World War II: Night Witches

Fight Like a Girl

Anhotep I, Ancient Egyptian Warrior Princess, Hyksos War, “cleansed Egypt of the Hyksos”.

Queen Boudicca, led the Iceni Rebellion against Rome, 1st century.

Relief of two Roman gladiatrices found at Halicarnassus, Roman Empire

Hua Mulan, Tang Dynasty China, disguised herself as a man to fight in her father’s stead.  Inspired the Disney movie “Mulan”.

The Trung Sisters, 1st Century Vietnam, rebelled against the Chinese Empire.

Joan of Arc, the Hundred Years War. Led the French to victory against the English.

Tomoe Gozen, 12th-13th century Samurai.  The woodblock print below depicts her beheading the Samurai Moroshige of Musashi at the Battle of Awazu.

Matilda of Tuscany, Middle Ages, Investiture Conflict, personal bodyguard of the Pope.

The Isabella de Carazzi and Diambra de Pettinella Duel, circa 1552.

Julie d'Aubigny, 17th century swordsmen and opera singer. Considered one of the greatest duelists in history.

Mary Read and Anne Bonney, 17th/18th century pirates.

Elizabeth “Lady Bare Knuckles Stokes, popular bareknuckle boxer in Britain, early 18th century. Fought both men and women, was also noted for her skill with the broadsword and cudgel.

Hannah Snell, Royal Marine, Seven Years War, disguised herself as a man.

Deborah Sampson, American Revolution, disguised herself as a man. Removed a musket ball from her thigh with a knife.

The “Petticoat Duel” between Almeria Braddock and Mrs. Elphinstone, circa 1792.

Nadezhda Andreyevna Durova,  most heavily decorated soldier in the Russian Cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars.

Pine Leaf, Crow Nation War Chief, 19th century

Harriet Tubman, American Civil War, spy, army scout, and co-commander of Union forces during the Combahee River Raid.

Loretta Valsaquez, American Civil War, Confederacy. Disguised herself as a man.

Frances Lousia Clayton, disguised herself as a man to fight with her husband, Union Army, American Civil War.

Cathay Williams, 38th Infantry (Buffalo Soldiers) during the late 19th century. Disguised herself as a man.

“Stagecoach” Mary Fields, Old West icon, once shot a man in the bum in a gunfight after he called her a nigger.

The Dahomey Amazon’s, West Africa 19th century.  The most feared warriors of the Kingdom of Dahomey.  Their favorite pastime was to decapitate their captured enemies.

Princess Pauline Metternich and Countess Kielmannsegg Duel of 1892

One of many “Soldateras” during the Mexican Revolution

Captain Flora Sandes, World War I, English woman who fought in the Serbian Army.  Won the Serbia’s highest honor (the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star) after leading her company on a successful assault despite being wounded by a grenade and in a bout of hand to hand combat.

Edith Gerrud, the Jiu Jitsu Suffragist

Spanish Civil War.

Lydia Litvyak, Soviet Air Force, World War II: First female fighter ace, first kill scored by a woman, highest scoring female fighter pilot with 16 kills. Heroine of the Soviet Union.

Nancy Wake, World War II, commanded a 7,000 man resistance group in France. Was tortured by the Gestapo for 4 days and never talked.  On the flip side she was known for interrogating enemy spies and getting them to talk, then executing them.

The 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Group, a Soviet all female bomber group during World War II.  Nicknamed “The Night Witches” by the Germans because of their stealthy bombing tactics.

Partisan Fighter, World War II

Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, Soviet Sniper during World War II, deadliest female sniper with 309 kills. Heroine of the Soviet Union.

Mariya Oktyabrskaya, Soviet tank driver during World War II, Heroine of the Soviet Union.

Capt. Kim Campbell, US Air Force, A10 Warthog pilot during the Iraq War, the pictures speak for themselves.

Rukhsana Kausar, defended her family from a band of terrorists with an axe and a captured assault rifle.

Looking back on it now, it’s hard to believe we had the nerve to tackle it, really. There we were, a bunch of mad girls, charging around the sky on pitch-black nights, peering at maps on our knees by the light of the instrument panel, and trying to find our bearings when we couldn’t see a thing on the ground.
—  Marina Chichnova a woman who was a Night Witch, an all women’s Soviet Union bomber regiment during World War II
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Soviet female pilots also flew with bravery and distinction fighting against the Germans. 

Thanks for the recommendation Jenn.

