This Is Really War

This Is Really War
This Is Really War

This Is Really War

The Incredible True Story of a Navy Nurse POW in the Occupied Philippines
By Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi


336 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF, Cloth

Cloth, $28.99 (CA $38.99) (US $28.99)

ISBN 9781641600767

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (May 2019)


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A ground-breaking history of the US Navy nurses held prisoner in the Philippines during World War II and the dramatic rescue operation to end their story
In January 1940, navy nurse Dorothy Still eagerly anticipated her new assignment at a military hospital in the Philippines. Her first year abroad was an adventure. She dated sailors, attended dances and watched the sparkling evening lights from her balcony. But as 1941 progressed, signs of war became imminent. Military wives and children were shipped home to the states, and the sailors increased their daily drills. When Pearl Harbor was attacked, Dorothy and the other nurses braced for a direct assault. When the all-clear sounded, they raced across the yard to the hospital and prepared for the wounded to arrive. In that frantic dash, Dorothy transformed from a navy nurse to a war nurse. Along with the other women on the nursing staff, she provided compassionate, tireless, critical care.
When the Philippines fell to Japan in early January 1942, Dorothy was held captive in a hospital and then transferred to a university along with thousands of civilian prisoners. Cramped conditions, disease and poor nutrition meant the navy nurses and their army counterparts were overwhelmed caring for the camp. They endured disease, starvation, severe overcrowding, and abuse from guards, but also experienced friendship, hope, and some, including Dorothy, even found love.


This Is Really War tells the mostly unknown story of the US Navy nurses captured by the Japanese in the Philippines in World War II. The reader will learn how these nurses, who considered themselves average women, rose to the challenge and survived a prison experience that many, many others did not. A thoroughly researched, fascinating book.” —Elizabeth Norman, author of We Band of Angels: The Untold Story of the American Women Trapped on Bataan and Women at War: The Story of Fifty Military Nurses Who Served in Vietnam

“With her vivid style coupled with immaculate research, Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi tells an incredible true story that reads like great fiction. This Is Really War is an unflinching portrait of women surviving the unthinkable. This is history both epic and personal, recounted by a gifted writer.” —Arnie Bernstein, author of Swastika Nation: Fritz Kuhn and the Rise and Fall of the German-American Bund 

This Is Really War is a testament to both the horrors of Japanese captivity during the Second World War and the resilience of the American nurses forced to endure it. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi’s beautifully detailed writing is equal parts captivating and heartbreaking.” —Kathryn J. Atwood, author of Women Heroes of World War II

“Lucchesi’s well-researched, horrifying story effectively and compassionately recounts underappreciated courage, professionalism, and resiliency.” --Booklist

Author Biography

Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi is the author of Ugly Prey and has contributed to the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Baltimore Sun, Detroit Free Press, Miami Herald, Seattle Times and Crain’s Chicago Business. She has taught courses in media history, media criticism and journalism and is a frequent guest lecturer in graduate and undergraduate media courses. She lives in Oak Park, Illinois.