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Girls in a World at War

Peggy Munro Scholberg & Nancy Ewing Munro (in memoriam)



About the Book:

After visiting a friend who returned from World War II confined in a body cast, Kathy Collens felt compelled to enlist in the war effort. In 1944, at the age of 23, she joined the Army. Despite her background as a college-educated dietician from an affluent family, and having attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Kathy discovered nothing could fully prepare her for the realities of war.

Girls in a World at War offers a firsthand account of Kathy and four other young women who served in the 223rd General Hospital. Stationed in France, they operated out of a converted horse barn situated near the 82nd Airborne quarters and in close proximity to the Battle of the Bulge. Their patients included survivors released from the Dachau concentration camp.

The narrative unfolds with vivid descriptions of crossing the Atlantic, lodging in a castle, working with German prisoners of war, and attempts to make dehydrated food and Spam taste good. The book describes the experiences of weddings, a paratroopers’ jump-off dance, and the surprise of a baby’s birth, immersing readers in the narrative. Their adventures included interludes in Switzerland, sailing in the Mediterranean, and the jubilation of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. The story also touches on visits to Paris, Biarritz, and trips to the magnificent Reims Cathedral to see ‘The Angel of the Smile’ statue and attend a memorable Christmas Eve service. Romantic entanglements add another layer of complexity to the girls’ wartime journey.

Throughout their trials, these women provided invaluable support to each other, navigating the tragedies of war with resilience and camaraderie. As readers engage with their stories, they’ll find themselves laughing and perhaps shedding a tear, gaining a rare insight into the female perspective of war, grounded in real-life events.


What People Are Saying:

Based on a 67-year-old autobiographical manuscript, ‘Girls in a World at War’ offers a far-too-rare view of war from a smart, adventurous, and independent-minded woman serving as a WAC dietician in an Army General Hospital in France. There, she learns first-hand the grim realities of war, a world tipped in a precarious balance between military rigidity and lawless savagery. True to its original author’s voice and experience, ‘Girls in a World at War’ resists contemporary cliches about the Greatest Generation to expose the good and the bad, the nobility and the meanness, of people thrown together with the fate of the globe at stake.

~Todd DePastino is the author of Bill Mauldin: A Life Up Front and Executive Director of Veterans Breakfast Club.


About the Author:

Peggy Munro Scholberg is delighted to at last bring her mother’s telling of her story from World War II to publication. Peggy and her husband Bill live in Apple Valley, Minnesota, where they raised two sons. Together, they retraced her parents’ European travels and delved into World War II history. Following her career as a pharmacy manager, Peggy now revels in retirement. Mirroring her mother’s passion, Peggy delights in culinary experimentation, while inheriting her father’s fondness for sports.


Paperback ISBN: 978-1-959681-68-7

eBook ISBN: 978-1-959681-69-4

Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-959681-70-0


Books are non-refundable

Girls in a World at War by Peggy Munro Scholberg

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