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Pioneering Women

Don't Mess With The Soviet Union's All-Female Bomber Pilots

The night witches don't refer to mystical women casting spells by moonlight, rather a dangerous group of women dropping bombs on Nazis. The night witches were an all-female brigade of bomber pilots that flew during World War II for the Soviet Union. They were called night witches because they flew at night and their planes were so light that they made swooshing noises, similar to the sounds one might imagine coming from a witch's broomstick whizzing through the air. The night witch planes were so light, they could only carry two bombs at a time, and were too light for parachutes.

Russian Night Witches - Herstory 5

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Key Facts In This Video

  1. "Night witches" were Russia's all-female fighter pilots in World War II. 01:00

  2. Soviet night witches would fly as many as 18 missions in a single night. 02:33

  3. If a German killed a night witch in WWII, automatically that soldier is awarded an iron cross. 03:27

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