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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:31 AM
Original message
"Night Witches" The female fighter pilots of WW2
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 04:12 AM by Hannah Bell
The Nachthexen

In spite of the rich history of American women in military aviation personified by the Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP's)) in World War II, the U.S. Armed Forces didn't begin training women for air combat service until 1993.

Yet, in 1942 the Soviet Union formed three regiments of women combat pilots who flew night combat missions and were so successful and deadly the Germans feared them, calling them "Nachthexen" - night witches.



Audio slideshow: Night witches

Russia's three all-female air regiments flew more than 30,000 missions along the Eastern Front in WWII.

At home they were known as Stalin's Falcons, but terrified German troops called them the Night Witches.

Here - with the help of archive images - Radio 4's Lucy Ash tells their story, and discovers that their extraordinary exploits have inspired others decades later.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8329676.stm



Marina Raskova (1912-1943)


The Women's Air Service Pilots (WASP's) had key figures in their organization and implementation--Jacqueline Cochran and Nancy Love. For the Soviet women pilots, it was Marina Raskova.

In 1938 Raskova and two other Soviet women had set a world record for a non-stop direct flight by women when they flew a Soviet-built, twin-engine aircraft named Rodina (homeland) 6,000 kilometers across the expanse of the Soviet Union from Moscow to Komsomolsk-on-Amur in the Far East.

With the aircraft icing up over the Siberian wilderness, the women tossed everything movable out of the aircraft to try and gain altitude. Finally, Raskova, who had been the navigator, decided she would have to go as well. She marked the aircraft's compass heading on a map and bailed out into the darkness.

The two remaining pilots eventually landed safely at their destination, and a hunter rescued Raskova. The three "Winged Sisters" returned triumphantly to Moscow.

On June 22, 1941, Hitler's Wehrmacht invaded the Soviet Union, and Operation Barbarossa was under way.

By November, the German army was just 19 miles from Moscow. Leningrad was under siege, three million Russians had been taken prisoner, a large part of the Red Army was wiped out and the air force was grounded. The situation looked hopeless.

In the summer of 1941, Marina Raskova, a record-breaking aviatrix, organized the 588th night bomber squadron - composed entirely of women, from the mechanics to the navigators, pilot and officers.

Most of them were around 20 years old. The 588th began training in Engels, a small town north of Stalingrad. In a few months, the women were taught what it takes most people four years to learn.

One June 8, 1942, three planes took off on the first mission. The target: the headquarters of a German division. The raid was successful, but one aircraft was lost. The 588th fought non-stop for months, flying 15 to 18 missions a night. "It was a miracle we didn't lose more aircraft", recalls Nadia Popova. "Our planes were the slowest in the air force. They often came back riddled with bullets, but they kept flying."



http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/soviet_women_pil...

http://airsports.fai.org/dec98/dec9824.html

http://mysite.pratt.edu/~rsilva/index.htm





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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:44 AM
Response to Original message
1. PROUD to be the first rec!
How interesting! Thanks for posting.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. beautiful women. I love the name.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
39. Yes, I recommended this too. We're lucky in this country we get to pick and choose who has to fight
In the Soviet Union, they rarely had that privilege.

EVERYBODY had to fight.

The book "War of the Rats" accurately describes women as snipers at Stalingrad. When Hitler's at the door, EVERYONE fights.
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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 03:50 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:03 AM
Response to Original message
3. "I too was there on Saint Crispin's Day
and none can say me nay."
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:13 AM
Response to Original message
4. A little more about how the Nachthexen operated..
http://mysite.pratt.edu/~rsilva/witches.htm

Harassment night bombing was very difficult to do, considering the low performance of the Po-2 biplanes (their top speed was 94 mph/150 kph, less even than most World War I fighters!) and how vulnerable that made them to enemy night fighters. But the Night Witches learned their trade well. The Po-2 was very slow, but it was also very maneuverable. When a German Me-109 tried to intencept it, the Russian plane could turn violently and nimbly at much less than the 109's minimum speed (stall speed), requiring that the German make a wide circle to come in for another pass. Then he was again met with the same evasive tactic, time after time. Many pilots got to nearly earth-level, flying low enough to be hidden behind hedgerows! The German fighter could only try again and again until he got frustrated and just left the Po-2 alone. No wonder, German pilots were promised an Iron Cross for shooting down a Po-2.

