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Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin's Sniper
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Lady Death: The Memoirs of Stalin's Sniper

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Hardcover, 252 pages
Published May 19th 2018 by Casemate Ipm (first published 2018)
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Valerity (Val)
I found this to be an engaging read for its time, and the timing was perfect coming right after my book about Eleanor Roosevelt because she turns up in this book too. Lyudmila as a good young Soviet took a couple of courses in being a sniper and it was found that she had a talent for it from the first time she picked up a rifle. Later, when she was nearly finished with her advanced schooling, war was declared against Germany. She got her sniper certifications out and went down to join the milita ...more
While reading this one I was torn between admiration for Pavlichenko as a soldier and sympathy bordering on pity for her personal life. The writer is a no-nonsense type, which makes it more surprising that she was impregnated quite young by a man who basically gets no mention in the rest of the book. I was left with the impression that it might be a date rape or some other dishonorable jiggery-pokery. Whatever the reason, for 9/10 of the book our Amazon is all citizen and soldier.

Pavlichenko is
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I came across a horrifying conversation on Twitter the other day. People were arguing that writers shouldn’t insert homophobic slurs in novels taking place in the past, even if they’re spoken by bad guys exercising their power and privilege in the context of that past, and definitely not flawed and complicated people because those don’t exist anymore.

As a lesbian...(waves disclaimer and shoves back in drawer).

What to make of nonfiction then? Or a staunch Stalinist who picks off Germans and Roma
Major Lyudmila Pavlichenko was a Red Army sniper during World War II who attained 309 (!) kills in combat. This book details her transformation from a factory worker in Ukraine to one of the deadliest snipers in history.

It's a brilliant read, with chapters detailing her first 100 kills against the Romanians and then moving on to the German army. Her attention to detail with weapons is amazing - I often read memoirs where former soldiers just generally describe their guns as "tommy guns" or "mac
“Lyudmila Pavlichenko was not just any sniper, however, for she was to become the highest-scoring female sniper with 309 official kills. Official kills, it should be noted, were those observed by a second party.“ ― Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Lady Death

You might have heard of American Sniper. And even Simo Häyhä. Now meet Lady Death. Fascinating tale of Russia's most efficient female sniper.

This book made me feel like I had been living under a rock because I had no idea there were female snipers. An
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pohlcující. Napínavé. Lidské. Nelidské.

Ale hlavně ten Mosin :).

Víc než 5 hvězd nejde dát, a to je škoda. Už dlouho jsem neměla potřebu zhltnout knížku hned, bez spánku, okamžitě...
Jessica T.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, nonfiction
"Enemies are always enemies. It is in the nature of women not only to create new life, but also, if necessary, to defend their children, their family, their homeland. Our state had given me that opportunity."

Lyudmila Pavlichenko aka Lady Death was a Russian sniper during world war two with 309 confirmed kills. This is her memoir/autobiography. She was a no nonsense, bad ass lady.
Willy Marz Thiessam
A classic was once defined as a book you remember starting to read but you never stop reading and re-reading. This is such a book.

The book is the autobiography of the Russian sniper Ludmilla Pavlichenko. Pavlichenko was exceptional in many regards, not least for her ability to kill hundreds of Fascists during the Second World War. Her skill in marksmanship was a natural in born ability, but her military training and understanding given to her in her youth by her father created a very acute obser
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
V mnohém poměrně typické vzpomínky sovětského válečného veterána psané ještě za vlády komunismu, takže se příliš neodklání od oficiální linie. Autorka jako historička své osobní vzpomínky líčí v poměrně širokém kontextu frontové situace, což na jednu stranu dává čtenáři lepší přehled, na duhou stranu kniha trochu ztrácí osobní perspektivu.
Netušil jsem, že Ljudmila v bojích na frontě strávila v podstatě jen rok, a po propagačním turné po Americe a Anglii už se na frontu nevrátila.
Zajímavý je Ljud
May 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The wartime memoir of Lyudmila Pavlichenko who has the dubious claim to fame of being the best sniper of WWII, becoming one of the Soviet Union’s 2000 Red Army female snipers in 1941. After being invalided out she travelled to the US to raise support for the war effort and to the UK on a fundraising tour – she even had a song written for her by Woody Guthrie, “killed by a Gun”. Hers is a remarkable story – and her memoir makes for fascinating reading. A must read for anyone interested in Russian ...more
TJ Petrowski
Jul 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
With 309 confirmed kills during WWII, Lydumila Pavlichenko is the most successful female sniper in history. In her memoirs Pavlichenko recounts her experience as a sniper during the Siege of Odessa and Siege of Sevastopol. After being it in the face with shrapnel from a mortar shell in June 1942, Pavlichenko served as a spokeswomen for the Red Army in the U.S., Canada, and the U.K., in which she befriended Eleanor Roosevelt, and continued to serve in the Red Army as a sniper instructor. Brillian ...more
Nguyen Hoang Phong
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Not only a sniper story, but a step into the time & mind of a Soviet citizen. ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The beginning of this book is full of exciting facts, and the middle is a motivating passion about Lyudmila's love for Russia. At the end though, I wanted to hear her take on the cold war, but if she ever wrote about that it wasn't published here.
John Purvis
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Lady Death" eBook was published in 2018 (I believe that a Russian version was published much earlier, but I have not been able to determine when) and was written in Russian by Lyudmila Pavlichenko ( The English version was revised by Martin Pegler. Mr. Pegler had published 16 non-fiction books, all of which deal with the history of firearms.

