The Fog of War

Martha Gellhorn at the D-Day Landings

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Pub Date 27 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 28 Aug 2022
Pushkin Press, Pushkin Children's Books

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Description

The inspiring true story of Martha Gellhorn's perilous, secret journey to become the only female journalist to cover the D-Day landings of 1944

THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. JUNE 1944.

On a dark night at the height of World War Two, thousands of ships charge across the ocean towards the French coast. This is Operation Neptune: the beginning of the fight to free Europe from the Nazis. The next few weeks will turn the tide of the war.

On board one of the hospital ships, disguised as a nurse, is Martha Gellhorn. A seasoned war correspondent, she talked her way onboard, hiding in a lavatory until it was too late to send her back. Now Martha is on her way to make history as the only woman to set foot on the beaches on D-Day.
The inspiring true story of Martha Gellhorn's perilous, secret journey to become the only female journalist to cover the D-Day landings of 1944

THE ENGLISH CHANNEL. JUNE 1944.

On a dark night...

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ISBN 9781782693130
PRICE $12.95 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

Another fun entry in the True Adventures series, it had what I enjoyed from the previous books in the series. It does what I wanted from a children's historical fiction book. It was well written and I enjoyed getting to learn about Martha Gellhorn, she was a interesting lady. It was a good read and I'm glad I was able to read this. I look forward to reading more in the True Adventures series.

"Martha stared at the scene ahead. In her career as a war correspondent, she’d witnessed violence – terrible
violence – and more deaths than she’d like to think about. But what lay before her was like nothing she’d ever faced. ‘I don’t think anyone is ever ready for something like this,’ she admitted. ‘But we do it anyway, don’t we, Liz?’

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What a remarkable woman Martha Gellhorn was! A journalist and war correspondent that was reporting from the frontlines since the Spanish Civil War, she had a very long career and very adventurous, from which she retired in her 80s, but she's more known for two events in her life in particular: her tumultuous on and off affair and eventual marriages (twice!) to Ernest Hemingway, and her daring landing with the Allies on Normandy on D-Day disguised as a nurse and without permission from the authorities, for which she was later arrested by the Brits.

With such a life, I'd have loved a full novel, especially if it covered her years in Spain and her years in Germany when Hitler was rising to power, which are just as interesting as her D-Day exploits, or even more so. But this is a short book, more a novella than a novel, and focuses just a very brief portion of her work during WWII, from the Normandy landings to a little bit after it. It's aimed at young audiences, and part of a series that introduce remarkable people to children and teens. In that, it does its job nicely, with illustrations, a short glossary and an overview of Martha's life that includes her achievements before and past this book.

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A great fusion of fiction and non fiction, telling the tale of one of the rare female war correspondents, Martha Gellhorn. She was a pioneer in her field and a truly brilliant journalist who strived to report exactly what she found and disseminate the information to the masses.

She’s resourceful, cunning and never stops in her efforts to get what she wants. Despite all of the odds being against her, she manages to sneak aboard a ship posing as a nurse, to arrive at the beaches of Normandy to report on the war as she finds it. Her husband, Ernest Hemingway, takes her spot reporting on this coveted piece that will make literary history but she’s determined to fight for her right to spread her own words on this momentous event.

It was a great perspective of the D-Day landings from Martha’s point of view, as she takes in her surroundings and throws herself into danger to produce the candid reports in the event exactly as it was. Women aren’t allowed on the front line, but she manages against all the odds despite the repercussions she may face if found out.

It was a compelling story and greatly written for both adult readers and children, which is the main demographic for this novella. It helps shed light on not only Mary’s character but also one of the most iconic events of the war. There’s some great illustrations sprinkled throughout and didn’t take too long to read once into it.

There’s action, adventure, wartime spirit and all based off true events and facts (which are also listed at the end of the book along with a time line and explanations into some of the terms encountered throughout). Great work by the author.!

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Thrilling adventure narrative of Martha Gellhorn's D-Day experience. It's aimed at younger readers and therefore skips some of the details, such as the real-life importance of alcohol to many of the correspondents. No one is drinking in this story, and amazingly, it doesn't really affect the narrative. I've read of Gellhorn's war correspondent adventures in many other books, and this is one of the most exciting retellings, perhaps because it cuts out all the excess and sticks to the action.

The author sticks to the one story, of Gellhorn's success in overcoming obstacles to keep her away from the action, her impersonation of an army nurse, her landing in Normandy, her subsequent arrest, her escape from prison, and her successful filing of a one-of-a-kind report from the front. All this in the course of a couple of days.

Great story, I only wish the author had included some information on sources or further reading. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a digital review copy.

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I enjoy reading a book with strong female characters and like to recommend them to my students. World War II books are really popular in my classroom right now and it is great to have a book told through the eyes of a woman!

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