The Witches would fly to a certain distance of the enemy encapments that were to be the target, and cut their engine. They would then glide silently, silently... When the Fascists started to hear the whistle of the wind against the Po-2's wing bracing wires, they realized in panic that it was too late. The Night Witches would sneak up on them and release their bombs, then restart their engines and fly away home.

The Po-2 would pass often undetected by the night fighters' radar, because of the mildly radar absorbing nature of the canvas surfaces, and the fact that mostly they flew near the ground. German planes equipped with infrared seekers would not see the little heat generated by the small, 110 horsepower engine.

Searchlights, however, were another story. The Germans at Stalingrad developed what the Russians called a "flak circus". They would bring out the flak guns that had been hidden during the day, and lay them in concentric circles around probable targets, and the same with the searchlights. Po-2s crossing the perimeter in pairs in the straight line flight path typical of untrained but determined Russian flyers were usually ripped to pieces by the Flak 37 guns. The 588th, however, developed another tactic. They flew in formations of three. Two would go in first, attract the attention of the searchlights, and when all of them pointed to them in the sky, separate suddenly in opposite directions and maneuver wildly to try to shake them off. The German searchlight operators would follow them, while the third bomber who was farther back snuck in through the darkened path made by her 2 comrades and hit the target unopposed. She would then get out, rejoin with the other two, and they would switch places until all three had delivered their payloads. It took nerves of steel to be a decoy and willingly attract enemy fire, but as Nadya Popova said: "It worked."


And this was the the Polykarpov Po-2 that the Nachthexen flew..

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. I've seen reference to these amazing women.
Harry Turtledove wrote about one of these female Po-2 pilots in his WorldWar alternative history series.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 06:19 AM
Response to Reply #5
48. That's where I first read of them..
The Nachthexen pilot taking Comrade Molotov to Berlin, flying below the hedgerows.
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blindpig Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #4
18. Thanks for that

Americans have no idea how much we owe the Soviet people. It was their heroism and sacrifice which was most responsible for destroying the Nazis.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #4
44. OMG! WWI Bi-Planes!
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 09:36 PM by burrowowl
Amazing!
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
6. I just read about them....
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 08:55 AM by Javaman
Amazing pilots. They used to use old bi-planes. They would go up to a couple of thousand feet and cut their engines. Then glide in for the kill.

The Germans surrounding Stalingrad never knew what was coming.

They would opening up on the German positions virtually right on top of them.

Since I'm a colossal WWII history buff, I love this little known stories.
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SIMPLYB1980 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
7. Why have I never heard of this before?
Thanks for the info.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 02:48 PM
Response to Reply #7
21. Cold War
These amazing women were also Russian, so their exploits weren't widely discussed in the West after WW2. Don't think they were ignored though...they were quite famous in the Eastern Bloc nations.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:02 PM
Response to Reply #21
29. But, we heard about women doctors...
who worked for cheap?

Why not the heros, er, heras?

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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #29
46. For the same reason Anonymous was a woman.
Many men (and no not all) don't want to hear that women can be warriors because that undercuts a principal rational for war: They're 'protecting' us. Until very recently men wrote the military histories. John Keegan, one of the leading military historians, still denies that the Nightwitches served in any meaningful way on the Eastern Front.

Have you ever heard of Deborah Samson, Lucy Brewer or Loreta Velasques? These women, along with others, masqueraded as men fought, not served, fought in combat. Samson, Revolutionary War, wounded three times. Brewer as a Marine on board the USS Constitution, War of 1812, Velasques, Confederate Army, organized a troop and led them in battle, most notably 1st Battle of Bull Run.

And wait, there's more. The invisible soldier effect applies to minorities across the board. Anyone care to guess the percentage of African-Americans in the Revolutionary army?

25%

Anyone know about the Wind Talkers before the movie came out?

The 54th Mass until Glory?

The Japanese-American units on the Italian front, WWII, some of the most decorated units in the army's history.

