By Rebecca Drew
STUNNING colourised images have given new life to WW2 female snipers who protected their territory against German attacks, including the most successful female sniper in history, Lyudmila Pavlichenko also known as Lady Death.
The incredible pictures delve deep into the soul of smiling Lyudmila Pavlichenko standing proudly with her weapon and in another portrait she is pictured wearing full uniform beneath a framed picture of Soviet dictator, Joseph Stalin.
Other spectacular shots show beautiful blonde Roza Shanina who was responsible for 59-confirmed kills and Lyuba Makarova.
Another photo shows a row of other Soviet women ready to help defeat Nazi Germany. The survival-rate of these brave women was incredibly low – with seventy-five percent killed during WW2.
The photographs were colourised by translator, Olga Shirnina from Moscow, Russia.
“There are very few images with Red Army soldiers, I decided to fill this gap,” said Olga.
“I’m interested in the history of Russia, it is full of dramatic, cataclysmic events which impacted on the history of both the country itself and the whole world.
“Sometimes a picture can say more than many words and I’ll be glad if people learn more about Russia and its people through my colourings, especially about our brave women.
“It was a phenomenon and no other country had so many female soldiers, snipers, pilots, medicals.”
Lyudmila Pavlichenko joined the Red Army’s 25th Rifle Division in June 1941 where she was one of around 2,000 female snipers, 500 of which survived WW2.
Pavlichenko became one of the top military snipers of all time with a record of 309 confirmed kills.
Around 800,000 women served in the Soviet Armed Forces during the war as snipers, pilots, machine gunners and a large number were stationed in medical units.
“Black and white images are and remain a piece of history but the world was never monochrome even during the war,” added Olga.
“It is interesting to imagine how it was many years ago, how historical figures whom we know from books or articles looked.
“Colour removes that barrier between now and then or at least makes it more transparent.”