World War 2’s Soviet Night Witches

"Night Witches" is the English translation of Nachthexen, a World War IIGerman nickname (RussianНочные ведьмы), for the female military aviators of the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, known later as the 46th “Taman" Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment, of the Soviet Air Forces. The regiment was formed by Colonel Marina Raskova and led by Major Yevdokia Bershanskaya.


The regiment flew in wood and canvas Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, a 1928 design intended for use as training aircraft and for crop-dusting, and to this day the most-produced biplane in all of aviation history. The planes could carry only two bombs at a time, so multiple missions per night were necessary. Although the aircraft were obsolete and slow, the pilots made daring use of their exceptional maneuverability; they had the advantage of having a maximum speed that was lower than the stall speed of both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, as a result, the German pilots found them very difficult to shoot down. A stealth technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise to reveal their location.

Above:

Marina Raskova - Founder

Yevdokiya Bershanskaya - Commander

Irina Sebrova - Commander

Nadezhda Popova

Natalya Meklin

Yevgeniya Rudneva

Vera Bjelik

Polina Gelman

  1. lucretius2 reblogged this from historyofeurope and added:
    Fuck Yeah Valor in the field.
  2. thelordofinquisition reblogged this from faelan01
  3. faelan01 reblogged this from historyofeurope
  4. holycorruption reblogged this from verschlinger
  5. verschlinger reblogged this from kriegsrecht
  6. thewintersupersoldier reblogged this from heysawbones
  7. numberkazu reblogged this from historyofeurope
  8. jonwynning reblogged this from historyofeurope
  9. inknscroll reblogged this from historyofeurope
  10. ooihcnoiwlerh reblogged this from leas-celyn
  11. leas-celyn reblogged this from historyofeurope
  12. wild-red-panda-pet reblogged this from auntiehornblower
  13. the-western-man reblogged this from historyofeurope
  14. thinkthereforedangerous reblogged this from quienesesachica
  15. quienesesachica reblogged this from 336bc
  16. puntosmuertos reblogged this from fortinbrasftw
  17. ohnonencore reblogged this from historyofeurope
  18. ironicsnowflake reblogged this from auntiehornblower
  19. 336bc reblogged this from parastatic
  20. christophewaltz reblogged this from logicaltriumvirate
  21. logicaltriumvirate reblogged this from kriegsrecht