Tue Jul 16, 2013, 12:34 PM
Poll_Blind (23,863 posts)
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.
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.
14 replies, 2340 views
USA Today: Nazi-fighting 'Night Witch' dead at 91 (Original post)
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Response to Hekate (Reply #3)
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:21 PM
matthews (497 posts)
13. There have been women warriors since the beginning of time.
One of the most famous is Boudica (Boadicea).
These women should be added to the list.
Response to Yavin4 (Reply #6)
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 02:35 PM
Populist_Prole (4,750 posts)
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.
Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #8)
Tue Jul 16, 2013, 03:01 PM
msanthrope (31,006 posts)
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....