Review-And If I Perish, Frontline U.S. Army Nurses In World War II
by Evelyn M. Monahan and Rosemary Neidel-Greenlee
Published by Alfred A. Knopf a division of Random House Publisher, 2003--514 total pages
Non-fiction, history, biography.
This book was borrowed from the library for the purpose of reading/reviewing.
This is a fantastic book! I recommend this book to every reader that has an interest in World War II. I've read stories written by those that served in combat operations during World War II, I've read stories by missionaries that were captured and held as prisoner, I've read stories of civilians living in Europe during World War II, and I've read stories of the Holocaust. Reading the stories of the nurses that were often on the front line near combat operations gave me a different view of World War II. These brave women--a total of 59, 000 served during World War II, they were as faithful and devoted as any man in combat. Many of the women survived bombings, sinking ships, crashed planes, sickness, capture by the enemy, the elements of weather, and doing without food and even water. Often they would stay with patients when the advancing enemy approached, refusing to retreat to safety. According to the guidelines of the Geneva Convention hospitals were not to be bombed; but they were, and several nurses and other medical staff died.
During World War II "penicillin came to be used, whole blood and not just plasma was used, improvements in battlefield surgery techniques, and better management of shock." When the war began nurses did not have adequate clothing, being told to pack ball gowns for social occasions! The women eventually wore men's military coveralls. And If I Perish follows the entire events of World War II from Pacific battles, to the battles in North Africa, Sicily, Italy, France, Belgium, and Germany. Chapters are divided for each major battle; the chapters on D-Day the Invasion of Normandy and The Battle of the Bulge was of most interest to me, because it gave information about the climactic events that my own father lived through. April and May of 1945 when the war is finishing in Europe the nurses and hospitals then started caring for those that survived the concentration camps. And If I Perish is written with meticulous research by 2 women that are nurses themselves. They interviewed and compiled notes and files of many women that served. The author's motives were on the bravery and dedication of the nurses, medical advancement during the war, and to educate readers through the biographies of women nurses that served on the front-line during World War II.
And If I Perish is taken from the book of Esther chapter 4 verse 16b.
"And if I perish, I perish."