Sofa King Podcast
Big IDEAS, Big OPINIONS, Big MOUTHS… The world famous Sofa King Podcast! The Sofa King Podcast is a weekly podcast dedicated to popular culture, recent events, and whatever topics the hosts find interesting. From conspiracy theories and technology to the mass media and the future, this podcast explores two interesting topics per week in a way that is simultaneously informative, critical, and humorous. The podcast hosts have big ideas, big opinions, big mouths, and give their take on weekly topics in a way that is both cynical and educational. Adult content, themes, and language. Listen below.
On this episode of the world famous Sofa King Podcast, we look back at a little known group from World War Two called the Night Witches. Known as the 588th Night Bomber Regimen, this all female group of Soviet pilots were such a terror to the Nazis that any German who could shoot one down would instantly receive their prestigious Iron Cross medal. Over the course of the war, they flew around 30,000 missions. They were the most decorated unit in the entire Soviet air force.
Their story is a very interesting one. At first, women couldn’t serve in the Soviet air force, but a woman named Major Marina Raskova (The Russian Amelia Earhart) convinced Stalin to let it happen. He signed in three women regiments, including the 588th. Ironically, the biggest difficulty they faced was also the biggest part of their legacy and infamy. They flew the worst planes.
They were given old plywood biplanes meant for crop dusting. They had no armor, no radio, no parachute, no light. However, they were so old and slow, that they flew under the stall out speed for all German aircraft. Also, they were too small and light to be picked up on radar. Once over a target, they’d cut their engines and drift until over their target and drop their bombs. This is what made the Nazis call them the Night Witches. All they’d hear on the ground was the whoosh of what they said was a witches’ broom and the cackle of the pilot’s laughter before the explosions started.
So, how many of these women were there? How many died in combat? How many missions would they fly in one night? Why does one historian think they are crazy? Why didn’t the Soviets include them in the victory parade at the end of the war? Listen, laugh, learn.
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