The Night Witches: The pilots the Nazis feared most

Soviet fighter pilots Bershanskaya and Litvinova before 1945 Moscow Victory Parade

Meet the Night Witches, the daring female pilots who bombed Nazis by night!

The all-female squadron from Russia was made up of some of the most successful bomber pilots of World War Two.

Stunning WWII photos
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Stunning WWII photos

December 1942

An Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) ‘spotter’ at a 3.7-inch anti-aircraft gun site.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 453))

May 1943

A crew from the 16th/5th Lancers, 6th Armoured Division, clean the gun barrel of their Crusader tank at El Aroussa in Tunisia.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 939))

August 1943

Nurses and convalescent aircrew at Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Hospital at Halton in Buckinghamshire.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1169))

March 1944

Private Alfred Campin of the 6th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry during battle training in Britain.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1596))

c. 1941

An Air Raid Precautions (ARP) warden inspects damaged buildings in Holborn, London.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1928))

April 22, 1944

British paratroopers prepare for a practice jump from an RAF Dakota based at Down Ampney in Wiltshire.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1662))

October 1944

Field Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery explains Allied strategy to King George VI in his command caravan in Holland.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 2393))

February 1944

General Dwight D. Eisenhower and his senior commanders at Supreme Allied Headquarters in London.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1541))


Lieutenant Vernon R Richards of the 361st Fighter Group flies his P-51D Mustang, nicknamed ‘Tika IV’, during a bomber escort mission.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 6210))

September 1943

A 5.5-inch gun crew from 75th (Shropshire Yeomanry) Medium Regiment, Royal Artillery, in action in Italy.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 1402))

October 1944

British soldiers admire the Caryatids on the Acropolis while sightseeing in Athens.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 2516))

October 1944

British soldiers admire the Caryatids on the Acropolis while sightseeing in Athens.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 2516))

July 1944

The RAF’s top-scoring fighter pilot, Wing Commander James ‘Johnnie’ Johnson, with his Spitfire and pet Labrador ‘Sally’ in Normandy.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 2145))

September 1944

Dutch civilians dance in the streets after the liberation of Eindhoven by Allied forces.

(Photo via Imperial War Museums (TR 2369))

They flew more than 30,000 bombing raids, and dropped 23,000 tons of munitions on the Nazis during the war.

What's more, they did it all in hand-me-down planes.

Watch the video above for more on their incredible story.

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