Author(s): Bill Yenne
Of all the major air forces that were engaged in the war, only the Red Air Force had units comprised specifically of women. Initially the Red Air Force maintained an all-male policy among its combat pilots. However, as the apparently invincible German juggernaut sliced through Soviet defenses, the Red Air Force began to rethink its ban on women. By October 1941, authorization was forthcoming for three ground attack regiments of women pilots. Among these women, Lidiya Vladimirovna "Lilya" Litvyak soon emerged as a rising star. She shot down five German aircraft over the Stalingrad Front, and thus become history's first female ace. She scored 12 documented victories over German aircraft between September 1942 and July 1943. She also had many victories shared with other pilots, bringing her possible total to around 20. The fact that she was a 21-year-old woman ace was not lost on the hero-hungry Soviet media, and soon this colourful character, whom the Germans dubbed "The White Rose of Stalingrad," became both folk heroine and martyr.
Proven author Bill Yenne brings to life the untold story of Lidiya Vladimirovna, Russia's World War II flying ace, who lit up the skies over Germany and Russia while flying 66 combat missions
"Author Bill Yenne regales readers with the fascinating history of Lidiya "Lilya" Vladimirovna Litvyak, from birth in August 1921 to air ace during WWII. In "The White Rose of Stalingrad", Yenne intertwines Litvyak's life story with the Soviet empire's bloody history."
--Rachel Veres, www.cybermodeler.com (January 2013)
Bill Yenne is the author of more than three dozen nonfiction historical works, many of them concerning WWII aviation, and he was a contributor to encyclopedias of both world wars. His previous works on WWII air aces include his 2009 work Aces High, a dual biography of Richard Bong and Tommy McGuire (the top scoring American aces) and the earlier work, Aces: True Stories of Victory & Valor in the Skies of WWII. Yenne also has several published novels to his credit. Yenne is founder of AGS Book Works, and he is a member of the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS), the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), and the American Book Producers Association (ABPA). He and his work have been featured in such media as Booklislt, Library Journal, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The History Channel, and The National Geographic Channel.
Prologue: The Steppes Near Volgagrad (spring 1989) Chapter 1: Breaking Records (summer 1938-spring 1941) Chapter 2: Lilya Rising (1931-41) Chapter 3: Lobbying Stalin (June 1941) Chapter 4: The "500" Series (November-December 1941) Chapter 5: Torment and Combat (January 1942) Chapter 6: A Difficult and Dangerous War (summer 1942) Chapter 7: The White Rose of Stalingrad (September 1942) Chapter 8: Heroines and Martyrs (January 1943) Chapter 9: The First Woman Ace in History (February 1943) Chapter 10: The Rising Star of the Red Air Force (March 1943) Chapter 11: Love and Patriotism (April 1943) Chapter 12: Shot Down-Twice (May 1943) Chapter 13: Driven for Revenge (May-June 1943) Chapter 14: Double Aces Twice Over (July 1943) Chapter 15: Under the Wing of Her Aircraft (August 1943) Epilogue: Hero of the Soviet Union (May 1990)