Soviet female fighter pilots of the Second World War

by Auron
Tags: history, world war ii
Auron is offline
Oct31-09, 07:47 AM
P: 9
Female aviation units in Russia excelled and one was even the most decorated regiment in the whole soviet air force. How much did women contribute to the fighting of the war, and why isnít more written about it, considering how popular womenís history is these days?
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Pattonias is offline
Nov9-09, 02:01 PM
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Wow, that is a remarkable story. I am surprised that I haven't heard about this before.
hypatia is offline
Nov10-09, 02:14 AM
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That was a great link, I also wonder why we have not heard more about it.

Sorry! is offline
Nov25-09, 09:50 PM
P: 571

Soviet female fighter pilots of the Second World War

Raskova is credited with using her personal connections with Joseph Stalin to convince the military to form three combat regiments of women. Not only would the women be pilots, but also the support staff and engineers for these regiments. This military unit was initially called Aviation Group 122 while the three regiments received training.

The regiment flew harassment bombing and precision bombing[2] missions from 1942 to the end of the war. At its largest size, it had 40 two-person crews. It flew over 23,000 sorties and is said to have dropped 3,000 tons of bombs. It was the most highly-decorated unit in the Soviet Air Force, each pilot having flown over 1,000 missions by the end of the war and twenty-three having been awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title. Thirty-one of its members died in combat.

The regiment flew in wood and canvas Polikarpov Po-2 biplanes, a 1928 design intended for use as training aircraft and for crop-dusting. The planes could carry only two bombs at a time, so multiple missions in a night were necessary. Although the aircraft were obsolete and slow, the pilots made daring use of their exceptional maneuverability; they had the advantage of having a maximum speed that was lower than the stall speed of both the Messerschmitt Bf 109 and the Focke-Wulf Fw 190, as a result, the German pilots found them very difficult to shoot down. A stealthiness technique of the night bombers was to idle the engine near the target and glide to the bomb release point, with only wind noise to reveal their location.

Very interesting stuff indeed. Never heard of any of this thanks for posting that story

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