She was a college student who dropped out to do her part, joining the Army and becoming a sniper despite being told women would only be allowed to serve as nurses.
Lyudmila Pavlichenko was in Odessa when the war broke out and Romanians and Germans invaded her homeland.
“They wouldn’t take girls in the army, so I had to resort to all kinds of tricks to get in,” Pavlichenko said, noting that officials tried to steer her toward becoming a nurse.
She told everyone who would listen that she was skilled with a rifle, finally earning an impromptu sniper audition at a hill one Red Army unit was defending – handing her a rifle and pointing her toward a pair of Romanians who were working with the Germans.
“When I picked off the two, I was accepted,” Pavlichenko said, adding that she did not count the Romanians in her tally of kills “because they were test shots.”
“Every German who remains alive will kill women, children and old folks,” she said.“Dead Germans are harmless. Therefore, if I kill a German, I am saving lives.”
Killing Nazis, she said, aroused no “complicated emotions” in her. “The only feeling I have is the great satisfaction a hunter feels who has killed a beast of prey.”
When the bribes did not work the Germans resorted to threats, vowing to tear her into 309 pieces—a phrase that delighted the young sniper. “They even knew my score!”
Lyudmila’s story was told in the awesome Russian-made movie Battle for Sevastopol, released in 2015: