From Boudicca to Ukraine, battlefields have always contained a surprising number of women. Tracing the long history of female fighters, Forgotten Warriors puts the record straight, exploring how war became an all-male space, and getting to the bottom of why women were allowed to be astronauts a full thirty years before they were allowed to fight in combat.
From the Mino, the all-female army that protected Dahomey from the West for two hundred years to the Night Witches, Soviet flying aces that decimated the Nazis; from the real story of Joan of Arc to the cross-dressing soldiers whose disguises were so effective the men around them never realized who they were fighting with, Sarah Percy shines a fascinating new light on the history of warfare. And against a backdrop of sieges and desperate battles, rebellions and civil wars, a series of extraordinary women come alive on the page, determined not to be passive victims.
Every country has their tomb to the unknown warrior, picking out one unnamed body to represent the sacrifices of thousands of others. As Forgotten Warriors shows, those overlooked soldiers could well be female. Their heroic and compelling stories need to be heard.
Sarah Percy is Associate Professor at the University of Queensland. She was formerly Fellow in International Relations at Merton College, Oxford, where she was on the steering committee of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War. Author and presenter of an acclaimed ABC radio series on the Cold War, her acclaimed previous book, Mercenaries, examined another unconventional military history, over multiple locations, from the medieval period until the present day. This is her first trade book.
|John Murray Press