Whether it's a conversation with a friend, a word that is penned, or a craft that is made, everything we do leaves a stitch in the fabric of time. Join us as we investigate the stitches of the past and present...
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ... a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).
The German troops heard
a whistling sound that they liken to the wind through a witch’s broom. They had
learned what that sound meant.
They’d been bombed by a
The Russians were the
only country to use women in combat. When war broke out, many female
pilots volunteered for service, but their applications were rejected. When
Hitler’s army invaded the Soviet Union in 1942, however, and three million
Russians became prisoners of war, the Soviet Air Force badly needed recruits.
Beginning in 1941,
Marina Raskova, the Soviet Amelia Earhart, had petitioned Stalin to allow women
to fly. Three squadrons were formed, whose pilots, mechanics, and commanders
were all women. Only the 588th remained all-female.
Their planes were
primitive, used mostly for training and crop-dusting. The Polikarpov Po-2
biplanes were built mainly of plywood and canvas. With open cockpits, the
women’s faces to freeze in the cold air. In winter, when they looked out to see
their target better, they got frostbite. Their uniforms were hand-me-downs from
Because of the weight of
the two bombs they carried and the low altitudes at which they flew, they
carried no parachutes. They had no radar to navigate their paths through the
night skies, only maps and compasses.
The women flew only in
the dark. Every night, generally forty planes would fly eight or more missions,
each crewed by two women, a pilot and a navigator. The multiple nightly sorties
were necessary since they could carry only two bombs at a time. Eighteen
missions a night was not unusual.
flew their little planes low to the ground for cover and to be
undetected by radar. Their flimsy planes were highly flammable, so night
flying was preferable for protection. The planes were also noisy, so to retain
an element of surprise, they would cut the engines, glide down to the German
positions, drop their bombs and then re-start their engines and fly away.
This stealth mode
resulted in little more than the soft whooshing sound that the Germans equated
to the sound of a witch’s broomstick. They began calling the female fighter
pilots Nachthexen: night witches (which the women took as a badge
of honor). They loathed and feared them. Any German pilot who downed a witch
was automatically awarded an Iron Cross.
The bi-planes’ maximum
speed was lower than the stall speed of the German planes, so the women could
maneuver their craft with much more agility than their attackers. They could
turn away from a German fighter, and by the time the German pilot executed his turn,
he would be a fair distance away, and the Russian pilot would be
executing another turn. Hitting the Russians with cannon fire was difficult.
Night Bomber Regiment
From 1942 to 1945,
eighty women flew with the Russian air force. The 588th Night Bomber
Regiment was the most highly decorated female unit, flying 30,000 sorties over
the course of four years, and dropping 23,000 tons of bombs on invading German
Two of the women were
fighter aces. Twenty-three were awarded the title “Hero of the Soviet Union.”
By the end of the war, thirty women had died in battle, including Marina
Raskova. She commanded the third unit, the 125th Guards Bomber Aviation
Regiment, until she crashed on landing and died in 1943 at the age of thirty.
She received a state funeral and was laid to rest in Red Square.
The last of the Night
Witches, Nadia Popova, died in 2013 at 91 years of age. In a 2010
interview, “I ask myself, ‘Nadia, how did you do it?’”
Welcome to Birthday Bash Week 3 edition of the Weekly Windup! We have a winner to announce.
Winner of A Groom for Mama ebook by Catherine Castle is...Marilyn R.!
Winner of the Captain's Challenge by Elaine Manders is...Perri Anne!
If you are a winner, please contact us to claim your prize!
August Birthday Prizes and Giveaways
The Grand Prize
Throughout the month of August, all
comments will get your name in the drawing for the grand prize of 8
paperback books! Unfortunately, the paperbacks can only be mailed to US
residents, but we have not forgotten our international readers. Keep
In addition to the grand prize giveaway, we will have surprise giveaways throughout the month, so be sure to stop by every day.
Here's what's coming up this week:
Monday, 8/20: A Guest post by Barbara Britton Tuesday, 8/21: The Night Witches by Terri Wangard Wednesday, 8/22: A STT Birthday post Thursday, 8/23: The Lady's Maid, a book review by Linda Shenton Matchett Friday, 8/24: TBA Saturday, 8/25: An interview with Laura Franz
Happy birthday Stitches Thru Time! Thank you for
encouraging readers and writers for five years, or 1,826 days.
Do you have your 2019 calendar yet? I haven’t
purchased one, but a freebie came in the mail the other day. I was so excited.
Now, I could clean out all the appointment cards and notes stuffed inside my
current calendar. Even this morning, I was planning where I would be in the
spring and checking where the dates fell in the week.
I guess it’s beneficial to be a planner, but as I
scheduled my life nine months in advance, I realized only God truly knows my
Proverbs 27:1 reminds us:
“Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what
a day may bring forth.”
Every day is a gift from God. I know this all too well
as a breast cancer survivor. If you wake up in the morning and your feet hit
the floor, say a prayer of thanks to God. When I speak about the chaos of my
cancer, I speak to the blessing of a new day. Oncology wards bring you face to
face with the reality that tomorrow is not a guarantee.
Okay, we’re celebrating here, so I don’t want to get
too heavy. What can we do to celebrate life?Praise God and thank him for each new day.
Live on God’s schedule and take the detours He places in
our lives. We can be a light to people God puts in our path. A smile. Kind words.
Patience. All of these may seem small, but they can make a difference in
If you’re a Christian writer, stay in the game. Write
out of a passion for your story and a passion to influence this world for
Make time for prayer, worship, Bible reading, Bible
study, mentoring, and encouraging others. These can get left off a busy
calendar and we need to fill our spiritual tanks, so we can zoom into the next
When your freebie calendar comes in the mail, remember
God is the true organizer of our days. Don’t forget to pencil some time in for
Him and leave time for some spiritual detours. You never know what activities God
has planned for you in 2019.
How do you keep your focus on God when your calendar
looks like doodle art?
Barbara M. Britton lives in Wisconsin and writes
Christian Fiction for teens and adults. She has a nutrition degree from Baylor
University but loves to dip healthy strawberries in chocolate. Barbara brings
little-known Bible characters to light in her Tribes of Israel series. She is a
member of RWA, WisRWA, SCBWI and ACFW. Find out more about Barb and her books
Leave a comment and you will be entered into a drawing
for one of Barb’s books (reader’s choice).