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Wake up, we’re about to be bombed

“The Soviet Union was the first country in the world to use female pilots in combat. . . . The 588th Night Bomber Regiment, which flew ancient Polikarpov PO-2 biplanes, became known as the Nachthexen, or Night Witches, a name given to them by the German soldiers against whom they flew daring night attack missions. . . . To avoid detection the female pilots would fly close to the German positions at high altitude and cut their engines, then make a gliding attack over enemy lines. Unless radar detected them, the fabric-covered airplanes gave no warning until the sound of the wind in the rigging wires reached the ground.” – The World War II Desk Reference, Douglas Brinkley and Michael E. Haskew, eds.

Published inThe Second World War

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