July 15, 2013
Meet the Night Witches of World War II

The [588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces] was the most highly decorated female unit in that force, flying 30,000 missions over the course of four years — and dropping, in total, 23,000 tons of bombs on invading German armies. Its members, who ranged in age from 17 to 26, flew primarily at night, making do with planes that were — per their plywood-and-canvas construction — generally reserved for training and crop-dusting. They often operated in stealth mode, idling their engines as they neared their targets and gliding to the bomb release point. As a result, their planes made little more than soft “whooshing” noises as they flew by.
Those noises reminded the Germans, apparently, of the sound of a witch’s broomstick. So the Nazis began calling the female fighter pilots Nachthexen: “night witches.” They were loathed. And they were feared. Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was automatically awarded an Iron Cross.
Read more.

Meet the Night Witches of World War II

The [588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces] was the most highly decorated female unit in that force, flying 30,000 missions over the course of four years — and dropping, in total, 23,000 tons of bombs on invading German armies. Its members, who ranged in age from 17 to 26, flew primarily at night, making do with planes that were — per their plywood-and-canvas construction — generally reserved for training and crop-dusting. They often operated in stealth mode, idling their engines as they neared their targets and gliding to the bomb release point. As a result, their planes made little more than soft “whooshing” noises as they flew by.

Those noises reminded the Germans, apparently, of the sound of a witch’s broomstick. So the Nazis began calling the female fighter pilots Nachthexen: “night witches.” They were loathed. And they were feared. Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was automatically awarded an Iron Cross.

Read more.

  1. maenades reblogged this from misereres
  2. midnightsson reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    this is a little more complete article.
  3. skarsild reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. biness reblogged this from bornthisgayyy and added:
    Whoa
  5. rachelatarms reblogged this from theatlantic
  6. sillydwyer reblogged this from cellah-door
  7. cellah-door reblogged this from bornthisgayyy
  8. bornthisgayyy reblogged this from theatlantic
  9. iseulttoinjury reblogged this from iseulttoinjury
  10. homegrrl reblogged this from theatlantic
  11. gynapantz reblogged this from ohtoska
  12. communist-slut-wafflez reblogged this from ohtoska
  13. ohtoska reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Forever reblogging this
  14. gardenformybed reblogged this from theatlantic
  15. feign-retreat reblogged this from theatlantic
  16. spart117mc reblogged this from theatlantic
  17. rincondelcarajo reblogged this from theatlantic
  18. rulesofthemodernlady reblogged this from theatlantic
  19. starwhovian4sher reblogged this from pyromaniac-smartass
  20. rbgianfar reblogged this from britishtales
  21. thalia-freaking-grace reblogged this from britishtales
  22. pyromaniac-smartass reblogged this from britishtales
  23. dahell-she-want reblogged this from britishtales
  24. britishtales reblogged this from hypatos
  25. thehogwartskhaleesi reblogged this from hypatos