They Defended Our Sky

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Transcript They Defended Our Sky

They Defended Our Sky
The Second World War
The Second
World War was
the largest
military conflict
in history. Nazi
Germany
brought
unimaginable
suffering to
millions of
people.
The Highest Price
And without doubt the Soviet Union paid the highest price
for the victory.
Soviet
PeoPle’s
Courage
Without the
extraordinary
courage,
determination
and
endurance of
Soviet people
the victory
would hardly
have been
possible.
Women at War
The Soviet Union
was the only
country in the
world where
women not only
took care of fields
and factories but
also fought
shoulder to
shoulder with men
as front line
soldiers.
Important
Proposal
In 1941, when
Germany invaded
the Soviet Union,
Major Marina
Raskova, a
famous Soviet
pilot, went to Stalin
to convince him to
set up three
women’s fighter
and bomber
regiments.
Training Centre for Women
Stalin agreed and a special training center for women was
set up in Engels, a small town not far from Stalingrad.
THEY TELL
Us…
The history of one of
those regiments,
the 46th Guard
Bomber
Regiment, was
described by its
former fighters: a
pilot Marina
Chechneva
THEY TELL
Us…
and a navigator
Larisa Litvinova
(Rozanova).
They did it in the Books “My Fighter girlfriends” and “Flying
Through the Years”.
ReGIMeNT’s WAY
In this map you can see the way of the regiment which
began in Engels and finished on the territory of Germany.
ReGIMeNT’s WAY
It was the way of remarkable victories, a great amount of
bitter losses, unprecedented courage and everyday feat.
ReGIMeNT’s
COMMANDER
The commander of
the regiment was
Yevdokiya
Bershanskaya.
PILOTS
All the girls were volunteers and most of them were
about 20 years old.
PILOTS in a FEW MONTHS
Some of them had been pilots before the war but many had
to learn from the scratch. However, in a few months, the
women were taught what it takes most men four years to
learn.
FAMOUS Po-2
Many girls flew old PO-2 planes known as “kukuruzniks”
and men pilots often laughed at them.
THE SLOWEST but not THE WORST
“Our planes were the slowest in the air force. They often
came back riddled with bullets, but they kept flying,”
recalled one of the girls.
TOUGH JOB
Being a fighter pilot
was a tough job.
Ground temperatures
ranged from 40
degrees above zero
in summer and 50
degrees below zero
in winter. Some parts
of the aircraft were so
cold that they ripped
the skin off if you
touched them.
MINUTES of the REST
There were very few minutes of rest, but there
were some…
As the women pilots became more experienced their missions
became more complicated. It was the women’s regiments that
learnt to fly at night with their engines switched off and attack
the enemy unexpectedly.
MARIYA
SMIRNOVA
In her book “My
Fighter Girlfriends”
Marina Chechneva
wrote about a
legendary pilot
Mariya Smirnova.
The story is called
“The Death
Retreated 964
Times”.
18 MISSIONS
DURING A DAY!
Mariya Smirnova
flew 3,260
missions – that is
about two missions
for every day of the
war! One day in
1944 her
squadron, led by
19-year-old Nadya
Popova flew 18
missions!
HIGH AWARDS
On August 26, 1944 Mariya Smirnova was awarded the Gold
Star Medal and she was given the title of a Hero of the
Soviet Union. At the same time such an award was given to
her navigator Yevdokiya Pas'ko.
TO BRING
VICTORY
CLOSER
But the girls
didn’t think of
themselves as
heroes or as
something
special. They
were just doing
what they felt
was needed to
bring victory
closer.
YEARS AFTER
THE WAR
Years after the war,
Nadezhda Popova
said, ”At night
sometimes I look
up into the dark
sky, close my eyes
and picture myself
as a girl at the
controls of my
bomber and I think,
”Nadya, how on
earth did you do
it?”
REAL COMRADES
The women pilots were real comrades. Marina Chechneva recalls, “One
night we had to fly to one of the stations of the railway Grodno –
Belostok. The first was the plane led by Tanya Makarova and Vera Belik.
The second was the crew of Lusya Klopkova and Tonya Pavlova”.
REAL COMRADES
The wall of enemy fire
met the crew of
Makarova – Belik.
