Imagine a woman so feared by her enemies that she was known as “Lady Death.” It was said that she loomed over the enemy like a demonic angel, but in reality, she was neither.

This Hero of the Soviet Union (her nation’s highest top award for valor in combat) stood only 5′ 1″ (155 cm), yet she towered above her peers with her performance on the battlefield. By the age of 25, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was already the most successful female sniper in history, with 309 confirmed kills. She had been wounded in battle four times, the last time when shrapnel from a mortar round struck her face. Bleeding profusely, she continued to fight until her superiors pulled her out of the field.

The German Army knew of her well. At first, they tried to bribe her to win her over to their side. They would announce over the radio and loudspeakers messages like:

“Lyudmila Pavlichenko, come over to us. We will give you plenty of chocolate and make you a German officer.”