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Survey: The Greatest Woman in Military History?

From Fu Hao to Joan of Arc to Rear Adm. Grace Hopper and beyond, women have played decisive roles in military affairs since the dawn of history.

Ahead of The Athena Conference: Heroines of the Past, Present and Future at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Alumni Hall, USNI News is asking our readers over the next week who was the greatest woman in military history? 

The conference, hosted by the U.S. Naval Institute and the U.S. Naval Academy, with support from The William M. Wood Foundation, will be held at U.S. Naval Academy’s Alumni Hall on Sept. 8th and 9th.

  • Marcd30319

    Joan of Arc is the obvious choice.

  • MDWhite

    My mother-in-law.

  • Curtis Conway

    Israel’s Prime Minister Golda Meir for her service during the Milẖemet Yom Kipur War, also known as the 1973 Arab–Israeli War should also be in the list.

  • Evan Sankey

    Queen Zenobia took on the Roman Empire and built the Palmyrene Empire in the 3rd century.

  • Corporatski Kittenbot 2.0


  • RobM1981

    I thought that gender was now a choice, no?

  • Andrew Blackley

    Two others come to mind: Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine the Great. Both managed to increase the size of their respective empires, and enhanced their nation’s power and prestige in the face of hegemonic challenges from the dominant continental powers of their day.

    • KillerClownfromOuterspace

      I thought that too but they were political leaders, not military.

      • Andrew Blackley

        Indeed, but as such they had a direct hand in the war planning and strategy, so in keeping with Clausewitz they could be considered military leaders even if they did not command troops or ships.

  • Eric Arllen

    This passes for news? So, what is of first priority here?
    Is it to bolster the ongoing social-engineering transformation or to flog the conference?
    I’m guessing it’s equal parts of both.

    • CitizenCharlesFosterKane

      “ongoing social-engineering transformation” Uh huh. Pull your head out of your safe space.

  • Andre

    I would think that Thatcher was decisive in the Falklands War, especially given the lukewarm response by some in her cabinet to taking on Argentina.

  • publius_maximus_III

    Xena, Warrior Princess..

  • LZ126

    Link to the conference won’t work on mobile phones.

  • Jim Valle

    Artemisia was a naval adviser, fleet admiral and veteran of two great naval battles, including Salamis in 480 BC. Although ethnically a greek, she served Xexres, Emperor of Persia. When battles went against the Persians, she was very adept at extricating herself and so survived when most of the Persian fleet was destroyed with enormous loss of life. Another notable personality was Victoria Drummond, the first woman to qualify as a Chief Engineer. Starting in the 1920’s, Ms. Drummond worked her way slowly up the ladder, sailed in various capacities throughout WW II and finally began to land Chief Engineer’s berth in the postwar years, rounding out a career that spanned four decades. She was decorated for bravery and has a biography and a movie commemorating her service in the British Merchant Navy.

  • SSMcDonald

    WHO is RADM Grace Hopper? And why would she in any way be compared with JOAN d’Arc, Zenobia, Artemisia, Meir, & Nzinga Not to mention Thatcher, QE1 & Catherine. This “poll” is just more politically correct nonsense.

    • Ed L

      Hopper was an inspiration

    • Patrick Wills

      Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906 – January 1, 1992), née Grace Brewster Murray, was an American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral. She was one of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer in 1944 invented the first compiler for a computer programming language, and was one of those who popularized the idea of machine-independent programming languages which led to the development of COBOL, one of the first high-level programming languages.

      Owing to her accomplishments and her naval rank, she is sometimes referred to as “Amazing Grace”. The U.S. Navy Arleigh Burke class guided-missile destroyer USS Hopper (DDG-70) is named for her, as is the Cray XE6 “Hopper” supercomputer at NERSC.