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xiv, 416 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 363-402) and index.
The secret letters ; Introduction: "Your country needs you, young ladies". Part I. "In the event of total war women will be needed". Twenty-eight acres of girls ; "This is a man's size job, but I seem to be getting away with it" ; The most difficult problem ; "So many girls in one place" -- Part II. "Over all this vast expanse of waters Japan was supreme". "It was heart-rending" ; "Q for communications" ; The forlorn shoe ; "Hell's half-acre" ; "It was only human to complain" ; Pencil-pushing mamas sink the shipping of Japan -- Part III. The tide turns. Sugar camp ; "All my love, Jim" ; "Enemy landing at the mouth of the Seine" ; Teedy ; The surrender message ; Good-bye to Crow -- Epilogue: The mitten.
"Recruited from small Southern towns and posh New England colleges, 10,000 American women served the U.S. Army and Navy as code breakers during World War II. While their brothers and husbands took up arms, these women moved to Washington and, under strict vows of secrecy, learned the meticulous work of breaking German and Japanese military codes. Poring over reams of encrypted messages, the women worked tirelessly in makeshift facilities in Washington, D.C.; Arlington, Virginia; and Dayton, Ohio. Their code-breaking triumphs shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. In the process, many got their first taste of the big city, made lifelong friends, and fell in and out of love amid the heartbreak of war. Ordered never to reveal the details of their wartime work, these women were all but written out of history. Now, through her dazzling archival research and interviews with surviving code breakers, Liza Mundy has brought to life this vital story of American courage, service, and science. At the heart of Code Girls is Dot Braden, a feisty Virginia schoolteacher who, in 1943, leapt at the chance to take a mysterious job with the Army at a place called Arlington Hall. With [this book], the children and grandchildren of Dot and those of thousands of other women will finally learn the complete story of their accomplishments."--Dust jacket flap.