(via Nadezhda Popova, WW II ‘Night Witch,’ Dies at 91 - NYTimes.com)
Ms. Popova, standing, with other Soviet pilots in World War II. “We bombed, we killed; it was all a part of war,” she said in 2010.

The Nazis called them “Night Witches” because the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made reminded the Germans of the sound of a witch’s broomstick.
The Russian women who piloted those planes, onetime crop dusters, took it as a compliment. In 30,000 missions over four years, they dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders, ultimately helping to chase them back to Berlin. Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was awarded an Iron Cross.
These young heroines, all volunteers and most in their teens and early 20s, became legends ofWorld War II but are now largely forgotten. Flying only in the dark, they had no parachutes, guns, radios or radar, only maps and compasses. If hit by tracer bullets, their planes would burn like sheets of paper.
Their uniforms were hand-me-downs from male pilots. Their faces froze in the open cockpits. Each night, the 40 or so two-woman crews flew 8 or more missions — sometimes as many as 18.
“Almost every time we had to sail through a wall of enemy fire,” Nadezhda Popova, one of the first volunteers — who herself flew 852 missions — said in an interview for David Stahel’s book “Operation Typhoon: Hitler’s March on Moscow, October 1941,” published this year…

(via Nadezhda Popova, WW II ‘Night Witch,’ Dies at 91 - NYTimes.com)

Ms. Popova, standing, with other Soviet pilots in World War II. “We bombed, we killed; it was all a part of war,” she said in 2010.

The Nazis called them “Night Witches” because the whooshing noise their plywood and canvas airplanes made reminded the Germans of the sound of a witch’s broomstick.

The Russian women who piloted those planes, onetime crop dusters, took it as a compliment. In 30,000 missions over four years, they dumped 23,000 tons of bombs on the German invaders, ultimately helping to chase them back to Berlin. Any German pilot who downed a “witch” was awarded an Iron Cross.

These young heroines, all volunteers and most in their teens and early 20s, became legends ofWorld War II but are now largely forgotten. Flying only in the dark, they had no parachutes, guns, radios or radar, only maps and compasses. If hit by tracer bullets, their planes would burn like sheets of paper.

Their uniforms were hand-me-downs from male pilots. Their faces froze in the open cockpits. Each night, the 40 or so two-woman crews flew 8 or more missions — sometimes as many as 18.

“Almost every time we had to sail through a wall of enemy fire,” Nadezhda Popova, one of the first volunteers — who herself flew 852 missions — said in an interview for David Stahel’s book “Operation Typhoon: Hitler’s March on Moscow, October 1941,” published this year…

  1. chesca137 reblogged this from headmistressemmaolennahardbroom
  2. headmistressemmaolennahardbroom reblogged this from mudwerks
  3. thrillbobaggins reblogged this from amaridisogna
  4. amaridisogna reblogged this from thelettersfromnoone
  5. thelettersfromnoone reblogged this from gloomplant
  6. zvevolves reblogged this from paranoidkitten
  7. paranoidkitten reblogged this from zvevolves
  8. landlocked-selkie reblogged this from zvevolves
  9. hesgonebanoonoos reblogged this from theendisfaraway
  10. theendisfaraway reblogged this from pannslee
  11. spaceberryfeminist reblogged this from fattastic-and-finally-happy
  12. pannslee reblogged this from fattastic-and-finally-happy
  13. fattastic-and-finally-happy reblogged this from spaceberryfeminist
  14. imnothipsterdammit reblogged this from spaceberryfeminist
  15. notakaijugroupie reblogged this from jenni-snake and added:
    Dude, my great-grandpa was terrified of these chicks. I think he actually believed they were witches.
  16. jenni-snake reblogged this from edgebug
  17. 4-eye reblogged this from taikaze
  18. taikaze reblogged this from edgebug
  19. scicopath reblogged this from david-tennants-sexual-ass
  20. bearasnorus-rex reblogged this from david-tennants-sexual-ass
  21. my-kind-of-drowning reblogged this from edgebug
  22. theprincessandthepie reblogged this from edgebug
  23. david-tennants-sexual-ass reblogged this from edgebug
  24. cozydragon reblogged this from edgebug
  25. straightlock reblogged this from edgebug
  26. edgebug reblogged this from alreadyinmotion
  27. thetransientbeing reblogged this from mental-istid
  28. mental-istid reblogged this from mudwerks and added:
    RIP, a truly exceptional, beautiful woman, with the heart of a warrior.
Short URL for this post: http://tmblr.co/ZjDnbyph3IFA
blog comments powered by Disqus