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One of the most remarkable fighting forces during World War II was a group of women.

According to History, the Soviet 588th Night Bomber Regiment was an all-female squadron of bomber pilots who ran raids with just wooden planes under the cover of the night.

Germans called them the Nachthexen or Night Witches because the wooshing of their planes sounded like a sweeping broom.

It was Marina Raskova, alias “Soviet Amelia Earhart,” who petitioned dictator Joseph Stalin to let her form an all-female fighting squadron.

There were women at that time who wanted to join the war effort. She gathered females from the ages of 17 to 26 to train and perform as pilots, navigators, maintenance and ground crew. Their group had to learn in a few months what it took most soldiers several years to grasp.

For their aircraft, they were given wooden biplanes which were never meant for combat. Due to their primitive construction, German radar could hardly see them. They even flew so low that anti-aircraft shells would pass by their planes.

From 1942 until the end of World War II, they dropped over 23,000 tons of bombs on targets.

Their lean but mean team gave the Germans a reason to be scared of witches!

Russia's Night Witches

They might have been dubbed as night witches, but they were actually heroes of female empowerment.

Posted by HISTORY on Wednesday, 16 May 2018

 

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