Forgotten Warriors

The Long History of Women in Combat

Coming Soon


By Sarah Percy

Formats and Prices




$40.00 CAD



  1. Hardcover $32.00 $40.00 CAD
  2. ebook $18.99 $24.99 CAD

The definitive history of women in war, revealing how women have always been an essential part of combat 

From Boudicca’s rebellion to the war in Ukraine, battlefields have always contained a surprising number of women. Some formed all-female armies, like the Dahomey Mino of West Africa; some fought disguised as men; some mobilized in times of national survival, like the Soviet flying aces known as the Night Witches. International relations expert Sarah Percy unearths the stories of these forgotten warriors. She sets the historical record straight, revealing that women’s exclusion from active combat in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries is a blip in a much longer narrative of female inclusion. Deeply researched and brilliantly told, Forgotten Warriors turns the notion of war as a man’s game on its head and restores women to their rightful place on the front lines of history. 


  • "Beautifully written, Sarah Percy’s Forgotten Warriors is captivating from beginning to end. Women have long held important wartime roles—not as passive victims, but as soldiers and strategists. They departed the battlefield only in the mid-19th century, though female African warriors endured for a century more. Twentieth century women soldiers, snipers and pilots helped win both world wars, then were packed off to vanish at home. Percy’s engaging history shows us that allowing women to serve in combat today is nothing new: hoorah for a marvelous reminder of what they could do all along."—Audrey Kurth Cronin, Trustees Professor of Security and Technology, Carnegie Mellon University
  • “Sarah Percy’s Forgotten Warriors carefully debunks the long-held myth that war is not women’s business. In this well-researched and insightful book, Percy deftly reveals examples of women warriors throughout history, demonstrating that the exclusion of women from the battlefield is a recent development. Today, the routine naming of women as ‘non-combatants’ erases their heroic deeds and keeps them out of positions of power and leadership in society. The idea that in war women stay safely ‘at home’ far from the conflict has never been true. Forgotten Warriors is an essential remedy to the marginalization of female soldiers, affirming that women are—and always have been—brave and capable fighters.”—Gwen Strauss, author of The Nine

On Sale
Sep 26, 2023
Page Count
432 pages
Basic Books

Sarah Percy

About the Author

Sarah Percy is associate professor at the University of Queensland. The author of Mercenaries, she completed her MPhil and DPhil as a Commonwealth Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. She lives in Brisbane, Australia. 

Learn more about this author