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Women and the role in World War Two

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by PTBOAT, Jul 18, 2002.

  1. PTBOAT

    PTBOAT New Member

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    Hello Sirs,

    My theme is ''WOMEN and THERE role in WORLD WAR TWO''

    I realize this can be a huge topic, and im throughing it out there unstructured for a reason.
    I would like as much info about this topic as well as your own stories about friends and relatives that suffered threw this experience.

    The range is broad, [broad lol get it?] for women in the factory to women in the services, spys and french resistence, bring it on guys.

    I want a ton of stories web sites and references.

    Lets see what we really think about how our women handled war all over the world.

    [ a know this is most likly a tough subject for some becuase its not about weapons and blowing up stuff, lol, but can we take a crack at it?

    thanks
    ptboat

    [ 18 July 2002, 03:47 PM: Message edited by: PTBOAT ]
     
  2. dasreich

    dasreich Member

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    In most western nations, women didn't fight. They did build bombs, tanks, and so forth in factories though. In Germany, the military (under Hitlers order, I think) refused to draft woman, even as the Russians were closing in on Berlin.

    Speaking of Russians, I do know that women took up uniform and weapons to fight. Under the Soviet system, there was total equality between sexes. (Did they pioneer womens lib?) :D
     
  3. PTBOAT

    PTBOAT New Member

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    soviet women were tough!

    wow they were very brave huh? you have any info on this?
     
  4. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    If my memory is right, a Russian female infantry major was interviewed for the vintage documentary series 'World At War'. She took part in the storming of the Reichstag. Let's just say that I wouldn't like to argue with her !

    In the Allied and German forces, women were generally used in auxiliary roles, eg WAACS, WAAFS,WRNS, etc. In England, women were compulsorily called-up for factory and land work ( this never happened in Germany ).

    The exception seems to be clandestine work ( SOE etc ) with famous examples such as Odette Churchill and Violette Szabo ( British ) and 'Vera the beautiful spy' ( German ).
     
  5. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Gentlemen. There were 500.000 women in the regular Red Army and I am not talking about rear jobs... You know about one of the most famous Soviet snipers, the second most famous after Vasili Zaitsev was named Tania Chernova.

    Yes, I have watched that Soviet major talking about her experiences on the Battle in Berlin. She actually was one of the very few who saw Hitler's body and the bunker. And also there is another Soviet female-officer who has talked in many telly programmes about the liberation of Auschwitz.

    They served in infantry, armour, artillery, etc. My grandfather has told me about it. Their presence made the German soldiers to feel unconfortable. They did not like to shoot women. But they did when they saw that the "red women" fought ferouscely. I personally think that it was for propaganda, to tell about the equalty and supremacy of the Soviet Union, not because the USSR had lack of men...

    Actually, my grandmother was a Hauptgruppenführerin (Chief of group) in the Luftwaffenhelferinenschaft (Auxiliary Female Corps of the Luftwaffe) in 1944. She had studied engineering at Bonn and volunteered in 1943. She was such an intelligent woman. She married my grandfather, Oberstleutnant Gottfried von Hammerstein und Hartmann in 1935 at 18. Unfortunately she passed away in 1997.
     
  6. PTBOAT

    PTBOAT New Member

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    Actually, my grandmother was a Hauptgruppenführerin (Chief of group) in the Luftwaffenhelferinenschaft (Auxiliary Female Corps of the Luftwaffe) in 1944. She had studied engineering at Bonn and volunteered in 1943. She was such an intelligent woman. She married my grandfather, Oberstleutnant Gottfried von Hammerstein und Hartmann in 1935 at 18. Unfortunately she passed away in 1997.

    can you tell us more on this i promise to be nice- ;)

    ----------------
    holly smokes i got a medal already? how the hect did that happen? lol thanks were ever it came from.

    [ 18 July 2002, 10:32 PM: Message edited by: PTBOAT ]
     
  7. SMJ

    SMJ Member

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    Hi

    I found this on a Danish website, but i have trancelated the most importend. If you need more trancelation, just post an say so.

