Soviet Super Sniper: A Woman at War
The ‘Guerrilla Queen’ of Soviet Russia became a role model for women in combat.
In 1942, Lieutenant Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a Soviet frontline sniper, was sent on a mission to convince US and British allies to open up a Second Front against Hitler’s forces. The ‘Guerrilla Queen’ was feted at sites of bomb damage, munitions factories and shipyards, entertained at the White House and in Whitehall, addressing thousands. Her arrival in Washington DC coincided with a historic moment of American-Soviet friendship, even while the press found the female sniper, with her claimed tally of 309 German kills, rather shocking. She sneered at their questions about make-up and clothes, asked why women factory workers were paid less than men and protested when barred from boarding a Royal Navy warship.