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

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  230 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg were talented, courageous, and strikingly attractive women who fought convention to make their names in the male-dominated field of flight in 1930s Germany. With the war, both became pioneering test pilots and were awarded the Iron Cross for service to the Third Reich. But they could not have been more different and neither woman ...more
Paperback, 470 pages
Published March 2018 by Pan (first published June 6th 2017)
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4.16  · 
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 ·  230 ratings  ·  37 reviews


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Jill Hutchinson
What an amazing book about two amazing women of the Third Reich.....Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg, test pilots for the German aircraft industry and the Luftwaffe. Both received Nazi Germany's highest honor, the Iron Cross, and were feted by the public and the military. But they were as different as chalk and cheese and their paths seldom crossed, mostly by design.

Hanna was a loquacious, publicity seeking rather self-serving young woman who was totally committed to Hitler. From child
...more
Jean
This is a duel biography of two women aviators, Hanna Reitsch (1912-1979) and Countess Melitta Schiller Schenk Gafin von Stauffenberg (1903-1945). Hanna had Aryan looks and Melitta was a brunette from Prussian aristocracy. These women became brilliant pilots in the 1930s when few women were allowed to fly.

Hanna was a supporter of Hitler’s new regime and lent her image to a series of publicity articles and collectibles. She dropped out of medical school to pursue flying. She became a test pilot a
...more
Garance
Aug 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was most attracted to this book by its resume. It actually made me think: "now this is a movie I want to see!" Keen to discover more about these two extraordinary Germans flying ladies and their rivalry I dived in. It's a very thorough research about their lives, achievements and political points of view during the Second World War. It's therefore very interesting on a historical point of view and very well written. Unfortunately both characters, though extraordinary for their times, remain a ...more
Al Berry
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good tale of these two very different women, Hanna Reitsch and Melitta Von Stauffenberg. Both test pilots in German, Melitta the more educated who was also an engineer and their rivalry.

Hanna the die hard Nazi who at the end even flies into the Fuhrerenbunker with Ritter Von Griem, trying to convinced Hitler to flee and when that fails tries to Convince Magda Goebbels to spirit her children out.

Melitta’s brother in law was Claus, leader of the Valkyrie plot to depose Hitler, she remained
...more
Melissa
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very interesting story, one I wasn't aware of until I saw it on a library shelf. There were a few points where my interest waned, and others that were very difficult to read, given the atrocities that occurred during this time. That said, it was well-written, seemingly exhaustively researched and cited, and an overall very worthwhile read.
Dick Reynolds
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a splendid book about the role of two exceptional woman aviators during the aftermath of WWI and the oncoming disaster of Germany’s actions in WWII.
Hanna Reitsch was a middle class, vivacious Aryan and her flying was mostly in gliders. She loved to soar, enjoying the quiet and freedom. She once flew a Dornier aircraft with wheel fenders having sharp edges. She flew this plane against some balloons and cut their metal cables with the fenders.
Hanna was not afraid to stand up to Nazi big
...more
Beth
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Details the lives of the only two females who persevered through Germany's machismo and were able to get licensed as pilots and grudgingly permitted to fly in World War II, though not as military.
They were:
1. Melitta Schenk Gräfin von Stauffenberg, Born: Jan 09, 1903 · Krotoszyn, Poland, Died: Apr 08, 1945 · Straßkirchen, Germany
and
2. Hanna Reitsch, Born: 29 March 1912, Silesia,(Jelenia Góra, Poland), Died: 24 August 1979, Frankfurt am Main, West Germany

Because Hanna was 9 years younger but eac
...more
Mark Farley
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A brilliant dual biography of two incredibly strong women, portrayed very different and from very contrasting backgrounds, operating in the very conflicting background of Nazi Germany. Clare Mulley elegantly and respectfully crafts the lives and exciting journeys of two fascinating women and their perils, pitfalls and achievements. Not to mention the many insights and uncovered secrets of the Second World War in the process. Highly recommended!
Dem
Sep 10, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ww2
DNF To to the Ridiculous font and spacing used in paperback copy which made this a tedious book to read.
Alan Shaw
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written and engrossing biographies of 2 amazing women.
Mary
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great dual biography

This dual biography is excellent, really well balanced and researched. I had never heard of Melitta von Stauffenberg before. She was truly amazing. Part Jewish, but she tests and flies military planes in Nazi Germany. She had a strong sense of family, and was so resourceful. She helped keep many of her in-laws and such alive--when they were in concentration camps! Her resourcefulness and willingness to take action is striking.

I've read about Hanna Rietsch in a number of books
...more
lesley travis
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an eyeopener two more diametrically different women would be hard to imagine.
Hanna Reitch shows the effect of a meglamanic can achieve . Melitta von Stauffenberg or Grafin
one of the most courageous women in the Third Reich
Savannah Pine
Jan 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book. It has a beautifully written and composed narrative. It is well-researched and it provides citations (one would be surprised how many "history" books do not use footnotes or endnotes).
Helen
Jan 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to meet the author at a literary festival where she spoke about this book. Her enthusiasm for the topic and the fascinating insights she gave drew me to read this (a book I wouldn’t usually be drawn to). It is hard to read about the atrocities of war and the views held by the Nazi party, yet there are also moments of peace, love and domesticity. The dual biography allows the impressive lives of these two incredibly different women to also encompass their families and friends. ...more
Rochelle
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very informative and interesting, not merely from the revealing of "hidden" women serving not only in the Luftwaffe and support services, and also those within the Allied forces but also from revealing the philosophical viewpoints of so many within Hitler's Germany. Those who adored him and bought into his philosophy of a "Great Germany" and those who believe in Germany as she was prior to WWI.

One of the women, Hannah Reitsch, was an adorer of Hitler....and never recanted her love
...more
Cordelia Feldman
This is such a wonderful book. It follows the lives and careers of Hitler’s two female pilots. We learn about the role of women in Nazi Germany; the development of the Luftwaffe and innovations in war machinery. Hanna and Melitta, The 2 Pilots are very different: Hanna is a fanatical Nazi whereas Melitta is critical of the regime and part-Jewish. I found the book fascinating and unputdownable: the world of the Third Reich is evoked in fascinating detail. There is also a lot of interesting inform ...more
Jen
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, allstars
This book is about two women who were pilots for Germany during WW II whose lives took two completely different directions because of the war. An incredible book, which is also a look back that shows how some of the same things could happen again.
Linda Romer
Oct 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reviews
The Woman Who Flew for Hitler was an interesting read. I learned a lot about these two women and history of the Third Reich. I admired their courage and tenacity. While both women were similar in their desire to fly they had different views on the war in Germany. Hanna wanted to help win the war and protect Hitler while Melitta wanted the war to end and help in the assassination of Hitler.

I give The Women Who Flew for Hitler 5 stars for its Historical read.
I would recommend this book to everyone
...more
K C
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when you thought there couldn't be any more new and interesting stories coming from WWII, this book comes along. It took me awhile to get into it, I found the flow back and forth between one woman's story and the other woman's story somewhat confusing at times - I had to go back and read paragraphs over when I suddenly realized we had switched gears -, and the aeronautic info was lost on me, but I found the main part of the book fascinating.
Sherry
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very interesting story of Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg (2 women who flew during the 1930's and 40's). Not only was it unusual for women to become test pilots for the WWII effort but the lives of these 2 women were very interesting. And one of them was actually half Jewish. The author really did her research and made me interested to read more about these gals
Erin Woodall
May 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very well written and full of all sorts of history. The two women it followed had such different view points on what was going on and what their part in it was. If you like history this is a must read!
Hillary Watson
Mar 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read about two very talented woman. Much to admire in their courage and dedication to their work. Interesting to see how small decisions and differences in priorities led to two very different lives.
Boris
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating look a the two then-famous aviatrices of WWII Germany. In examining their lives the times are also evoked; the famous and minor figures of NAZI Germany to the development of aviation.

It's interesting to view WWII unfold from the perspective of the Germans.
Robin
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed reading about these two women, the people who surrounded them and their work. Learned a lot from this book without it feeling like a textbook. I appreciated how well researched it was.
Dan Ernst
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting and well written book about aviation in WW2 Germany. Interesting how two women were able to stand out in a male dominated field.
Irene
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little lengthy, but I very much enjoyed it.
Sandra
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely riveting book about two women who flew gliders and became elite flyers for the German Luftwaffe during WW II.
Laura
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An exceptional book about two strong & clever women who were more different than alike. Lots and lots of historical detail handled in a clear and readable way. I highly recommend this!
Gail
Oct 10, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I seem to have trouble reading this author's books. She previously wrote "The Spy Who Loved" and it did nothing for me; in fact, I don't remember anything about it. In "The Women Who Flew for Hitler," it just seemed to drag. I did not finish the book having read one hundred pages and then deciding to call it quits. Maybe there's too much extraneous detail that did it for me, which I call filler. I guess it was just not my cup of tea.
S L Hedley
Only 58% actual biography!

Bought this book on kindle as I wanted a long read. Disappointed that only 58% of the book was the actual text and the balance was footnotes. A bit of a conn! The text was well written but breaking up the chapters with subheadings to mark a swapping from one pilot to the other would have enhanced its readability.
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Clare Mulley is the award-wining author of three biographies.
- 'The Women Who Flew for Hitler' (Macmillan, 2017) explores the lives of Nazi Germany's only female test pilots, Hanna Reitsch and Melitta von Stauffenberg.
- 'The Spy Who Loved', (Macmillan, 2012) looks at the secretss and lives of Krystyna Skarbek, aka Christine Granville, the first woman to work for Britain as a special agent the war
...more