    Female that earn the Ironcross:

    Ironcross af 1. grad:
    5. november 1942: Flykaptajn Hanna Reitsch.(Pilot)

    Iron Cross af 2. grad:
    28. marts 1941: Flykaptajn Hanna Reitsch.(Pilot)

    19. september 1942: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors, Elfriede Wnuk. (Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors, Marga Droste.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Magda Darchinger(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Ilse Schultz.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Grete Fock.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Liselotte Hensel Mutterhaus.(Nurse)

    ?: Oversygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Holzmann.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Elfriede Gunia.(Nurse)

    ?: Frivillige norske sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Anne Gunhild Moxnes.(She was the first foreign woman to recieve the ironcross, Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Hanny Weber.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Geolinde Münche.(Nurse)

    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Ilse Daub.(Nurse)
    ?: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Else Grossmann. (Muligvis Jernkorset af. 1. grad ? )(Nurse)(maybe se also got yhe 2. grade Ironcross?)

    17. februar 1945: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors, Greta Grafenkamp.(Nurse)

    3. februar 1945: Læge Elisabeth Potuz.(Doctor)

    3. februar 1945: Sygeplejerske ved Det Tyske Røde Kors: Ruth Raabe.(Nurse)

    1. marts 1945: Sygeplejerske Ursula Kögel.(Nurse)

    8. marts 1945: Sygehjælper Liselotte (Nurse)Schlotterbeck.
    (all the nurses are with the red Cross)

    Hope you can use it.

    Sverri
     
  8. Doc Raider

    Doc Raider Member

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    My grams had a friend in I believe the WAVES that flew Coursairs over to the islands. She also had a friend who was a nurse at what I believe was a US field hospital, and if I remember right she got the purple heart. My grams was an air raid warden in civil defense. She said all the women in the red cross and civil defence kinda made up this little mutually beneficial network of war wives and set up a childcare system, victory gardens, driving lessons, all kindsa stuff. Oh, and Julia Childs, the lady who has had that cooking show for like 40 years....she was in the OSS!
     
  9. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    God! I am amazed by all those women!

    Therese von Hößtraßer (Bonn 1917-Dresden 1997) was borb inside a fancy family of Bonn. She had an idomitable charachter which led her to enter in Bonn's University in 1935 to study mechanical-engeneering despite her father had forbidden it. Also, she married that year a young cadet who had known in Chiemsee, Bavaria on a holiday, Gottfried von Hammerstein und Hartmann. He was studying at Dresden military academy at the time and was a year elder than her. Again, my great grandfather did not permitt her to marry this guy, just a cadet, from a fancy family which had become poor. She did not listen and married him secretely in 1935. He finished the school and graduated as a Leutnant, meanwhile she kept studying and become engeneer in 1939 but never did much, because she got with child in 1939 and 1942. Two boys: Georg and Gottfried (my father). The war started and my grandfather went having adventures and she faced life alone for a while. He could get a permission sometime after he was wounded in 1941 and returned Germany where he had a short but nice time with his wife... ;) They moved to Cologne in 1942 and in 1943, my grand mother volunteered into the Luftwaffenhelferinenschaft. She knew about communication and machines so she coordinated things about the anti-aircraft artillery, night fighters and stuff in the important defenses of the Ruhr. She lost contact with my grandfather after he left Italy and went to Berlin where he ended the war wounded very seriously. With al lot of sorrow, my grandfather moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to avoid trouble. He came back in 1952 with his family and in 1962, when the kids had left home went back to Dresden where they ived until 1997 when she died of chancer at 80. Even if they lived far from me they were always so close to me and taught me a lot of stuff. My grandfather then travelled to Italy and Russia to think about his past in a trip for six months, then travelled to Spain where my family was living at the moment and he has lived with us since then.

    Here is the history of my grandparents.
     
  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    Hanna was I think one of maybe three women toi be awarded both classes of the Iron Cross. Hanna for sure. :cool:
     
  11. Friedrich

    Friedrich Expert

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    Yes, I had also heard that there were indeed several women who were awarded the EKI... :confused:
     
  12. PTBOAT

    PTBOAT New Member

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    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS WITH US Friedrich!

    its very pricless history. very honest of you to share this information. helps us learn about culture.
    _______________________________________

    i happened to come across this picture but i have no specifics to go with it. other then the setting is hawaii.as well as between 1942 and 1944.

