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Night Witches: Untold Story of Soviet Women in Combat Paperback – 15 Jul 1990


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Night Witches: Untold Story of Soviet Women in Combat + Wings, Women, and War: Soviet Airwomen in World War II Combat (Modern War Studies) + A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II
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Product details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Academy Chicago Publishers; New Ed edition (15 July 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897332881
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897332880
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 212,337 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"Professional journal information about Paramount purchasing the rights to Night Witches..." -- Daily Variety, May 2003.

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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By B. Adlington on 24 Mar 2005
Format: Paperback
At a time when the role of women in combat seems to be all new this book gives the opportunity to read about some of the pioneers.
This is a fascinating subject, the story of the women who insisted on becoming combat aircrew in the Russian Air Force. In Western Europe at this time the establishment was horrified with the thought of wives, daughters and mothers having their hands on the trigger and fighting for their country. In Russia women were given their chance at the controls of fighters, bombers and dive bombers. What they acheived in the face of the Luftwaffe and the scepticism from their male colleagues led to the award of eleite 'Guards' status to one Regiment while the Soviet equivalent of the Victoria Cross was awarded to 34 female aircrew.
Their story is a compelling one, particularly in the face of lingering western resentment to the role of women in war. Mr Myles presents their accounts in a readable but fragmented style though it seems from further reading I have done that some of his research may be flawed.
I enjoyed this book immensely.I could not help myself but be moved by what those women did to prove beyond reproach that in air combat women are the equals of men and should be treated as such.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Ian Millard on 28 Dec 2006
Format: Paperback
This is an interesting read on a topic of which most know little. The story of Soviet women in combat is one most people know only from the famous stories of the Stalingrad sniper school. Russia today does not use women in combat: few if any civilized states do, though Israel has female combat soldiers and assassins.

The flaw in the book is the lack of any sense of intellectual enquiry. The stories of the women are treated sympathetically and the book reads like a feature in the old Literaturnaya Gazeta. The women are told to use their pistols if likely to be captured, but in fact, the one woman who was captured by the Wehrmacht was not tortured or beaten despite the Germans wanting information from her. She was sent to Ravensbruck camp in Germany and lived through the war. Again, the author says that this woman was indignant at not being treated as an officer under the Geneva Convention. Perhaps the author ( a BBC reporter...) was unaware that Stalin's Soviet Union never signed that Convention.

There are interesting human sidelights in the book, particularly how the women, although fairly fanatical Stalinists, find enough compassion to briefly take care of a lost wolf cub and, for a longer time, a Russian orphan boy. Worth reading despite the very easy line taken in respect of Soviet attitudes of the time.
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By Mrs D Craig on 4 Jun 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brill book, changed my perspective of the second world war. Young girls flying and bringing down enemy planes every bit as well as their male counterparts.
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