacuated from the port by submarine and assigned as a sniper instructor. An unlikely friendship As a leading Red Army figure, Pavlichenko became a respectable figure in Soviet propaganda and was sent on tour to the United States, Canada and Britain in an effort to galvanize support for the so-called Second Front. Pavlichenko was even invited to the White House, becoming the first Soviet citizen to visit it. When he met with President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the women immediately rallied, both advocating for gender equality.
Still, the American media did not take the sniper seriously and ridiculed her with silly questions about her makeup and nail polish. Tired of the nonsense, the heroine pointed to her account and said in front of a crowd in Chicago: (QUOTE) "Don't you
thinkyou've been hiding behind my back for too long?" Pavlichenko soon returned home and trained several successful snipers. Then, when she ended the war, she finally got her own degree in history and worked as a researcher for the Soviet Navy. Despite international friction, her old friend Eleanor Roosevelt visited her in 1957 and the two embraced, much to the chagrin of her guards.
Legacy The sharpshooter's final years were filled with suffering, as she battled PTSD and alcoholism, not to mention the loss of a romantic partner who passed away in her arms in front of her. Pavlichenko, with the rank of lieutenant in the army and major in the Soviet navy, lost his life from a stroke at age 58. The legendary sniper was named a Hero of the Soviet Union and was featured on a commemorative postage stamp, while her memories of her have inspired several songs and films. She was one of 2,000 female snipers conscripted into the Red Army in World War II, only 500 of whom survived.
And with a confirmed hit score of 309, she clinched a spot in the top five sharpshooters of all time. As she put it with her characteristic wit: (QUOTE) “I intended to increase my account to 1,000 Nazis. But before you can annihilate the thousandth assassin, you must survive 999 times after accurately shooting an enemy.” Thanks for watching our video! If you liked it, give us a like and subscribe to all of our Dark Documentaries channels for more epic and heroic adventures from the World Wars. Also, let us know your thoughts in the comment below, and stay tuned for more!
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