So yeah, we never heard about the Nightwitches because they were Red Army; worse, they were women and they kicked serious ass.
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SIMPLYB1980 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:19 PM
Response to Reply #21
32. I'm sure that has something to do with it, but
I have seen stories of women fighting in the Russian army. I've just never seen this one before.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 07:58 PM
Response to Reply #7
28. You should have asked me!
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Berry Cool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. This is very interesting.
I suspect the reason we Americans didn't learn much about them in the past is not just because they were women, but because they were Soviets, and Cold War propaganda didn't leave any room for stories in which Soviets figured as the heroes. It was almost as if we were encouraged to forget that they were our allies in WWII.

Just as Soviets had a hard time hearing good things about Americans, we had a hard time hearing anything good about them or their exploits that actually supported our side.
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saskawoo Donating Member (4 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:08 AM
Response to Original message
9. I saw some of them
My friend and I, both pilots, went to see some of these women talk about their experiences at the aviation museum in Balboa Park, San Diego.

They were three little old ladies who spoke through an interpreter. As they began telling their stories, they became animated and spoke loudly, motioning with their hands, the way pilots do. The interpreter had to repeatedly remind them to slow down so he could keep up. It was obvious how proud they were to have been part of the squadron. They were given the crappiest old wooden planes in the inventory. The stories they told were amazing, and some even funny. I am so glad I went.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
10. K&Rr for these heroic women
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:51 AM
Response to Original message
11. wow..never heard of that before...
major kick!
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14thColony Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
12. And there's also Lieutenant Lydia Litvyak
The "White Rose of Stalingrad," credited with 12 kills, of which 8 were solo victories over German Bf-109 or Fw-190 fighters. That was one more than her squadron-mate Captain Katya Budanova, who flew with her in the all-female 586th Fighter Regiment during the defense of Staligrad.
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aint_no_life_nowhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:46 AM
Response to Original message
13. And the valiant Women's Battalion of Death during World War I
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria_Bochkareva

In all, 17 all-women combat units were formed as part of the Russian Army during World War I. The first of these was the Women's Battalion of Death, commanded by Maria "Yashka" Bochkareva. Bochkareva had already been wounded twice in combat as part of a men's unit. Her 2,000 female volunteers faced combat in the trenches facing the Germans. In the battle of Smorgon, they charged and went over the top where the men were afraid to come out and fight and their bravery shamed the men into joining the fight. They captured three rows of trenches from the Germans. Bochkareva was later captured by the Bolsheviks but they let her go because of her reputation for great courage. She came to the United States and met with President Woodrow Wilson, trying to convince him to intervene in the Russian Revolution. She also wrote a very famous book about her life during that time entitled "Yashka: My Life As Peasant, Exile, and Soldier." After her return to Russia to form a medical unit, she was again captured by the Bolsheviks and this time she was executed.



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Swede Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. K&R
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Matariki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
15. Wow. Thanks so much for posting this.
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Soylent Brice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
16. wow. tough ladies:
"Finally, Raskova, who had been the navigator, decided she would have to go as well. She marked the aircraft's compass heading on a map and bailed out into the darkness."

:wow:

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ddeclue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
17. Cornelia M. Fort - WASP Pilot, Female aviation pioneer.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelia_Fort

Cornelia Fort (1919 - 1943) was an aviatrix in the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) who became the first female pilot in American history to die on active duty.

Fort was born to a wealthy and prominent Nashville, Tennessee, family. She was educated at Sarah Lawrence College, from which she earned a degree in 1939. She showed an early interest in flying, ultimately training for and earning her pilot's license in Hawaii.

While working as a civilian pilot instructor at Pearl Harbor, Cornelia Fort inadvertently became one of the first witnesses to the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. On December 7, 1941, the day of the attack, Fort was in the air near Pearl Harbor teaching takeoffs and landings to a student pilot in an Interstate Cadet monoplane. Her Cadet and a few other civilian aircraft were the only U.S. planes in the air near the Harbor at that time. Fort saw a military airplane flying directly toward her and swiftly grabbed the controls from her student to pull up over the oncoming craft. It was then she saw the Rising Red sun insignia on the wings. Within moments, she saw billows of black smoke coming from Pearl Harbor and she saw a formation of silver bombers flying in. She quickly landed the plane at John Rodgers civilian airport near the mouth of Pearl Harbor. A Japanese plane strafed the runway as she and her student ran to a hangar for cover. Two civilian planes did not return that morning.

