World War II
Women at War

Women at War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 8 to 10
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.83

     challenging words:    anesthetists, bombsight, downsides, cryptography, best, immeasurable, protocol, remainder, administrative, maintenance, clerical, civilian, aerial, abroad, extremely, administration
     content words:    World War II, Army Nurse Corps, Bolton Act, Women Air Service Pilots, Women Accepted, Volunteer Emergency Service, Army Auxiliary, Army Corps, Manhattan Project, Many WASPs

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Women at War
By Mary Lynn Bushong

1     You might think that since women have only recently been able to fight in military conflicts, that they have never been involved in wars before. If you think that, you would be wrong. Women may not have been front line soldiers, but they have been actively involved in many other ways. Women have been spies, nurses, pilots, and other support staff through the armed forces.
2     When German forces overran France at the start of World War II, the bravest French men and women immediately began organizing themselves into a resistance force. The women were especially good spies because the Germans did not suspect them of being anything but peasant women. They could often slip into villages, make note of enemy troops and their movements, and slip back out again. However, it was extremely dangerous work. If they were caught, they could expect to be tortured and executed.
3     Women on the home front also looked for ways to serve their country. One large group of women was the Army Nurse Corps. More than 59,000 women eventually served where there had been fewer than 1,000 at the start of the war. Six months into the war, the number of nurses had grown to 10,000. Most had no knowledge of military protocol, and dealing with it was difficult for many. It was not until 1943, that nurses were given a 4-week course about military organization, customs, administration, and responsibilities.
4     The army found it necessary to also train nurses as anesthetists, and teach them how to deal with psychiatric patients; more than 400,000 soldiers endured mental problems because of the war before being discharged.
5     The army's drive to enlist nurses was not without its downsides. So many nurses were enlisting to aid the war effort, that there was a shortage of nurses serving civilian hospitals. The Bolton Act subsidized the training of new nurses who promised to work in either military or civilian hospitals for the remainder of the war.

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World War II
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