    [​IMG]

    [ 19 July 2002, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: PTBOAT ]
     
  13. CrazyD

    CrazyD Ace

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    In my studies on the russian front I've also run into stories about the women Friedrich mentions. I don't remember where, but I'm pretty sure I read about a woman tank crew member (don't remember which position- I'll look into this) who became somewhat well-known.
    And this is a good one- at last years christmas party at work, one of the women I work with recieved a book on "women in history" (I work in a social studies department). One of the brief chapters in the book was on a group of russian women fighter pilots in ww2! It didn't really go into any detail, and had no source page (??), but talked about this group of women that flew together and completed a thorough number of combat missions against the germans...

    Despite this, I'm not sure if I'd say the russians were necessarily farther ahead on female equality. I think it's more along the lines of they needed anyone who could fight! I wonder how conditions for women remained after the war...
     
  14. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    The Russiand had Female Tank units--Artillery units, Infantry units, Signals units etc.

    I wrote a piec about 18 months ago which is published on Vladimirs Stalingrad site. It was a story of an all female anti-tank unit stationed somewhere to the front of The Red Oktober Factory (Stalingrad) :D

    This unit was made up of female factory workers from the Red Oktober Factory.

    An alarm was called, the female unit went to their postiions at the front and watched the growing dust clouds on the horizon grow larger and larger.

    The noise that came from the growing dust storm was the noise of a German Armored unit on the attack.

    The females stood steady next to their A/T Pieces ready to defend their factory.

    The first of many German Armored tanks and vehicles came into their view and soon shells were exploding everywhere all along the battlefield front and some to their rear.

    Troughout the day (I dont know if this bit is actually true or not)but supposedly this German Armored unit made up to 7 different assaults on this A/T position, and were repulsed. On some of these attacks--supposedly there was hand-to-hand combat.

    At each attack, this unit suffered irriplacable casualties. Finally, the Germans launched another attack, which overwhelmed this unit and supposedly all the women were killed.
     
  15. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    I was searching to see if something had been added here before about Canadian Nursing sisters and found this thread. There are many many stories about women's roles in World War II. I think they have been mentioned in other threads as well and I'll see if I can find some of them to link back here. However, for now I'll just add the link I found about Canada's Nursing Sisters.

    The Second World War - Veterans Affairs Canada
     
  16. Seadog

    Seadog Member

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    Some of russia's best pilots were female. They mainly flew attack aircraft. Yak-2s, if my memory serves me.
     
  17. lenalora

    lenalora Member

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    I was in Moscow in 1977 and saw the road work crews of all women (oh wait, I think the men sat on the machinery while the women shoveled the asphalt)...I'd suggest the equal :rolleyes: opportunities continued after the war. At the time in the collective farms, unless a women had born 5 children, she was required to work full-time as well as manage her household. But the childcare was free!

    Wait a minute...women in the west get to work fulltime whether they have birthed 5 children or not!:D

    Soviet women of WW2 had already suffered plenty under Stalin in the Ukraine with many of their men being banished. Many villages evacuated by retreating German troops had mostly teen boys and women managing the horses and wagons on the Trek to Germany. My Mother was fortunate as the 10 families from her village had most of their men with them. They fared better on this journey and in their subsequent life after the war.
     
  18. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Saddle Tramp

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    Here is a link to the Soviet "Night Witches", the generic term the Germans used to describe them:

    Soviet Women Pilots in the Great Patriotic War

    There were a number of the squadrons for females, interesting reading all things considered.

    In the US the females were relegated to transferring planes and towing targets (not a great duty I'm sure). These were the WASPS.

    I'm not positive but it seems like the British version of female service pilots were WRENS? Don't hold me to that.

    In America we also had WACS (Army), WAVES (Navy), and SPARS (Coast Guard). This of course ignores the many branches of nurses in every branch of every service, and the females involved in cypers, code-breaking, and the new "computer" branches. When the first ones were being used in the US, it was females who did the "on-time" programing which made the main frames less dependent on built in hardware. When they were observed in the background adding data to the hardware, they were described as the program's "software". HMMMM!
     
  19. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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  20. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    Here are a few other roles to get started. (I should mention that these links were found at About.com):

    World War II Homefront: Women at Home
    Women's lives changed during World War II. This article summarizes the changes to women's lives on the homefront.

    Women and World War II: Women at Work
    One way life changed for many women after World War II was in the workplace. More women went to work, and many worked in jobs previously closed to women.

    Women and World War II: Women and the Military
    Women served in many positions in the military during World War II. Here are some of the ways women served.