...

(Note: if you ever watch "Tora Tora Tora" she's the flight instructor who has the entire Japanese attack force fly up behind her while she's instructing a student in her bi-plane over Hawaii. She dives the plane over and heads for cover.)

With all civilian flights grounded in Hawaii, Fort returned to the mainland in early 1942. Later that year, the War Department recruited her to serve in the newly established Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, precursor to the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). She was the second woman accepted to the service. The WAFS ferried military planes to bases within the United States.

Stationed at the 6th Ferrying Group base at Long Beach, California, Cornelia Fort became the first WAFS fatality, when a plane struck the left wing of her BT-13 in a mid-air collision, ten miles south of Merkel, Texas, on March 21, 1943. At the time of the accident, Cornelia Fort was one of the most accomplished pilots of the WAFS and had some 1,100 hours to her credit. Her epitaph reads, "Killed in the Service of Her Country."

Cornelia Fort was portrayed in the film Tora! Tora! Tora! by Jeff Donnell.

The Cornelia Fort Airpark in East Nashville, Tennesse is named after her.

(Note: When I was earning my pilot's license, I've flown to Cornelia Fort Airpark before.)

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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 05:33 PM
Response to Reply #17
22. Wait....did I read that right?
She was portrayed by a man, Jeff Donnell in the movie???

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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. Jeff was the nickname she gave herself. Full name Jean Marie Donnell
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #23
43. Thx.
I've been known to use only my initials on my resume....I will get many more responses than if I use my female first name.

And there's the many women given male first names because daddy insisted on a boy.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
19. kick
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Imajika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:18 PM
Response to Original message
24. Very cool !
Thanks for posting this.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:22 PM
Response to Original message
25. Thanks! (n/t)
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demodonkey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 06:49 PM
Response to Original message
26. A late friend of mine wrote a novel based on the Night Witches

http://www.amazon.com/Night-Run-Robert-Denny/dp/1556113...

Bob Denny was a journalist, writer, and community activist who was also himself a pilot of B-17s in WWII. He lived in Bethesda MD with his wife Susan Hight Denny who was my voice teacher for many years. He was a quiet person who did not talk a lot about his experiences as a wartime pilot, but his two novels give a glimpse into that time and the lives of those who flew.

http://www.gazette.net/gazette_archive/2000/200044/mont...

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 07:57 PM
Response to Original message
27. Not fighters. Soviet women flew slow, vulnerable bombers. The men dominated the fighter planes. nt
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 07:58 PM by Captain Hilts
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:03 PM
Response to Reply #27
30. ??? n/t
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #30
38. The original OP refers to "combat" pilots and the term 'fighter' pilots
is specific to fighter planes that attack, mostly other planes.

In the OP the references are to bomber pilots, and those are the missions that most women pilots flew.

In the military the cultures are very different. "Fighter pilots make headlines, attack/bomber pilots make history." That sort of thing.

Not a big deal.
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Cerridwen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. Thanks. I appreciate you taking the time to
elucidate. I was lost on your last post.

I have two uncles who were USAF bomber pilots. They made neither headlines nor history. If you met them, you'd agree they deserved neither.

*snort*

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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:46 PM
Response to Reply #40
41. Sound like a lot of Navy vets I know!
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 07:16 AM
Response to Reply #38
50. both.
Edited on Thu Nov-05-09 07:18 AM by Hannah Bell
Soviet Fighter Aces from the Russian 586th Women's Fighter Regiment

L-R : Lilya Litvyak, 12 kills (KIA), Katya Budanova, 11 kills (KIA) and Mariya Kuznetsova



The fighter pilots of the all-women 586th IAP (Russian abbreviation for Fighter Aviation Regiment, same as Fighter Air Regiment) flew a total of 4,419 sorties (per pilot) and participated in more than 125 separate air battles, in which they massed a total of 38 confirmed kills. The USSR highly praised the combat deeds of female pilots: thousands won orders and medals. 29 won titles of Hero of the Soviet Union. 23 of these went to the Night Witches.

read the article in full http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/soviet_women_pil...


