Friday, January 18, 2013

Women in World War I by: Stephanie Burkhart

Prior to the 20th Century, a woman's job was to tend the home. They usually worked as domestics or raised children. They also found opportunities in nursing and teaching, but it wasn't until World War I did women's roles expand in a male dominated society.

Due to their service, dedication and hard work, women earned the right to vote in America in 1918.

In Great Britain, women over 30 were given the right to vote in 1918.

Women in Great Britain
With men heading off to war, women filled in the gaps men left. They found work in transpirations, driving buses,  working on the rail lines, nursing, factories, (ammunition) and in the RAF as mechanics on planes.

Young women received basic medical training and went to the war zone as nurses. They tended to the wounded men, cleaning wounds, and changing bandages. These nurses used aspirin and morphine as painkillers,  Known as VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) they weren't paid.

FANY's (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry) were also women with challenging jobs as well. They:
Drove ambulances
Disinfected rooms with wounded soldiers
Ran soup kitchens

On the home front, they became more active in farming and in the factories. In farming, they planted seeds by hand and used horses to till the soil, since the resources used to do those jobs were diverted to the war effort.

Women in America
When World War I began, the Navy enlisted close to 13,000 women. (The Army couldn't figure out how to get around the War Department's red tape. The Navy ignored it.)

Women worked as nurses, physical/occupational therapists, cooks, telephone operators, journalists, and entertained the troops.

In World War I at least 3 Army Nurses were awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (the Nation's 2nd highest military honor), the Distinguished Service Medal, and the French Croix de Guerre.

Women in Russia
During World War I in the Czarist period, women were so involved in the war effort, they even took part in combat. Most dressed as men to join, but the Czar did allow women to openly serve. The most famous is Maria Botchkareva. She earned the respect of male counterparts on the battlefield. She was noted for bayoneting a German soldier to death and dragged several wounded to safety after a machine gun fight. Maria was allowed to recruit an all women's battalion. The women in Maria's Battalion of Death proved they were fierce fighters in war.

Women in Germany
The Prussian culture of Germany at this time was believed to have glorified brute force, supported a man's domination of women, and treated children poorly. When war struck, women went to work in munitions factories and served as civilian workers for the military in the rear as nurses, and clerks. After the war, German women were also given the right to vote.

Question: If you were a woman during this time, would you be drawn to military service? How would you choose to serve? What nation would you want to serve?

Author Bio: Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. From 1986-1997 she served in the US Army in the Military Police Corp. She spent 7 years assigned overseas in Germany and she was awarded the Army Commendation Award (3x) during her tenure. She earned a Gold Schutzenschnur (German Armed Forces badge of Marksmanship) and went on 2 Reforgers with the British Army in Northern Europe. During her tour from 1986-8, she was stationed in Munster, Germany, and worked with British soldiers on a daily basis.

Danube in Candlelight
Blurb: Morgan befriends a wolf who eventually turns her into one. Can she learn to live and love as a werewolf?

Morgan Duma sat back in her seat and looked out the train's window. She raked a hand through her hair and let out a slow breath. The train slowed to a stop at the Sopron station. A handful of people gathered near the doors. Her journey from England to Hungary had been long. Thank God her sister, Emily, was making it with her. Budapest was only an hour away now. It would be heaven to sleep in her own bed tonight. She rested her chin in her hand as several passengers disembarked.

Then she saw him. Adam Varga, shuffling toward the train, a duffle bag slung over his shoulder. At least, she believed it was Adam. The last time she had seen him was four years ago, before she'd left for England.
5 Stars, Reader's Favorite:
This story is the closest I have ever come to reading a book that feels like a movie!

4 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Book Reviews:
Once again, Stephanie Burkhart has touched my imagination and with her writing brings 1922 Hungary to life. Danube in Candlelight is a very romantic, yet spicy read. This is a must read if you enjoy the paranormal werewolf stories or even if you merely enjoy a great romance.

Book Trailer on You Tube:



Maggi Andersen said...

Fascinating article, thanks Stephanie. I hope the book does well.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Thanks Maggi. I just finished watching Downton Abbey, Season 1 and it's amazing to see how the world was changing was then. Sybil's championing women rights would soon pay off after the war. I really like her character on the show. Very inspirational.


Anonymous said...

I think I'd have done whatever my country needed me to do. I'm not sure where I'd have wanted to serve. Your book sounds very intriguing. Looking forward to reading more of it.
Steph I shared to facebook and tweeted. Great information, thanks for sharing it with us.

Alexa said...

Fascinating information. Thanks for sharing! As for me, I'm no good in a life or death crisis so I would NOT be drawn to service. I would, however, be drawn to the serviceMEN. :)

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Kathy, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Alexa, I totally understand, trust me. I work as a 911 dispatcher and we have people who try to get the job with good hearts but are not cut out for it.


Jenny Twist said...

Hi Steph. Great article. I especially liked the Russian Maria Botchkareva.
You confused me with your reference to women in Britain working in transpirations. What is it?
Under no circumstances would I join the armed forces. I am an out and out pacifist.
Is Danube in Candlelight set in WW1?
I'm getting a bit obsessed with wars myself. One novel set in the Spanish Civil War, one in WW2 (mainly) and about to publish a short story set in WW1.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I did extensive research about the WWI era in wyoming's history when I write For Love of Banjo and learned, much to my surprise, that Wyoming gave women the vote in 1869--long before any other state. I gues Wyoming deserves its motto, "Equality."
A very interesting blog about the role of women during WWI. It's a fascinating period in history.