Welcome to Wednesday Writers! Today, it’s my pleasure to welcome back to the blog Gail Kittleson, author of Women of the Heartland, World War II series. Today she’ll be talking about her research for another WWII book-in-progress featuring more brave women who helped win WWII. Welcome, Gail!
For All The Brave Women
By Gail Kittleson
This week marks the return of thousands of American young people to school. Life-long learners—this slogan, plastered on schoolroom doors and in hallways around the country, cites one goal of education. Some students, like my seventh grade granddaughter, can hardly wait…others would rather be doing just about anything else.
History was among my favorites during high school and college, and like most historical fiction authors, my research continues all year round. Right now, I’m wading through information about the invasions of Sicily, Italy, and Southern France in 1943-44.
Surrounded by texts on these topics, I’m always running into another “pocket.” That’s what WWII strategists called an area north of Geneva, Switzerland and south of Strasbourg.
German-born poet, novelist, and painter who authored Steppenwolf, Siddhartha, and The Glass Bead Game, which explore humankind’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge, and spirituality, said, “To study history means to submit to chaos and nevertheless retaining faith in order and meaning.”
I agree. Boy, did those WWII generals make some costly errors in their planning—the amount of suffering caused by those mistakes sickens me. From my viewpoint, even knowing very little about military tactics, it’s easy to see their blunders…but why couldn’t they?
Unfortunately, they were human. DRAT! And didn’t somebody say “to err is human…” Ah yes. Alexander Pope.
In the incidences I’ve been mulling, my heroine and her comrades might easily have lost their lives, all because a certain commander despised having women anywhere near combat. Even nurses. Seriously.
Well, it’s a free country, and he could have his opinion—our GIs were fighting for freedom, right? But he made decisions that endangered the nurses assigned to his command…on purpose. Most historians call him on that, and the drama he created—oh my! I certainly can’t deny the narrative potential of his deeply biased choices.
Besides that, I know that my heroine survived, because she was a real WWII nurse who lived until 2015. But she could easily have been killed because of this one powerful commander.
Well, it’s all in a day’s work, as they say. (Who is they, anyway?) I’ve moved on with my heroine up the boot of Italy and into Southern France. Together, we’ll soon cross the Rhine into Germany. Well, maybe not soon…there’s that little skirmish called the Battle of the Bulge left to consider.
She won a battle ribbon for that one, too.
My hat is off to the incredibly stalwart nurses who risked everything to care for the troops in harm’s way. How they survived is testimony to true grit, to borrow a great Western title. To courage and tenacity and humility and fortitude.
I can hardly wait to read this book, so I’d best get back to writing it!
About the Author:
Forever intrigued by the writing process, Gail researches ongoing World War II projects, including a co-written cozy mystery. She enjoys time with grandchildren, walking, and reading. Winters find her hiking with her husband under Arizona’s Mogollon Rim. She loves hearing from readers and facilitating writing workshops.
You can find Gail at: