Meet the women that put the fear of God into the Nizas! These women earn the name “Night Witches” by the German Army. This is why, when they went on the attack at night they would cut the engines putting them on idle when approaching the target so the German Army couldn’t tell where they were, this caused the planes to make a sound like a broom. This is why the Germans name them the Night Witches. Read all about the Night Witches here.
When you hear the date December 7, 1941, your first thought most likely is “Pearl Harbor Bombing” right? What you will hear a lot less about is October 8, 1941. So, let’s take a look at that date when the Witches were called to take to the skies.
First, what is significant about 10/8/1941? This is the date that Joseph Stalin called up three units made up for the most part of women. Now previously women had not been allowed to do combat. One of the units was the 588th. The unit was made up mostly of women, but these women were barely old enough to be called women. The ages were made up of ages in the teens and early twenties! This unit was put together by Major Marina Raskova, The leader of the squadron was Major Yevdokiya Bershanskaya.
This squadron flew missions against the Germans from 1942 until the war ended. They flew 23,000 attacks, bombarding the German army with 3,000 (tons) in bombs as well as 26,000 incendiary shells! Several of this squad’s piolets few over 800 missions. At the strongest point, there were 40 of the two-person crews. Thirty-two of the members of this squad died in combat.
Twenty-three of the members of this crew earned the Hero of the Soviet Union Honor. I urge you to read this in its entirity here, it is really amazing.
In Memory of all Mothers Everywhere and those that never got the chance. Remember you are not weak because you are a woman you are strong!