Night Witches: How the USSR’s Female Flying Aces Took the Fight to Berlin | All About History:
Nadezhda Popova was a Night Witch, and institutionalised disdain was as implacable an opponent as the Nazi aggressors she lined up in her sights.
In June 1941 the Wehrmacht ground a murderous trail across the vast unprepared expanse of the Soviet Union; Operation Barbarossa was well underway. Hitler’s plan to seize vast swathes of fertile Belorusian farmland, Ukrainian oil fields and Russian industrial centres had taken Soviet despot Joseph Stalin by surprise. Stalin had absolute faith in 1939’s Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which defined the spheres of influence between the obviously incompatible superpowers.