Before the First World War, women had been a part of many war efforts in various roles, but they had to cloak themselves in disguise in order to serve alongside men. However, this began to change during the World War I, the first war where the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps allowed women to enlist. More than 12,000 enlisted and about 400 died during the war.
Women in the U.S. also began working for the American Red Cross and United Service Organizations, as well as in factory, office, transportation, and other jobs vacated by men who were off at war. By the end of World War I, women in the U.S. made up 24% of aviation plant workers. In Great Britain, of 24 million women, only 1.7 worked in ...view middle of the document...
The only country to deploy a substantial amount of female combat troops was Russia in 1917. Russia's Women's Battalions achieved success on the battlefield, but did not help increase war propaganda like the government hoped. Therefore, Russia ended the Women's Battalions within a year.
The following are some of the women who played a significant role in World War I. Note the variety of ways they contributed. Also, even though women were accepted and needed for various jobs, a few women still chose to disguise themselves as men in order to participate in combat.
•In 1914, Dorothy Lawrence disguised herself as a man to participate in World War I as an English soldier.
•Flora Sandes, from England, joined an Ambulance unit in Serbia in 1914 then went on to become a Serbian army officer.
•British nurse Edith Cavell cared for injured soldiers from both sides while in German-occupied Belgium. She was executed in 1915 by the Germans for helping British soldiers escape.
•Russian women Olga Krasilnikov and Natalie Tychmini disguised themselves as men to fight in the war in 1915. Both received the Cross of St....