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Publisher's Summary

Weaving together information from official sources and personal interviews, Barbara Tomblin gives the first full-length account of the US Army Nurse Corps in the Second World War. She describes how over 60,000 army nurses, all volunteers, cared for sick and wounded American soldiers in every theater of the war, serving in the jungles of the Southwest Pacific, the frozen reaches of Alaska and Iceland, the mud of Italy and northern Europe, or the heat and dust of the Middle East. Many of the women in the Army Nurse Corps served in dangerous hospitals near the front lines. 201 nurses were killed by accident or enemy action, and another 1,600 won decorations for meritorious service. These nurses address the extreme difficulties of dealing with combat and its effects in World War II, and their stories are all the more valuable to women's and military historians because they tell of the war from a very different viewpoint than that of male officers. Although they were unable to achieve full equality for American women in the military during World War II, army nurses did secure equal pay allowances and full military rank, and they proved beyond a doubt their ability and willingness to serve and maintain excellent standards of nursing care under difficult and often dangerous conditions.

©1996 The University Press of Kentucky (P)2016 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Tomblin has done a prodigious amount of work in gathering this material and rescuing these women for history." (Journal of American History)
"Provides a comprehensive and inspiring picture of the competence, dedication, and unparalleled bravery under fire of the 60,000 Army nurses and 14,000 Navy nurses who brought caring, comfort, and compassion to thousands of wounded servicemen." (Bulletin of the History of Medicine)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding, informative and eye opening

There are few audiobooks (or any type of booke) I have enjoyed as much as G.I. Nightengales .

This is a very informative and eye opening look at the contributions of nurses in WWII, at a time when women were seen as no more than servants to men.I have a passion for all things WWII but I had no idea so many women died during the war. Most of them were nurses. These highly trained nurses endured unbelievable hardships to nurse their charges (even POWs). They kept their patients spirits up and they administered quality nursing in war zones and often without proper supplies, minimal rest, awful food, terrible housing, extreme weather, and the usual lack of communication in the armed forces, all over Europe, the Pacific, Africa, and all corridors, often in highly dangerous positions, made me admire and respect women and nurses even that much more. They were phenomenal.

The section on African American nurses broke my heart. WWII was a time in the world that was pretty much "All hands on deck!"--but it was also a time when the USA was still segregated and ignorant. To be told "All hands on deck--except you, not you" had to have been devastated. Nevertheless, these women knew they had to be that much more intelligent, even better nurses than their white counterparts, and they were up to the challenge. The book also details the nursing program at the time, how women of color were finally allowed to participate (if somewhat begrudgingly). I'd had no idea about that, very enlightening. The women were still treated as second class citizens though. Even white women.

The narrator of the book, Laura Jennings, does a very good job reading this, very articulate. Her voice is well suited to read non fiction books.

I highly recommend this book.

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Excellent, brief overview of women in WW2

It was nice to finally find an audio book providing a brief overview of the roll of women during world war 2 in all theaters. the narrator was very good with the exception of mispronouncing some commonly known locations and names of people that are well known to those of us who still WW2 history.

overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the roll.of the ANC in WW2.

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  • Eileen
  • Charlotte, NC, United States
  • 04-02-17

Ruined by the Reader

Interesting story about a topic that too little is written about, Unfortunately, no one thought to teach the reader how to pronounce medical terms before she started recording a book about medical procedures. Between the mispronunciation and her breathy, passive voice the reading is very distracting. If you can get past the reader, the book is interesting.

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  • Jacinta
  • 10-31-17

Great book

Gives a great history of American nurses and the American involvement in WWII. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone interested in military history!