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Women in War [Hardcover]

Celia Lee , Paul Strong
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

15 Mar 2012
The changing role of women in warfare, a neglected aspect of military history, is the subject of this collection of perceptive, thought-provoking essays. By looking at the wide range of ways in which women have become involved in all the aspects of war, the authors open up this fascinating topic to wider understanding and debate.They discuss how, particularly in the two world wars, women have been increasingly mobilized in all the armed services, originally as support staff, then in intelligence, and defensive combat roles. They consider the tragic story of women as victims of male violence, and how women have often put up a heroic resistance, and they examine how women have been drawn into direct combat roles on an unprecedented level, a trend that is still controversial in the present day. The implications of this radical modern development are explored in depth. The authors also look at the support women have given to servicemen fighting at the front and at the vital contribution they have made at home.The collection brings together the work of noted academics and historians with the wartime experiences of women who have remarkable personal stories to tell. The book will be a milestone in the study of the recent history of the parts women have played in the history of warfare.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Pen & Sword Military (15 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184884669X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848846692
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 15.5 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 679,095 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


This fascinating evaluation draws together eighteen essays in its consideration and evaluating of the role and experiences of women in war. The works included span the period from the Indian Mutiny until the Second World War. The coverage is extensive and fascinating; covering the home front, the fighting services, the secret services and on women on the Eastern Front. - Stand To!

About the Author

Celia Lee is an honorary research fellow of the Centre for First World War Studies, University of Birmingham. She has made a special study of the role of Churchill women in war. She is the author of Jean, Lady Hamilton and Jack: The Churchill Brothers and The Churchills: A Family Portrait. She is currently writing a study of the public work of HRH The Duke of Kent,

Paul Edward Strong is a government researcher and historian whose work has focused on the evolution of command systems throughout history. He has made a special study of the coordination of the offensives of 1918. He has also lectured on the history of fortifications, the role of women in twentieth century warfare. He is the author, with Sanders Marble, of Artillery in the Great War.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent compilation of fascinating stories 14 Jun 2012
By redd2
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book, like the subject and people it covers deserves five stars and an award.

Brilliantly researched, and with an obvious passion for their subject the writers bring to light the hidden stories of women in several wars (right up to the Cold War) and more importantly considers the role of women in conflict generally. Its a thought provoking and inspiring read.

I am still thinking about the idea seeded in my mind in the introduction that rulers across time have tended to be commanders of armies which explains why societies have not wanted women to fight. Of course WW2 changed this, and the stories of women in several theatres of war are brought to light in this book. Some of them are a real surprise, such as the female pilots of the ATA and the 'immense' role they played in the Battle of Britain. There are also three chapters that highlight the horrendous and traumatising situations women on the Eastern front faced while at the same time looking after their families.

Now, I'm off to the Sue Ryder shop to donate some goods, if you read this book you will know why.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADMIRATION FOR WOMEN WARRIORS 1 Jun 2012
I thoroughly enjoyed this book on a subject matter that has long been neglected.

The role of women in warfare has fluctuated and changed over the centuries, as indeed their role within western society generally and I suppose I have grown up with the rather `Victorian' view of just exactly how this role should manifest itself (a la Titanic - women and children first), and how they should be treated in times of warfare.

It is fascinating to note that in his 1938 piece in `The Strand Magazine' also entitled `Women in War' ( as reprinted in the spring edition of `The Churchillian') Churchill was expressing misgivings about women having to be in the front line, but aware of the necessity that modern warfare called upon all citizens to answer the call of duty.

The changing nature of modern warfare with technology being ever present means that the `front line' experience can be at a remote location from the actual front line and at the push of a button great devastation can be unleashed. The image of Boudicca in her chariot is no longer relevant to illustrate women being involved in the physical aspect of conflict.

However the sheer bravery and heroism of the women depicted in this book has been, I am ashamed to say, something of a revelation; from morale boosting in the Great War, operating search lights and gun batteries in the Second in the thick of it on the Eastern Front and providing absolutely essential deliveries of aircraft.

Their role in the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary - a truly equal opportunity employer) and their bravery in the involvement of clandestine operations are just amazing and make one understand just what the phrase `total war' means.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 3 April 2012
A riveting book about a riveting yet little addressed subject; the dichotomy of the nurturer / woman and her role on the front line.
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