Night Witches

By Bruce Myles,

Book cover of Night Witches: The Amazing Story of Russia's Women Pilots in WWII

Book description

In 1941 as the Nazi hordes swept eastward into the Soviet Union, the desperate call went out for women to join the Russian air force. Women responded and flew incessant bombing runs; the Germans, who came to dread them, called them 'night witches'.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Night Witches as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I originally read this book when it came out in 1990. It is about a group of young women in the Soviet Union who flew as combat pilots during World War II.

With U.S. women still prohibited from flying in combat in 1990, I was thrilled that women had already proven themselves in combat a half-century earlier. The “Night Witches” flew mostly at night, and their bombs relentlessly terrorized German ground forces invading the Russian homeland.

Many of the women were designated as aces for shooting down at least five enemy aircraft, and others were awarded the Hero of the…

After seeing a documentary on the History Channel about the female soviet air regiments that were created by aviation heroine and former opera singer, Marina Raskova, in response to the German attack on Russia during the Second World War, I wanted to know more. Bruce Myles describes the varied personalities and challenges faced by these proud, capable, and extremely young airwomen and their all-female ground crew. He tells how the women were not taken seriously at first by the military command and were provided with outdated wooden biplanes that were nothing more than crop-dusters. But the women pilots and navigators…

From Belinda's list on women in WW2.

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