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The Best Kept Russian Secret

of

World War II

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

HWELTE (whell- `tay) n.  Navajo: meaning fortress or place of refuge.

By the close of World War II almost 1,000 Russian women had flown combat missions in every type of Soviet warplane. This was kept secret, not by the Soviets but by the Allies, from the general public in the West. Using historical fiction based on fact, Roy McShane's exciting novel, HWELTE, reveals for the first time what truly deadly hunters these women fighter pilots proved to be. It also chronicles the adventures of a young American pilot who stumbles across this secret at the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942.

White Rose & Night Witches

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Because Hitler's Operation Barbarossa caught the Soviet Air Force on the ground in June of 1941, nearly annihilating it, Stalin out of desperation created three Female Air Regiments. And by the War's end nearly 1,000 Russian women had flown with valor and bravery in every type of Soviet combat aircraft, ranging from fighters to bombers.

Additionally, many women pilots served in all-male Red Army Air Force units: such as the "White Rose of Stalingrad," Lidya Litvyak, a petite, blonde, gray-eyed beauty who shot down 12 enemy aircraft and served with a crack male "Guards" squadron.

Then there was the all-female 586th Fighter Air Regiment credited with 38 kills - 17 of which were brought down by top ace Olga Yamshchikova.

However, perhaps some of the bravest women combat pilots were found with the all-female 588th Night Bomber Air Regiment, known as the "Night Witches." Despite being equipped with slow, obsolete PO-2 biplanes, during the course of the War, they conducted an incredible 24,000 missions behind enemy lines, and delivered 23,000 tons of bombs from their fragile wood-and-fabric aircraft. Though their casualty rate was high, so was their recognition by a grateful nation. A total of 30 citations for "Hero of the Soviet Union," Russia's highest honor, were given to women in the Soviet Air Force, - 23 of which were earned by the 588th Night Witches.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Lieutenants Lidya Litvyak (left) and Katya Budanova (center) shot down a combined 22 kills before both of these fighter aces in turn were killed in vicious dogfights.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Decorated three times for valor, Shturmovik pilot Lt. Anna Yegorova.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

The first Luftwaffe aircraft to be shot down by a woman at night - was achieved in Sept. 1942 by Lt. Valeria Khomyakova (2nd from right).

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Volume I

Volume II

Volume III

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

For a synopsis, reviews
& distributors,
click the book covers.

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots
HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots
PowerPoint Presentation on the Soviet female combat aircrews. HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

For more information on the Soviet female combat aircrews please view this Sestry PowerPoint Presentation.

Aircraft Index

HWELTE - World War II aviation book on Russian women fighter pilots

Dear Reader,

In my endeavor to use a writing style which will appeal to both men and women, and aviation oriented and non-aviation oriented individuals, apparently my efforts have met with some success, because many of my non-flying readers have actually expressed an interest in the aircraft I write about.  Therefore I have decided to add this Aircraft Index to my website in order to clear up some of the mystery.  Just Click on any of the following FLAGS:

Aircraft of World War II

HWELTE American aircraft of World War Two

American

HWELTE British aircraft of World War Two

British

HWELTE German aircraft of World War Two

German

HWELTE Russian aircraft of World War Two

Russian

HWELTE - Soviet Female Fighter Pilots
Email: info@hwelte.com
Contact: Roy McShane

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