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Night Witches: Aviatrix Marina Raskova

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In 1941 Nazi forces had invaded the Soviet Union. Desperate for more help in the war effort, Stalin called upon record breaking aviatrix Marina Raskova to form an all female bombing squadron. Raskova was up to the task and recruited many women, all between the ages of seventeen and twenty six. The planes they were given were incredibly outdated plywood biplanes with no protection of any sort, whether from bullets or winter air. “In winter, when you 'd look out to see your target better, you got frostbite, our feet froze in our boots, but we carried on flying." said Nadia Popova, one of the women in the squadron. Despite this, the women of the 588th managed to complete over 30,000 missions over four years, dropping 23,000 tons of bombs on enemy forces.…show more content…
The women were harassed and patronized at by their male counterparts, who believed that the idea of women in the military was laughable. They were doubted by their superiors, hence the antiquated planes, given hand-me-down male uniforms, and forced to cut their hair. Even while facing all this adversity, the Night Witches continued on in their missions and expressed themselves by painting flowers on their planes and coloring their lips with navigational
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