World War II: Soviet Air Forces

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.

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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]

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The Most Badass Man in History — Lt. General Adrian Carton de Wiart

Born/Died: May 5th, 1880 - June 5th 1963

Military Service: British Army, 1899–1923, 1939–1947

Awards: Victoria Cross, Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Companion of the Order of Bath, Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George, Distinguished Service Order, Legion of Honour (France), Vituti Militari (Poland), Cross of Valor (Poland), Croix de Guerre (Belgium), Officer of the Order of the Crown (Belgium).

Wars/Conflicts: 2nd Boer War, Anglo Somali War, World War I (Western Front), Polish Soviet War, World War II (Europe and Pacific).

Wounded: 11 times, including face, groin, head, stomach, lungs, ankle, leg, hip, and ear.

Body Parts Lost: Left eye, left hand, part of left ear.

Plane Crashes Survived: 2

Prison Escapes: 7

Favorite Pastime: Hunting wild boars with a spear.

Friends With: Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Carl Gustav Mannerheim, Prince Karol Mikołaj Radziwiłł, Marshal Pilsudski, Pope Pius XI, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Chiang Kai Shek, and Clement Attlee.

Married to: Countess Friederike Maria Karoline Henriette Rosa Sabina Franziska Fugger von Babenhausen, Ruth Myrtle Muriel Joan McKechnie

Notable Quotes: “Governments may think and say as they like, but force cannot be eliminated, and it is the only real and unanswerable power. We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.”

Notable Instances of Badassery

- Shot in the groin and stomach during the Boer Wars, recovered and returned to combat.

-While fighting against Mohammed “The Mad Mullah” bin Abdullah in Somalia he was shot in the face twice, losing an eye.  Continued fighting.

-World War I — Took command of three infantry battalions and a brigade when his superiors were killed.  Led from the front at all times.

-Bit off his own mangled fingers when a surgeon refused to amputate them.

-Shot through the skull and ankle at the Battle of the Somme, through the hip at the Battle of Passchendaele, through the leg at Cambrai, and through the ear at Arras.

-Thoughts on World War I: “Frankly, I enjoyed the war.”

-Supplied weapons to the Polish during the Polish Soviet War.

-Fought in a gunfight against a band of angry Cossacks.

-Seconded in a duel with Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, later commander-in-chief of Finnish armies in World War II and President of Finland.

-World War II — House in Poland was bombed (with him in it) when the Germans invaded in 1939.  Escaped in a car to Romania as the German Air Force attempted to strafe and bomb him.

-Led British Ski Commandos in Norway.

-Survived airplane crash in the Mediterranean.  Swam 1 mile in freezing water to shore. Was captured by the enemy.

-The enemy considered him too “disabled” to live in a POW camp.  He was offered the chance to return home if he resigned from the British Army.  He refused and instead escaped from a POW camp after digging a tunnel for 7 months.

-In the last years of the war and after he served as a British ambassador in China.  Enjoyed watching Allied and Japanese fighters dogfighting from the bridge of the HMS Queen Elizabeth.

-Interrupted a propaganda speech by Mao Tse Tung to tell him he was a lunatic.

-In his old age he fell and injured his back.  During the resulting back surgery doctors removed “an incredible amount of shrapnel”.

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The Story of the Flying Lady Badass Anna Yegorova

 Born to a Russian peasant family in 1916, Anna Yegorova was one of the deadliest and most celebrated Soviet pilots of World War II.  While working as a factory worker before the war, Yegorova received pilots training and eventually became a flight instructor.  When the Germans invaded in 1941, she volunteered for the Soviet Air Force, however Soviet commanders at the time were slow to accept women for combat service.  Instead, she was assigned to fly an aging rickety biplane as a reconnaissance pilot.  Between 1941 and 1942 she flew 100 reconnaissance missions, many of which were very dangerous.  On her 100th mission, her plane was intercepted by a German fighter.  Completely outclassed in her puttering antique biplane, she was easily shot down by the fighter.  Having no parachute she was forced to crash land as her plane erupted into flames around her.  After the crash, she hid in a corn field as the German fighter straffed her with machine guns until running out of ammo and flying away.  Despite suffering horrific burns over much of her body, she returned to base and personally delivered her maps. For her actions she was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned for training at a combat aviation school.

