Before you get too excited, as we did, we want to say that we’re not sure where or when this film will be available. But we love the subject, fighter pilots in general and Lidya Litvyak in particular. And the trailer is very cool. For those of you who’ve never heard of her, and that’s most people in the West, Lydia Litvyak was a Soviet fighter pilot in WWII who flew missions against the invading German forces. Litvyak flew the Yak-1, an early WWII Soviet fighter that was outmatched by the equipment the German pilots were flying, Messerschmitt Bf 109s and Focke-Wulf 190s. Despite this, Litvyak still earned 14 kills, making her the first female ace ever.
The story, like so many for fighter pilots, does not have a happy ending for Lidya. While escorting Stormavik bombers over Ukraine, she was surprised by a pair of Bf 109 fighters who gave chase. Ultimately, she was going up against eight Messerschmitts. And the Luftwaffe won that match.
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What happened to Lidya was a mystery for decades. There were rumors she’d been killed in action, and Soviet leadership thought she might have been captured and taken to Germany as a prisoner of war. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that her fate became known—she was indeed shot down and killed—and her final resting, in a small village in Ukraine, was located.
We’ll update this story once we figure out where you can watch it, but for now, enjoy the trailer. The aviation details look really well done, and it is a story worth telling.