Hannah Snell (1723–1792) was a British woman who disguised herself as a man and became a soldier

Many people have engaged in cross-dressing during wartime under various circumstances and for various motives. This has been especially true of women, whether while serving as a soldier in otherwise all-male armies, while protecting themselves or disguising their identity in dangerous circumstances, or for other purposes.

Conversely, men would dress as women to avoid being drafted, the mythological precedent for this being Achilles hiding at the court of Lycomedes dressed as a woman to avoid participation in the Trojan War.

Prehistory, legend and mythology


See also: History of cross-dressing

Fourteenth century

Fifteenth century

Joan of Arc enters Orléans (painting by J.J. Sherer, 1887)

Sixteenth century

Seventeenth century

Eighteenth century

Nineteenth century

See also: List of female American Civil War soldiers

Twentieth century


See also: Cross-dressing in film and television and Cross-dressing in literature

Fictional works where wartime cross-dressing is a major plot point include:


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