Born: July 12, 1916. Died October 10, 1974.
She was one of the most dangerous snipers of any sex, and she remains the record-holding female sniper. She had killed 257 Germans by May 1942 when she was promoted to Lieutenant. Her total credited kills were 309, including 36 snipers. (It apparently doesn’t include 2 Romanian invaders she shot in order to prove she could be useful to the Soviet Army.)
Just to prove that reporters were just as crazy in 1941, when she visited the US, as they are today:
While meeting with reporters in Washington, D.C., she was dumbfounded about the kind of questions put to her. “One reporter even criticized the length of the skirt of my uniform, saying that in America women wear shorter skirts and besides my uniform made me look fat.”
Remember, in 1942, we were friends with the Soviet Union, and the Soviets desperately needed us to open a serious 2nd front against Germany to relieve pressure on them in the east.
The New York Times dubbed her the “Girl Sniper,” and other newspapers observed that she “wore no lip rouge, or makeup of any kind,” and that “there isn’t much style to her olive-green uniform.”
It took her a while to find her voice, but when she did, she let the idiots in the press have it.
Soon, the Soviet sniper had had enough of the press’s sniping. “I wear my uniform with honor,” she told Time magazine. “It has the Order of Lenin on it. It has been covered with blood in battle. It is plain to see that with American women what is important is whether they wear silk underwear under their uniforms. What the uniform stands for, they have yet to learn.”
She was eventually promoted to the rank of major, and after her tour of the US and Great Britain, she became a sniper instructor.
The more things change… If you look around it isn’t hard to find the insanity – which in the 1940s was in the press – still in “Girls with Guns” posts and tweets. This Comrade Pavlichenko actually knew what to do with a weapon, and cared less about looking sexy holding one.