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Tue Jul 16, 2013, 12:34 PM

USA Today: Nazi-fighting 'Night Witch' dead at 91



Nazi-fighting 'Night Witch' dead at 91:
There can't be too many World War II heroes with a better nickname than this: The "Night Witches" were a group of Russian women who piloted bomb-laden crop dusters over the invading German army, and their story is getting a fresh look in the wake of the death of one of the first and most celebrated women to join their ranks. Nadezhda Popova, who died in Moscow on July 8 at age 91, can claim 852 of the 30,000 missions the women flew in a 4-year span. (PRI's The Worldshares this amazing counterpoint: U.S. bomber pilots were generally "rotated out" of combat after completing 25 missions.) During that time the "Night Witches" unleashed 23,000 tons of bombs on the Nazis, helping push them out of Russia.

They got their name from the Germans, who likened what the New York Times calls the "whooshing" of their planes to the sound a witch's broomstick might make; the Washington Post explains they killed their engines right before unloading their bombs to up the surprise factor. And they were good at what they did, so much so that Germans spewed rumors that the women relied on pills and injections that gave them cat-like night vision.

--snip--


I'm just in love with that second paragraph. Look, life doesn't go on forever and we all have to die sometime. But when you've lived a life which includes an obituarial anecdote that your combat against the Nazis was so fierce they thought you had supernatural powers? You had a very good run.

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 12:58 PM

2. Very interesting, thanks

I love your last paragraph!

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 01:02 PM

3. Truly awesome, and I never even heard about these heroines

I can tell I've got some summer reading assignments coming up.

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Response to Hekate (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:21 PM

13. There have been women warriors since the beginning of time.

 

One of the most famous is Boudica (Boadicea).

http://listverse.com/2008/03/17/top-10-badass-female-warriors/

These women should be added to the list.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:01 PM

4. Yo Hollywood

....why not a movie about these women!

Wow..I'd never heard of them either. What amazing story!

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Response to Sylvarose (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:18 PM

7. I agree.

Would love to see a movie about them!



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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:10 PM

5. Amazing stuff. They were defending their homes. That's why they kept flying missions.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:13 PM

6. The Soviet Union did more to stop Hitler than any other nation n/t

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:35 PM

8. Something like 9 out every 10 German soldiers killed were by the soviets

Of course to watch the History Channel ( or Military Channel ) you'd think it was good ole' 'murka that slayed the nazi huns.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:01 PM

11. If you ever visit Russia, you will be floored by the sheer number of WWII related memorials.

And the stories...the older generation in Russia (when I visited in the 80s and 90s) had terrifying stories....

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:23 PM

14. We don't really know what it's like to be in a real war zone.

 

We have been very lucky or very blessed, depending on how you look at it.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:38 PM

9. SO true. Cannot be overstated. The Soviets were like mad elephants against the Nazis. nt

PB

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Response to Poll_Blind (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:41 PM

10. Stalingrad. Wow.

Saw a documentary on the battle there. Makes D-Day look like a picnic.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:17 PM

12. What a total badass.

RIP Night Witch

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