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

The Books I Picked & Why

The Second World War

By Antony Beevor

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.


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

By Alexander Swanston, Malcolm Swanston

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.


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The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah

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.


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

By Sonia Purnell

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.


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

By Diane Burke Fessler

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.


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