I received an ARC of this novel through in return for a fair and honest review. I categ
Bettye McKee
May 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction-books
An intimate history

The extraordinary Red Army sniper, Lyudmila Pavlichenko, has shared her memoirs with the world, and however humble and modest she was, she lived an extraordinary life in turbulent times.

Although her father was associated with the military, Lyudmila had never picked up a gun until she was working in a factory as a teenager. At a co-worker's urging, she attended a sniper school. Upon completion of the course, she put away her diploma and continued her education.

When the Nazis in
Mary McDonough
Dec 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you want to hear a woman say, “Every fascist must meet death” quite a few times, this book (and audiobook) are for you! I am not generally a fan of military history, but this story is gripping. It is also very interesting to compare the history of my country (USA) to Russian history. Of course the author wanted to show Stalin’s Russia in a good light, but as she comments on segregation and the American journalists’ preoccupation with her femininity, we can see that US exceptionalism is a myth ...more
An incredible story of a young Russian woman-sniper that fought against the Nazis during WWII. Truly wonderful read! Highly recommend.
"Lady Death" is the story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, one of over 2000 female snipers, yet one of the more well-known names with 309 recorded kills, including 29 enemy sniper kills, to her name. After being "retired" from active duty, she visited the USA and UK, before returning to train other snipers.

Both memoirs (read in conjunction withGirl with a Sniper Rifle: An Eastern Front Memoir) are highly readable offering a different yet similar view of their experiences - we often comment that fact is
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Very interesting memoir of a Soviet sharpshooter. I didn't know much about the WWII battles around Odessa or Sevastopol, and unsurprisingly they were horrific. Sharpshooters need to be very calm, steady, focused people, and Lyudmilla's account of her experiences (including being injured 4x, examples of her 309 successful "hunts", her tour through the USA urging the opening of a 2nd front in the war, and even the death of her husband in her arms) have that calm tone. The audiobook reader, though, ...more
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Detailed, yet interesting account from a top USSR sniper. I was inspired by her fearlessness both on and off the battlefield. Her passion and gift as a sniper is evident in this book through her descriptions of operations and discussion of general marksmanship. Readers do not necessarily need to be interested in shooting to enjoy what she has written because her talent and familiarity with her weapon exudes passion and excitement.
Keenan Bullington
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was fascinating to read the writing of a World War II veteran of Sevastopol. The author’s description of Eleanor Roosevelt seemed truthful to me and I found that recollection to be quite compelling. It’s really something that the two of them maintained a relationship for years after the end of World War II and specifically after the change in relationship between our two countries.
Mick Pletcher
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is well worth reading. She is most impressive with 309 kills, 29 of which were snipers. She made such an impression when she visited the USA in 1942 that Eleanor Roosevelt became friends and visited her during the reign of Khrushchev.
Jun 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
A nonsense book, tbh. I didn’t love it but it was interesting to read.
Bjorn Olson
rated it it was amazing
Dec 05, 2019
Bobby Swindle
rated it really liked it
Aug 14, 2018
Richard Carlson
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Dec 01, 2019
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Jan 17, 2020
Apr 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lady Death was a Soviet female sniper during WWII, and as such, recorded a record 309 kills, before she was removed from the front and sent on a speaking tour of the US and Europe during the latter half of the war, before going back to school, and finishing her life as a historian. She was an enthusiastic Communist, and seemed to think it an honor to sacrifice almost everyone/everything for her country, which can be a bit difficult for modern free peoples to understand or commiserate with. Howev ...more
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