'Night Witches:' The All-Female Russian Bombing Unit Of WWII
At the height of World War II, Joseph Stalin, besieged by the Nazis turned to a group of aeronautical women that eventually struck such fear in the Germans, they named them Nachthexen or “Night Witches.” Led by the “Soviet Amelia Earhart,” Colonel Marina Raskova, the Night Witches bombarded the Nazis with over 23,000 tons of munitions over 30,000 bombing raids, exclusively at night.
They faced sexual harassment and outright derision due to their “unwomanly” desire to fight. Nevertheless, 24 of the flyers earned the title of “Hero of the Soviet Union.” And the Night Witches helped turn the tide of WWII despite laughable planes and equipment. As Nadezhda Popova, flyer of 852 missions, said, “We did have clever, educated, very talented girls.”