Pavliuchenko, Lyudmila Mikhailovna

views updated


(19161974), soldier, historian, and journalist.

A World War II heroine who a became champion sniper with 309 kills to her credit, including thirty-six enemy snipers, Pavlyuchenko was the first Soviet citizen received at the White House. She retired at the rank of major after serving in the No. 2 Company, Second Battalion, 54th Razin Regiment, 25th "V.I. Chapayev" Division of the Independent Maritime Army, and was awarded the status of Hero of the Soviet Union on 25 October 1943.

Born in Belaya Tserkov, Pavliuchenko completed high school while working in the Arsenal factory in Kiev, where she mastered small arms in a military club. She also trained as a sniper at the paramilitary Osoaviakhim (loosely translated as "Society for the Promotion of Aviation and Chemical Defense") and took up hang-gliding and parachuting. After enrolling at the State University of Kiev, she successfully defended her master's thesis on Bohdan Khmelnitsky.

Pavliuchenko volunteered for military service during the summer of 1941 and became an expert sniper for the Independent Maritime Army in Odessa and Sevastopol. Invited by Eleanor Roosevelt, she toured North America in August 1942 and was presented with a Winchester rifle in Toronto. In 1943 she completed the Vystrel Courses for Officers. On graduating from Kiev University in 1945, she became a military historian and journalist. Affected with a concussion and wounded four times, Pavliuchenko died prematurely and was buried at the prestigious Novodevichye Cemetery in Moscow.

See also: aviation; world war ii


Cottam, Kazimiera J. (1998). Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies. Nepean, Canada: New Military Publishing.

Pavlichenko, Liudmila Mikhailovna. (1977). "I was a sniper." In The Road of Battle and Glory, ed. I.M. Danishevsky, tr. David Skvirsky. Moscow: Politizdat.

Kazimiera J. Cottam