While in combat training Yegorova gained a reputation as one of the best pilots of her class.  She was trained to fly the Ilyushin IL-2 Sturmovik, a heavily armed and armored ground attack aircraft nicknamed “The Flying Tank”.  Throughout the war, the IL-2 was used as a close air support craft, and was specifically used to destroy German tanks. After graduating combat aviation school in 1943, she was assigned command of an IL-2 squadron that was part of the 805th Attack Aviation Regiment.  Over the next year she commanded 177 combat missions, destroying scores of German tanks, armored vehicles, and trucks.  A true terror of sky, she was known as a superior pilot and a fearless combat leader. Among the enemy she was known as the “Flying Witch”. During her combat duty, she was awarded the Order of Lenin, two Orders of the Red Banner, and two Orders of the Patriotic War 1st Class. 

On an attack on a German column in Auguast of 1944, an anti craft shell exploded below the seat of her cockpit, the force of which blew her through her cockpit canopy.  Before falling unconscious Yegorova pulled the rip cord or her parachute.  However the parachute failed to open completely, and she was sent screaming to the earth until she slammed into the ground. Soviet officials believed she was dead, and posthumously awarded her the title “Hero of the Soviet Union”.   

As if by miracle, Yegorova was alive, but she was seriously injured with several broken ribs, dislocated arms and shoulders, severe spinal fractures, a concussion, burns, and numerous internal injuries. Barely alive and slipping in and out of a coma, Yegorova was sent to Kustrin Prison Camp in Poland, where she was dumped in a prison cell and left to die.  Fortunately, she was tended by another prisoner, a Russian physician named Georgy Sinyakov.  Amazingly, working 20 hours a day with little food or medical supplies, Dr. Sinyakov was able to nurse her back to health. A selfless healer who treated thousands of POW’s with what little he had, he even sacrificed some of his own rations so that Yegorova would live. Despite his care, her wounds never completely healed and she suffered physical disability the rest of her life. When she was barely strong enough to stand, the German SS and Gestapo began to interrogate her, often resorting to beatings and torture.  During her imprisonment, she told nothing to her interrogators.

In January of 1945, Kustrin Prison Camp was liberated by the Red Army.  The guards of the camp had planned to shoot all the prisoners before leaving, however Dr. Sinyakov convinced the Germans to leave without firing a shot. While she was free of German imprisonment, Yegorova’s ordeal was far from over.  Under Stalin’s orders Soviet soldiers, sailors, and airmen were forbidden from surrendering, and to Stalin there were no Soviet POW’s, only traitors.  Upon liberation, Yegorova was arrested by the Soviet NKVD and interrogated for 11 days on suspicion of being a spy and a traitor. She was also stripped of all her awards and titles, with her combat record being erased from all official Soviet documents.  After all the combat, her life threating injuries which left her body permanently wrecked and disfigured, the torture at the hands of the Germans, and having all of her life’s accomplishment revoked, the moment of her life which brought tears to her eyes even decades later was when an NKVD interrogator called her “a fascist bitch”.  One the 11th day of her interrogation she finally made the demand, “You can shoot me, but I will not let you torture me!”.  Later that day, she was cleared of charges and released when Soviet Air Force commanders intervened on her behalf. She was declared an invalid and released from military service.

After the war, Yegorova married, raised a family with two children, and desperately petitioned the Soviet Government to restore her service record and awards.  Finally, in 1965 her awards were returned, including the coveted title “Hero of the Soviet Union”.  On a side note, Dr. Simyakov, an earthly saint IMO, received no recognition for his work at Kustrin Prison Camp while he was alive, despite the accounts of thousands of Soviet servicemen who he had treated while at the camp.  He returned to his life as a doctor, and passed away in 1978. Anna Yegorova passed away on the 29th of October, 2009, at the age of 93.

Night Witches

“Night Witches" is the English translation of Nachthexen, a World War II German nickname (in Russian Ночные 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 harassment and precision bombing missions against the German military from 1942 to the end of the war. At its largest size, it had 40 two-person crews. It flew over 23,000 sorties and is said to have dropped 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.

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.” Due to the weight of the bombs and the low altitude of flight, the pilots carried no parachutes.

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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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Operation Rolling Thunder was the title of a gradual and sustained aerial bombardment campaign conducted by the US 2nd Air Division (later Seventh Air Force), US Navy, and Republic of Vietnam Air Force (VNAF) against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam) from 2 March 1965 until 2 November 1968, during the Vietnam War.

