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‘Nadya’s War’ How Soviet Women Aviators Fought the Wehrmacht in World War II

By David E. Hubler

Contributor, In Military

I knew the only way to survive was to be ice inside, to feel absolutely nothing.

– Pilot Klavdiya Pankratova of the 586th Fighter Regiment 

In June 1941, Nazi armies surged eastward in a massive, 2,000-mile-long invasion of the Soviet Union, known as Operation Barbarossa. In the first week alone, Nazi warplanes destroyed more than 4,000 Red Air Force aircraft out of a fleet of 7,700 planes and along with them countless Russian pilots were killed. Continue Reading