From a young age, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was determined to show just how capable women can be, finding one of her earliest routes to proving herself through sport and shooting (skills that would later serve her well in the Red Army's 25th Rifle Division, where she become one of 2,000 female snipers). Russian Snipers proved to be some of the best of the war. The Soviet Army birthed many sniper aces claiming an impressive kill tally. Unusually for the time, the Red Army fielded many female snipers who proved their worth time again and again.
It was June of 1941 that 24-year-old Pavlichenko abandoned her fourth year of studies at Kiev university to volunteer in defence of the Motherland, requesting service in the infantry. Although she met pushback, with the registrar pushing her towards nursing, her training put her in good stead and she assigned to the Red Army’s 25th Rifle division. Remarkably, weapons shortages meant that she was only issued with fragmentation grenade, and only received her Mosin-Nagant model 1891 bolt-action rifle from a fallen comrade in August. Shortly thereafter, she claimed her first two kills and demonstrated her worth to comrades in her self-described “baptism of fire”, and became worthy of the role of sniper.
During the Siege of Odessa of August 1941, she ramped her kill count up, scoring 187 kills over two and a half months, and earnt promotion to Senior Sergeant. When the Romanian army seized control of Odessa, her unit withdrew to Sevastopol. It was here she trained other snipers, who between them racked up 100 kills.
In May 1942, the now Lieutenant Pavlichenko was cited for claiming 257 Axis soldiers, bringing her total over the war to 309. In June however, she was injured when shrapnel from a mortar shell struck her in the face. Recovering, she was withdrawn from the front to serve as a propaganda tool for the Red Army, touring Allied countries, whilst also continuing to train fellow snipers.
For her extremely high kill count, she earned the moniker, ‘Lady Death’.
This pack contains:
- 1 metal figure. Lyudmila Pavlichenko "Lady Death" - Special Edition Miniature
Note: Models supplied unassembled and unpainted. Metal parts.