The four objectives of the operation (which evolved over time) were to boost the sagging morale of the Saigon regime in the Republic of Vietnam, to persuade North Vietnam to cease its support for the communist insurgency in South Vietnam without actually taking any ground forces into communist North Vietnam, to destroy North Vietnam’s transportation system, industrial base, and air defenses, and to halt the flow of men and material into South Vietnam. Attainment of these objectives was made difficult by both the restraints imposed upon the U.S and its allies by Cold War exigencies and by the military aid and assistance received by North Vietnam from its communist allies, the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

The operation became the most intense air/ground battle waged during the Cold War period; indeed, it was the most difficult such campaign fought by the U.S. Air Force since the aerial bombardment of Germany during World War II. Supported by communist allies, North Vietnam fielded a potent mixture of sophisticated air-to-air and ground-to-air weapons that created one of the most effective air defenses ever faced by American military aviators.

Red Room & Winter Soldier Programs in the MCU - Part II

As a part of #Buckynat Week sponsored by fuckyeahbuckynatasha, I’m contributing a summary of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) depiction of the Soviet Red Room and Winter Soldier programs.

In long-standing comic canon, the Red Room Academy produced Natasha Romanoff as a Black Widow operative; the parallel Winter Soldier program produced a brain-washed super-assassin out of an injured James ‘Bucky’ Barnes. The last four episodes of the Agent Carter TV series lifted the curtain on what was simply speculation of Natasha’s past Soviet training and, to a lesser extent, Bucky’s ‘recruitment’ by the Russians within the MCU.

In the first part of this MCU-focused meta, I explored the Red Room indoctrination and training practices used to make girls into Soviet covert operatives. This second part focuses on two of the masterminds responsible for the Winter Soldier program. The third part (forthcoming) will be more speculative, as I make connections between the Red Room and Winter Soldier programs as well as some predictions for Natasha’s backstory in Age of Ultron. Most Especially, because it’s #Buckynat Week, I’ll go on even further out on a limb and suggest a possible romantic dynamic for Natasha and Bucky in Captain America: Civil War.

Spoiler Alert! Obviously, I’m discussing many of the events of the first season of Agent Carter, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (as well as touch on other Marvel movies as they apply), so if you wish to remain spoiler-free, this is your chance to avert your eyes.

Keep reading

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The Battle of Stalingrad (23 August 1942 – 2 February 1943) was a major battle of World War II in which Nazi Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad (now Volgograd) in the south-western Soviet Union. Marked by constant close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it was the single largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. The heavy losses inflicted on the Wehrmacht make it arguably the most strategically decisive battle of the whole war. It was a turning point in the European theatre of World War II–the German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to replace their losses. 

he Axis suffered 850,000 total casualties among all branches of the German armed forces and its allies. The USSR, according to archival figures, suffered 1,129,619 total casualties. Anywhere from 25,000 to 40,000 Soviet civilians died in Stalingrad and its suburbs during a single week of aerial bombing by the Luftwaffe, The total number of civilians killed in Stalingrad is unknown.

In all, the battle resulted in an estimated total of 1.7–2 million Axis and Soviet casualties.

Brewser B239 (F2A Buffalo) of the Finnish Air Force engaging Soviet fighters.  Provided to Finland in 1939, these outdated and under-performing fighters did relatively well for Finnish pilots, with Capt. Hans Wind scorring 39 of his 75 victories in this aircraft type.

My Blogs:

Beautiful Warbirds
Full Afterburner
The Test Pilots
P-38 Lightning
Nasa History
Science Fiction World
Fantasy Literature & Art

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American crewmen of a B-29 stand by their aircraft after being forced to land in the Soviet Union, one of four Superfortresses to do so during World War II. Three of the planes were kept by the Soviets, including the examples seen here in Soviet markings. They formed the genesis for the Tu-4 bomber.

(Gordon/Rigmant)

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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P-39 Airacobra of Soviet ace Ivan Gaidaenko, the Airacobra was not well received by the Americans, and the British, who wanted a fighter that could operate well at high altitude, but the lack of a supercharger on the P-39 meant it couldn’t perform well at high altitudes, however this wasn’t a problem on eastern front in the Soviet union, where most air engagements took place at lower altitudes where the P-39 performed well, that along with its heavy armament (Consisting of a 37mm cannon and dual 50s in the nose and either 4 30s in the wings or another pair of 50s) meant it was well received by Soviet pilots.