The women who flew for Hitler: an interview with Clare Mulley

Clare Mulley talks to Ellie Cawthorne about her new book charting the extraordinary parallel lives of two female test pilots who flew for Nazi Germany...

Test pilot Melitta Schiller (right), Berlin, June 1943. (Photo by DRK/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the July 2017 edition of BBC History Magazine

In the Nazi regime’s male-dominated air industry, two women defied expectation and rose to prominence as test pilots. Hanna Reitsch (1912–79) and Melitta Schiller’s (1903–45) highly valued and dangerous work saw them connected to the Third Reich’s leading figures, and both were awarded a Nazi Germany military honour, the Iron Cross. Yet, as Clare Mulley reveals, the two women held opposing attitudes towards Nazism, which led them to dramatically different actions during the Second World War…

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