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Heroines of World War Two

By Robert Jackson

A girl in her early twenties leads an attack on an enemy stronghold.

Another flies a tiny aircraft into a beleaguered city through a storm of flak.

A third hurls defiance at her oppressors in a death-camp.

The difference between the three? Very little – except that one is British, the second German, the third Polish.

Their common denominator is courage.

This book tells of courage – of the incredible bravery of eleven women of half a dozen nations who, during the dark days of the Second World War, stood and fought for the principles in which they believed.

That one of the women – Hanna Reitsch – was a dedicated Nazi is immaterial. Courage knows no national frontier, or political creed.

Hanna Reitsch – a professional pilot who was no stranger to peril – was probably exceptional.

In no way is this true of the other women whose stories are told here. Anne Brusselmanns, for example, a very ordinary Belgian housewife who daily risked her life and the lives of her family to shelter Allied airmen; Nona Baker, a gentle woman who spent years of privation in the Malayan jungle, on the run from the Japanese; ‘Johnnie’ Ferguson, who survived weeks in an open boat and became a symbol of fortitude to its other occupants; Alexandrina Marsden, a nurse in her sixties who made a stand against the enemy simply because she was British, and felt it the right thing to do.

Robert Jackson was born in 1941 in the North Yorkshire village of Melsonby. A former pilot and navigation instructor, his active involvement with aviation lasted many years. Following his retirement from the RAFVR in 1977 as a squadron leader, he became a full-time aviation writer and aerospace correspondent and lectured extensively on strategic issues. He speaks five languages, including Russian, and has written more than forty nonfiction works on military affairs. He is also the author of the popular Yeoman and SAS fiction series.

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