The best non-fiction books by women on women in WWII

Ellen Hampton Author Of Women of Valor: The Rochambelles on the World War II Front
By Ellen Hampton

The Books I Picked & Why

A Woman's War Too: U.S. Women in the Military in World War II

By Paula Nassen Poulos

A Woman's War Too: U.S. Women in the Military in World War II

Why this book?

This collection of wide-ranging essays, both from women who served in WWII and from historians who have studied them, is a great place to start. It sorts out WACS from WAVES, covers cryptographers and nurses, considers racism and the political rebound of women in the military. The editors also included a useful guide to first-person material in the National Archives as well as a directory to archival collections held around the country.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia d'Albert-Lake

By Virginia d'Albert-Lake

An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia d'Albert-Lake

Why this book?

Edited by historian Judy Barrett Litoff, who wrote a comprehensive introduction outlining Virginia d’Albert-Lake’s war, this memoir recounts the dramatic experience of a rare American woman resistance agent in occupied France. Working with the legendary Comet escape line, she and her French husband helped shelter and move 66 Allied airmen to safety. But in 1944, a German question answered in her American accent got her sent straight to the Gestapo and then to Ravensbrück concentration camp. Virginia d’Albert-Lake tells her amazing story of life on the edge from the pages of her diary.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Sisters in the Resistance: How Women Fought to Free France, 1940-1945

By Margaret Collins Weitz

Sisters in the Resistance: How Women Fought to Free France, 1940-1945

Why this book?

Margaret Collins Weitz interviewed more than 80 women (and some men) who worked in the French Resistance during the Nazi Occupation. From this foundation, she brings forth the detailed accounts of a variety of women, from the well-known Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz, to rarely heard students, nurses, and even a nun. Their stories are told through their own voices, framed by the author in a well-researched context. Danger, tension, conflict, and loss echo through the pages, but at the core of it also is the courage the women found in themselves when their nation was in need.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler

By Lynne Olson

Madame Fourcade's Secret War: The Daring Young Woman Who Led France's Largest Spy Network Against Hitler

Why this book?

With a talent for dramatic writing, Lynne Olson tells the story of Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, one of few women leaders in the French Resistance, keeping the focus on the tensions and risks agents ran in trying to subvert the occupying Nazi regime. Being a woman came in handy when the Gestapo knocked at her door looking for a “terrorist” leader – the little lady before them was not considered a threat. It was an advantage Fourcade would use time and again. Where Margaret Collins Weitz goes broad, Lynne Olson goes deep into the life of one remarkable woman.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

By Katherine Sharp Landdeck

The Women with Silver Wings: The Inspiring True Story of the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II

Why this book?

This book brings together the inspiring stories of American women pilots who flew stateside during the war in order to free up men pilots for combat duty. They had to earn their wings technically, and then stand their ground professionally, in order to do a job few women had done before. Katherine Sharp Landdeck interviewed the former WASP pilots beginning in the 1990s and presents their stories in marvelous detail, taking off with them in training camps across the United States, soaring across landscapes of aviation history and landing with their finally getting recognition as military veterans, thirty years after their service. This is a comprehensive history of a little-known group of women who served.


When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Closely Related Book Lists

Distantly Related Book Lists

Random Book Lists