A Dance With Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II

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Texas A&M University Press, 1994 - History - 318 pages
5 Reviews
In their own vivid words, the women members of the Soviet air force recount their dramatic efforts against the German forces in World War II. These brave women, the first ever to fly in combat, proved that women could be among the best of warriors, withstanding the rigors of combat and downing the enemy.

The women who tell their stories here began the war mostly as inexperienced girls—many of them teenagers. In support of their homeland, they volunteered to serve as bomber and fighter pilots, navigator-bombardiers, gunners, and support crews. Flying against the Luftwaffe, they saw many of their friends—as well as many of their foes—fall to earth in flames. Their three combat Air Force regiments fought as many as one thousand missions during the war.

For their heroism and success against the enemy, two of the women's regiments were honored by designation as "Guard" regiments. At least thirty women were decorated with the gold star of Hero of the Soviet Union, their nation's highest award.

But equally courageous were the women's efforts to show the Red Army that they were entirely adequate to the great role they sought. For even though Stalin had decreed equality for both sexes, the women had to grapple initially with deep distrust from male pilots and Red Army officers, against whom they eventually prevailed.

War, Stalin-era politics, and human emotion mix in these gripping, first-person accounts. Supported by photographs of the women at war, the stories are unforgettable. Portraits of the women as they are now, taken by award-winning photographer Anne Noggle, add the perspective of time to the experiences of the survivors of this great dance with death.
  

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Review: A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II

User Review  - João Martins - Goodreads

This book is a compendium of content from each interview directed by the author with Soviet airwomen of WW2. I was very disappointed by the book. Without any disrespect, but most of the experiences ... Read full review

Review: A Dance with Death: Soviet Airwomen in World War II

User Review  - Laura Edwards - Goodreads

This is my all-time favorite book. I've read it numerous times. It is about the female Soviet pilots who flew in combat in WWII. A collection of interviews introduces the reader to these brave and fascinating women. I highly recommend this book. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

An Introduction
3
Major Marina Raskova 191243
15
The 46th Guards Bomber Regiment
18
The 125th Guards Bomber Regiment
99
The 586th Fighter Regiment
157
Women Fliers in Male Regiments
220
199092
247
THE ADVENTURE OF A WOMAN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOT IN MOSCOW
317
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About the author (1994)

Anne Noggle, herself an American Woman Airforce Service Pilot in World War II, has made lengthy visits to Moscow to conduct more than seventy interviews and to photograph the Soviet airwomen. Noggle is a captain in the U.S. Air Force (retired), a former curator of photography and now adjunct professor of art at the University of New Mexico, and recipient of three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She has also written other articles and books, including For God, Country, and the Thrill of It: Women Airforce Service Pilots in World War II, published by Texas A&M University Press.

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