Without any doubting
Klopkova and
Pavlova rushed to
rescue their
commander.
One of the wings and a
hull had been
broken. But the crew
kept flying to their
target. The mission
was carried out.
PAVLIK
Pavlova Antonina
Vasilyevna
(nicknamed in the
regimen Pavlik)
left the third year
of the Saratov
electro –
mechanical
secondary
technical school
and went to the
front as a
mechanic of
electrical
equipment in the
46th Bomber
Regiment.
500 COMBAT MISSIONS
Here she
became a
navigator. She
made 500
combat
missions.
Pavlova took
part in fights
liberating
Novorossiysk,
Kerch,
Sevastopol,
Byelorussia and
Poland.
ANTONINA
PAVLOVA
She was awarded the
Order of the Red
Banner, the Patriotic
War Order of the
second class, the
Order of the Red
Star and many
medals.
After the war Antonina
Vasilivna Pavlova
lived in Tambov and
taught technology in
School 33.
INSTRUCTOR FROM
INZHAVINO
Antonina Fyedorovna
Khudyakova comes
from the Orel Region,
but when the Great
Patriotic War started
she lived in Inzhavino
and worked as an
instructor in the local
air club of
“OSOAVIAKHIM”. In
autumn 1941 she
went to the front.
130,000 BOMBS ON ENEMY POSITIONS
She was sent to the 46th Bomber Regiment as a pilot. Then
she became a vice-commander of the squadron.
She made 926 combat missions; her crew dropped 130
thousand bombs on enemy positions.
HIGH AWARD
Antonina Fyedorovna
Khudyakova was
awarded the Gold Star
Medal and she was
given the title of a
Hero of the Soviet
Union. She met
Victory Day in
hospital. After the war
she lived in the
Ukraine.
A DANCE WITH DEATH
However, the death rate for pilots was very high. To fly a
combat mission was not a trip under the moon. Every
attack, every bombing was a dance with death.
ONLY ONE
NIGHT…
One of the best
pilots and a
regiment’s poetess
Natasha Meklin
once wrote her
verses devoting
them to memory of
eight girls who
perished during the
night on August 1,
1943.
OLGA
SANFIROVA
Olga Alexandrovna
Sanfirova
graduated from
the Secondary
School of Civil Air
Fleet in Tambov.
She fought in the
46th Bomber
Regiment from its
very beginning –
from May, 1942.
DECEMBER
15, 1944
She made 630
combat missions
and the night on
the 15th of
December 1944
was the last.
When the
mission had
been already
done her plane
dot under strong
enemy fire and
in a few seconds
it caught fire.
A MINE FIELD
Sanfirova ordered
her navigator to
parachute and so
did she. But,
unfortunately,
there was a mine
field below. The
navigator
survived but
Olga perished.
A HERO OF THE
SOVIET UNION
Olga Alexandrovna
Sanfirova was
buried in the
City Garden in
Grodno. She
was given the
title of a Hero of
the Soviet Union
(posthumously).
WHITE ROSE
OF
STALINGRAD
The regiments’
highest scoring
ace, Lilya
Litvyak, was
awarded a Gold
Star of a Hero of
the Soviet Union
and nicknamed
the White Rose
of Stalingrad for
her courage and
skills as a fighter
pilot.
LILYA AND
THE GERMAN
ACE
She once shot down an
experienced Knight’s
Cross German ace (20
kills).
When the German pilot
realized that he had
been hit by what he
thought was a
“schoolgirl”, he tore off
his decorations and
threw them out of the
cockpit.
Lilya was only 21 but he had already shot down 10 enemy
planes. She was so short that she couldn’t reach the pedals
in her plane when she first started flying. Her mechanic,
also a woman, had to adjust them to her.
8 ENEMY
PLANES
AGAINST
lIlYA’s YAK
Nobody
knows
exactly how
she died
but,
according to
witnesses,
Lilya was last seen being chased by
eight (!) enemy aircraft.
AFTER THE
WAR
After the war the
three women’s
regiments were
broken up. Some
of the former
“night witches”
carried on flying
civilian aircraft,
while others went
back to more
ordinary
professions.
Every year there are fewer and fewer of them left to tell their
story.
People say that without the past, there can’t be any future, so
it is important to remember and appreciate what those
amazing women did for us.