Night Witches is a non-fiction historical account written by Bruce Myles. It was first published in 1981 and was then republished some years later by Academy Chicago Publishers. This tells the story of Russian female pilots who fought in the Second World War. Myles actually interviewed many of the surviving pilots for this during that time. The reader gets to know such figures as Katya Budanova, Nadia Popova, and Lily Latvik, These women were involved in many missions that rivaled those of their male counterparts.
I am not sure that many people have even heard of this squadron dubbed the Night Witches. What is also striking is that term hardly shows up in the text. There are a few times when the historical background is presented somewhat dryly, however that may not be able to be helped. It’s still a fascinating piece of little known world history. I was reminded of the movie Hidden Figures, which told the story of a group of black female mathematicians who worked for NASA during the dawn of the United States space program. Also, the women who worked as code breakers at Bletchley Park during World War II in England is something that is not common knowledge. I am not someone who could readily be described as a feminist, however these contributions from these extraordinary women should be acknowledged and celebrated. Even though we have plenty of reason to be skeptical of the Russian government these days, that country were allies during one of the most horrific periods in world history. The women who flew in the Russian air force may not have worked directly with US forces, however their contribution to the overall effort to defeat Adolf Hitler is nothing to dismiss either.
So I am coming back to more familiar territory with my next read with a fictional female heroine created by Dean Koontz. It is time to see what secrets and threats await Jane Hawk as she opens The Forbidden Door.