The best books about the make-do women of World War II

Who am I?

Research and writing have shown me that the war-affected baby boomers like me in tangible ways. My father-in-law helped deliver the survivors of the Bataan Death March—what a legacy! My special addiction to the WOMEN of WWII, though, probably stems from my mother, who suffered poverty and restrictions on the home front through it all. Also, my husband (a history major) and I delight in watching documentaries and accurate movies about the war and visiting as many historical sites as possible.


I wrote...

Until Then

By Gail Kittleson,

Book cover of Until Then

What is my book about?

Riding in the backs of Army trucks across North Africa, throughout the Sicily campaign, up the boot of Italy, and northward through France into Germany, Dorothy Woebbeking served as a surgical nurse with the 11th Evacuation Hospital. During World War II, US Army nurses worked and slept in tents through horrific weather, endured enemy fire, and even the disdain of their own superior officers, who believed women had no place in war. But Dorothy and her comrades persevered, and their skills and upbeat attitude made a huge difference in the lives of thousands of wounded soldiers. This is their story.

The books I picked & why

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The Second World War

By Antony Beevor,

Book cover of The Second World War

Why this book?

This book provides so much information about the war. Reading about the actual participants and strategies involved broadened my understanding. I also appreciate the honest inclusion of costly tactical errors made by the military, because these must have generated great tension among the troops. The perspective here creates even more awe for the final Allied success.


The Historical Atlas of World War II: 170 Maps that Chart the Most Cataclysmic Event in Human History

By Alexander Swanston, Malcolm Swanston,

Book cover of The Historical Atlas of World War II: 170 Maps that Chart the Most Cataclysmic Event in Human History

Why this book?

The maps in this volume are so instructive, and it offers comprehensive information on all fronts of the war. For one lacking in geographical and military strategy knowledge, I count this book as invaluable to my research.


The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Nightingale

Why this book?

I don’t often read a book twice, but not so with this one, because it highlights the severe suffering of the French people, especially the women. This volume also reveals the amount of risk private citizens took in order to contribute to the cause of freedom, and the high price many of them paid.


A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

By Sonia Purnell,

Book cover of A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II

Why this book?

Who would choose an American woman with a prosthetic leg to help win the war? This book tells the story of the incredibly courageous and tenacious individual who risked her life to do just that. Secret agent Virginia Hall’s selfless exploits behind enemy lines boggle the mind.


No Time for Fear: Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II

By Diane Burke Fessler,

Book cover of No Time for Fear: Voices of American Military Nurses in World War II

Why this book?

It’s almost impossible to embrace what deployed nurses went through in World War II. This book reveals some of the trials they endured, depending on their theater. Some suffered imprisonment and torture, while nearly all of these women worked under duress and danger we can scarcely imagine.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in World War 2, France, and geography?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about World War 2, France, and geography.

World War 2 Explore 975 books about World War 2
France Explore 587 books about France
Geography Explore 17 books about geography

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Madame Fourcade's Secret War, Invisible Agents, and Lilac Girls if you like this list.