In 1942, three air regiments were formed from female volunteers:

The 586th Women's Fighter Regiment (initially equipped with Yakovlyev YaK-1s and later YaK-7Bs)
The 587th Women's Day Bomber Regiment (flying Petlyakov Pe-2 2-engined bombers)
The 588th Women's Night Bomber Regiment, the famous "Night Witches" (flying Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes)
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #50
51. Yes, but the majority of women were flying bombers, as per your example at
the bottom of the page.

I've read books about these women and there was resentment that they were concentrated in the slow, vulnerable bombers.

I'm not saying there were no female fighter pilots.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #51
52. there was a fighter group, & apparently they flew a significant number of missions.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. I didn't say that didn't happen. nt
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #54
55. i didn't say you did.
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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:29 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. Tell that to Lydia Litvyak or Yekaterina Budanova
Both were double aces.

Also, there were several women Sturmovik pilots; I wouldn't call those things slow, vulnerable bombers.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #36
37. I didn't say women didn't fly fighters, but they mostly flew bombers. It's a sore spot.
I've lived in Russia and read about these folks.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 07:14 AM
Response to Reply #27
49. fighter pilots too.
Thousands of Russian women and girls courageously fought for their Rodina (Motherland), serving with the Voyenno-Vozdushniye Sily (Air Forces, in Russian). Women-pilots of female air regiments engaged in dogfights, cleared the way for the advancing infantry and supported them in ground support missions.



Soviet Fighter Aces from the Russian 586th Women's Fighter Regiment

L-R : Lilya Litvyak, 12 kills (KIA), Katya Budanova, 11 kills (KIA) and Mariya Kuznetsova



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Vehl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:09 PM
Response to Original message
31. Very interesting read. thanks! +rec

I've never heard of women pilots till i read this...ive heard of women snipers during ww2 though.
very good post.
thanks

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Curtland1015 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
33. "Night Witches" is a badass name! (NT)
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itsrobert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
34. When's the movie?
I bet some mega star actress is trying to get a movie deal done.
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:26 PM
Response to Original message
35. That has to be one of the coolest
things I have ever read. My uncle, who was a lifelong Army guy, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel, always spoke admiringly of the Russian women snipers in WWII.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #35
42. Read the kind of novel, War of the Rats or see the movie "Enemy at the Gates." It's based on
Edited on Wed Nov-04-09 08:47 PM by Captain Hilts
actual folks.

The Army doesn't know why, but women, generally, shoot better than men. They don't know why.
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burrowowl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-04-09 09:47 PM
Response to Original message
45. This story is REALLY FASCINATING! eom
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 01:10 AM
Response to Original message
47. K&R. Very cool, thanks. n/t
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #47
53. In Russia, WWII vets - men and women - often wear their medals every day. They aren't for
"most improved bowler," "being away from your home port for 90 days," "best table manners."

For the USSR, it was total war and EVERYBODY fought.

I'm reading "the Greatest Battle," by Nagorski, right now, about the battle for Moscow, which has been ignored for a long time because Stalin and his toadies didn't want the history to show how seriously Stalin screwed up on the German invasion.

It's an amazing read. More folks took part than took part in Stalingrad.

It's a pretty easy read and doesn't require a lot of knowledge about the war.
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sarge43 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #53
56. The WWII Soviet causalities are estimated at 20 million.
The siege of Leningrad takes a strong stomach to read about.

In the TV film Nuremberg Alex Baldwin plays the American prosecutor and Christopher Plummer, the British. There's a scene when they're talking about some power play the Soviet prosecutor was working. Baldwin says to the effect that considering everything the British endured Soviet arrogance must be annoying. Plummer looks thoughtful for a beat and answers that the Russians suffered horribly and receive the least recognition .

They have every reason and right to flash that chest salad. We have no idea.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-05-09 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
57. Bump
Too late to rec.

Thanks Hannah.
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