588th Night Bomber Regiment
588th Night Bomber Regiment, also known as the Night Witches, was a unit of the Soviet Airforce which operated during the Second World War. It consisted solely of female magic-users. It was founded by Major Marina Raskova, the first woman in the Soviet Union to become a professional air navigator. She convinced Stalin himself to allow the formation of 3 all-female air regiments. Those were the 586th Fighter Aviation Regiment, 587th Bomber Aviation Regiment and the 588th Night Bomber Regiment. Only the night bombers were operated by magic-users.
The Night Witches operated under the cover of night and mostly focused on harassing and disturbing the enemy. When approaching the area they were supposed to drop bombs on, they turned off their engines and glided. To keep on the same height the navigator was using aeromantic spells to create something like an air pillow. Over the target, the pilot of the lead plane was dropping a flare to mark the target. Next, the bombers were releasing the bombs and turning around to escape before the enemy had any chance of attacking them.
On some of the planes, the regular bombs were replaced by magical flamethrowers. It was a metal tube extending from the pilot seat downwards to the belly of the plane. The pilot was casting a pyromantic spell while touching the upper part of the tube and the fire travelled downwards. The tube was strenghtening the fire and pushing it towards the earth with great strength.
1942 - 1945
The unit's nickname "Night Witches" was given to it by german soldiers. The bombers were appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the night and brought destruction. The name, which in german is "die Nachthexen" was given when the Germans discovered that those planes were operated by women.