    Women and World War II: Women in the Government
    During World War II, women in government played important roles, including attending to the morale of constituents.

    Women and World War II: Women Celebrities and the War
    Celebrities used their star status to entertain troops, raise funds at home, make films promoting patriotism, and generally support the war.

    Women and World War II: Opponents
    Women filled many roles in World War II, and some served as spies and resistance fighters, or were traitors, or opposed their country's participation in the war.

    Women and World War II: Concentration Camps
    Gender issues related to the Nazi concentration camps and the Holocaust

    Women and World War II: Japanese Relocation Camps in the United States
    America forced Japanese who were American residents and citizens into relocation camps during World War II. Here are some thoughts on the gender issues related to these camps.

    Women and World War II: Comfort Women
    During World War II, comfort women served the Japanese military sexually. While the Japanese government disclaims responsibility, many or most of the women were forced into this service.

    World War II Posters Women Roles
    Find a collection of images of World War II posters, showing women in many different roles: in the military and on the homefront. Also on this site: more links on World War
    II poster art featuring women's roles.

    "Tokyo Rose" - Iva Ikuko Toguri D'Aquino
    "Tokyo Rose" was a name given by the Allies to many women who broadcast Japanese propaganda to the Allied troops during World War II. One woman was convicted of treason for her broadcasts, but a campaign in the 1970s cast significant doubt on the charges against her.

    American Women in the War
    1944 article by Eleanor Roosevelt, reviewing the contributions of Americans in the military, in civilian hospitals, women working in the war effort at home, and the woman at home who "meets war difficulties with a smile, who does her best with rationing and other curtailments...."

    Army Nurse Corps
    From the U.S. Army's web site, a history of the Army Nurse Corps and its contribution to the World War II effort.

    Battling Bastards of Bataan
    This site focuses mainly on the men who died on the Bataan Death March or were imprisoned in camps by the Japanese. Dedicated to the men and women who fought in defense of Bataan, both American and Filipino.

    Bibliography
    This is a good list of research resources on women in World War II.

    Fly Girls
    A PBS "American Experience" film. On this companion website you'll find a timeline, maps, info on people, events, and the film, and a teacher's guide.

    German Women
    Five women with very different experiences reflect on life for German women during World War II.

    Hobby, Oveta Culp: Biography
    Portrait and biography of Oveta Culp Hobby, first commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps, first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and chairman of the board of the Houston Post.

    Living Through the Third Reich
    Ursula Grosser Dixon writes of her personal experience as a woman in 1943-1945. More stories of her experience are at this site, as well as stories of German history.

    Nursing Posters from World War II
    Serving as a nurse was one way that a woman could serve in a supportive role in the military during World War II.

    The Home Front
    Peter Caddick-Adams of the BBC details life on the home front in World War I and II Britain, with attention to contrasting the status and roles of women in the two time periods.

    Oveta Culp Hobby Biography
    Portrait and biography of Oveta Culp Hobby, first commanding officer of the Women's Army Corps, first secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare and chairman of the board of the Houston Post.

    Ruins of the Reich: Women in Berlin
    A summary of the experience of German women when the Red Army overran Berlin at the end of the war.

    Violette Szabo
    A rich and deep site on Violette Szabo, a British woman with half French heritage who volunteered during World War II. She parachuted into France twice, and, after she lost a gun battle with the Germans, she was sent to Ravensbrück where, in 1945, she was executed.

    Gertrude V. Tompkins - Missing in Service
    Photo and article about the only WASP who disappeared on a mission. Includes details about her last flight and some information about recent searches for wreckage.

    Women Who Served
    From the National Archives and Records Administration, a site honoring women who served on often-dangerous missions in World War II.

    Women's Army Corps
    Judith A. Bellafaire on the role of women in the army in World War II.

    WWII Women's Recruiting Posters
    Women during World War II were actively recruited to the women's services -- see more than 20 images of recruiting posters.

    Woman's Place After the War
    Eleanor Roosevelt, in 1944, considering what will happen to the changed attitudes about working women, once the men come home. Her prediction: married women will keep jobs only if the family needs the money.

    Women at War
    Article by Peter Caddick-Adams details the role of British women in World Wars One and Two: the roles women served in, why they were excluded from combat, how World War One provided new opportunities 0nd how the participation of women was essential in World War II.
     
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