During the Second World War some 600,000 women were absorbed into the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force, the Auxiliary Territorial Service, and the Women’s Royal Naval Service. These women performed important military functions for the armed forces, both at home and overseas, and the jobs they undertook ranged from cooking, typing and telephony to stripping down torpedoes, overhauling aircraft engines, and operating the fire control instruments in anti-aircraft gun batteries. In this wide-ranging study, which draws on a multitude of sources and combines organisational history with the personal experiences of servicewomen, Jeremy Crang traces the wartime history of the WAAF, ATS and WRNS and the integration of women into the British armed forces. Servicewomen came to play such an integral wartime role that the military authorities established permanent regular post-war women’s services and, in so doing, opened up for the first time a military career for women.
Sisters in Arms Women in the British Armed Forces during the Second World War