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I highly recommend reading up on these ladies. Total badasses.
Canvas wings of death
Prepare to meet your fate
Night Bomber Regiment
In case you are wondering their names:
Pilot [Irina Sebrova](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irina_Sebrova) (the one writing, sitting in the foreground)
Navigator [Vera Belik](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vera_Belik) (closest to the camera, in the rightmost corner of the image).
Pilot [Nadezhda Popova](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadezhda_Popova) (standing directly behind Sebrova.)
Due to the low payload of their biplanes, they could only carry 2 bombs per sortie. So they saw a lot of action. And because their planes were so slow, the Germans had difficulty shooting them down.
While it’s said they were called “night witches” because the sound their planes made reminded the Germans of witches on broomsticks, I haven’t been able to find any primary source to indicate this is actually the case. Rather, every source simply states that Germans called them night witches and that’s that.
The pilots glided, engine off to their target. The Germans heard the wind through the wires shortly before the bombs were released (at which point the engine was restarted). Source – Stalingrad Anthony Beavor