Leo McKinstry

High Achievers

The Women Who Flew for Hitler: The True Story of Hitler’s Valkyries


Macmillan 470pp £20 order from our bookshop

Few modern historical subjects have been more exhaustively covered than air power in the Second World War. In the quest to find a new angle, a number of authors have focused on the female pilots who fought in the conflict, such as the women of the Air Transport Auxiliary who ferried planes for the RAF or the Russian fighter crews whose defence of their motherland was extolled in Soviet propaganda.

Now Clare Mulley has produced a superb and highly original addition to this field with her joint biography of two renowned German airwomen employed in the service of the Nazi regime. This book could have become merely a tokenistic study. After all, neither Hanna Reitsch nor Countess Melitta von Stauffenberg actually flew on combat missions during the war. In fact, they were not even members of the Luftwaffe, which banned women from fighting on the front line. Instead they worked mainly as test pilots.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,