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. feign-retreat reblogged this from theatlantic
  2. spart117mc reblogged this from theatlantic
  3. rincondelcarajo reblogged this from theatlantic
  4. rulesofthemodernlady reblogged this from theatlantic
  5. starwhovian4sher reblogged this from pyromaniac-smartass
  6. rbgianfar reblogged this from britishtales
  7. thalia-freaking-grace reblogged this from britishtales
  8. pyromaniac-smartass reblogged this from britishtales
  9. dahell-she-want reblogged this from britishtales
  10. britishtales reblogged this from hypatos
  11. thehogwartskhaleesi reblogged this from hypatos
  12. northernmostsouthernbelle reblogged this from feign-retreat
  13. gowildandbreakthemold reblogged this from catitia
  14. sonoftyrion reblogged this from feign-retreat
  15. hypatos reblogged this from catitia
  16. catitia reblogged this from feign-retreat
  17. diamondieu reblogged this from poorcreatures
  18. poorcreatures reblogged this from theatlantic
  19. ianthecarrier reblogged this from theatlantic
  20. lsgage reblogged this from theatlantic and added:
    Searched for this to reblog. More women’s history, plz.
  21. 1953anewhope reblogged this from theatlantic
  22. mochaexpressions reblogged this from blade-above-the-heart
  23. blade-above-the-heart reblogged this from theatlantic
  24. backtotheseventiesdream reblogged this from concerning-dragons
  25. concerning-dragons reblogged this from theatlantic