When Lyudmila Pavlichenko enlisted in 1941, recruiters first tried to push her into the field of nursing. Once they realized how good she was with a gun, they put her into the 25th Rifle Division of the Red Army, and they made her a sniper. It wasn't long before the Germans were saying her name — Lady Death — in fear.
Her patience and self-control were legendary, once remaining in the same place for three days before getting a clear shot at her target. That target was just one of many, and even as she accumulated 309 confirmed kills, she faced off with German officers who, when they discovered they couldn't kill her, decided to bribe her with an officer's position in their army. She never wavered.
After being wounded for a fourth time, Pavlichenko was sent to the U.S. to raise support for the war, which she did in an epic way. After deflecting comments about her uniform and her femininity, she asked a crowd, "Gentlemen: I am 25 years old, and I have killed 309 fascist occupants by now. Don't you think, gentlemen, that you have been hiding behind my back for too long?"
According to the National World War II Museum, Pavlichenko never returned to the field. Instead, she trained the snipers who went to war after her, and her story doesn't have a happy ending. Suffering from depression and PTSD, she died in 1974 at age 58.