Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Story Behind the Song Pt. 2: Hail of Bullets: Nachthexen

Summer 1941
Instructors start to train
A night bomber squadron
The 588th
Regiment of women
From pilots to mechanics
Claim their role in history
These aviatrixes

Polikarpov biplanes
Providing ground support
Temperature plummeting
To -54
Climbing the dark cloudened sky
Engaged in dog-fights
Up to 18 missions
In one single night

High above Rodina
For the umpteenth raid
Female fighter aces
Send their bombs away
Through the deafening sirens
Struck by heavy flak
Although riddled with bullets
All made it safely back

Shrieking madonnas
Lead spitting banshees
Baptize them in fire
Iron Valkyries
Incoming Nachthexen
Set the ground ablaze
Push the throttle up again
And hear their screams of pain

Hail of Bullets is a Dutch death metal band made up of members of Thanatos and Asphyx (the amazing vocalist Martin Van Drunen). Their debut full-length album, released in 2008, was called ...Of Frost and War. It was a concept album about WWII battles between the Soviet Union and Germany.

The Soviet Air Force 588th Night Bomber Regiment was made up entirely of women. The Germans nicknamed them the Night Witches. The Regiment mostly flew harassment and precision bombing raids and mostly flew biplanes initially designed for cropdusting. They were said to have dropped 3,000 tons of bombs with each plane only able to carry two bombs at a time. They were the most highly-decorated unit in the Soviet Air Force.

An entire combat unit of women in WWII? Talk about progressive.

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