Source:  Wikipedia

“Night Witches” is the English translation of Nachthexen, a World War II German nickname (Russian Ночные ведьмы, Nochnye Vedmy), 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 harassment bombing and precision bombing missions against the German military from 1942 to the end of the war.[1] At its largest size, it had 40 two-person crews. It flew over 23,000 sorties and is said to have dropped [2] 3,000 tons of bombs. It was the most highly decorated female unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 800 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title. Thirty of its members died in combat.[3]

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 six 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, and as a result, the German pilots found them very difficult to shoot down. An attack 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. German soldiers likened the sound to broomsticks and named the pilots “Night Witches.”[4] Due to the weight of the bombs and the low altitude of flight, the pilots carried no parachutes.[5]

From June 1942, the 588th Night Bomber Regiment was within the 4th Air Army. In February 1943 the regiment was honored with a reorganization into the 46th Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment and in October 1943 it became the 46th “Taman” Guards Night Bomber Aviation Regiment.[6] The word Taman referred to the unit’s involvement in two celebrated Soviet victories on the Taman Peninsula, during 1943.

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Soviet Night Witches

The Night Witches (from the German Nachtexen) were a regiment of female military aviators, formally the 588th Night Bomber Regiment of the Soviet Air Forces.

In the summer of 1941, Col. Marina Raskova was called upon to organize a regiment of women pilots to fly night combat missions of harassment bombing. From mechanics to navigators, pilots and officers, the 588th regiment was composed entirely of women; it became the most highly decorated female unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 800 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title.

Missions were carried out against the German military from 1942 to the end of the war. The Night Witches flew in wood and canvas Polikarpov Po-2 planes; despite being obsolete and slow, the basic materials allowed for daring maneuvers and exceedingly quiet entrances. An attack 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; German soldiers likened the sound to broomsticks, giving rise to the nickname. (Incidentally, the Nazis also feared and loathed them: any pilot who shot down a witch was awarded an Iron Cross.)

The Night Witches overcame challenges from within the Soviet Air Force to fly combat missions, and over time became an important force against the Nazis, flying over 23,000 sorties and said to have dropped 3,000 tons of bombs. And they did all this while decorating their planes with flowers and using their navigation pencils as lip color. [x]

anonymous asked:

What your opinion on Women in the Military?

If a woman can meet the standards then I don’t see why not.  Today pretty much every modern military in the world allows women in combat.  The thing that gets me is that many people treat the subject like it’s something new and groundbreaking, like its never been done before. However, throughout history there have been many women who fought and did battle, many of whom were absolute badasses who make UFC heavy weight champions seem like wimpy wet noodles.

Anhotep I, Ancient Egypt, Hyksos War, “cleansed Egypt of the Hyksos”.

Hua Mulan, Tang Dynasty China, disguised herself as a man.  Inspired the Disney movie “Mulan”.

The Trung Sisters, 1st Century Vietnam, rebelled against the Chinese Empire.

Joan of Arc, the Hundred Years War. Led the French to victory against the English.

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Tomoe Gozen, lady Samurai during the Genpei War.  The woodblock illustration below is of her decapitating the Samurai Honda no Moroshige of Musashi during the Battle of Awazu.

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Matilda of Tuscany, Middle Ages, Investiture Conflict, personal bodyguard of the Pope.

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Hannah Snell, Royal Marine, Seven Years War, disguised herself as a man.

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Nadezhda Andreyevna Durova,  most heavily decorated soldier in the Russian Cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. Disguised herself as a man.

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Deborah Sampson, American Revolution, disguised herself as a man. Removed a musket ball from her thigh with a knife.

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Harriet Tubman, American Civil War, spy, army scout, and co-commander of Union forces during the Combahee River Raid.

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Loretta Valsaquez, American Civil War, Confederacy. Disguised herself as a man.

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Cathay Williams, 38th Infantry (Buffalo Soldiers) during the late 19th century. Disguised herself as a man.

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The Dahomey Amazon’s, West Africa 19th century.  The most feared warriors of the Kingdom of Dahomey.  Their favorite pastime was to decapitate their captured enemies.

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One of many “Soldateras” during the Mexican Revolution.

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Captain Flora Sandes, World War I, English woman who fought in the Serbian Army.  Won the Serbia’s highest honor (the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star) after leading her company on a successful assault despite being wounded by a grenade and in a bout of hand to hand combat.

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Soldiers during the Spanish Civil War.

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Lydia Litvyak, Soviet Air Force, World War II: First female fighter ace, first kill scored by a woman, highest scoring female fighter pilot with 16 kills. Heroine of the Soviet Union.

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Nancy Wake, World War II, commanded a 7,000 man resistance group in France. Was tortured by the Gestapo for 4 days and never talked.  On the flip side she was known for interrogating enemy spies and getting them to talk, then executing them.

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The 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Group, a Soviet all female bomber group during World War II.  Nicknamed “The Night Witches” by the Germans because of their stealthy bombing tactics.

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Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, Soviet Sniper during World War II, deadliest female sniper with 309 kills. Heroine of the Soviet Union.

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Mariya Oktyabrskaya, Soviet tank driver during World War II, Heroine of the Soviet Union.

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Capt. Kim Campbell, US Air Force, A10 Warthog pilot during the Iraq War, the pictures speak for themselves.

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