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D-Day Girls

D-Day Girls

The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II

Book - 2019
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"In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Believing that Britain was locked in an existential battle, Winston Churchill had already created a secret agency, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), whose spies were trained in everything from demolition to sharpshooting. Their job, he declared, was to "set Europe ablaze." But with most men on the front lines, the SOE was forced to do something unprecedented: recruit women. Thirty-nine answered the call, leaving their lives and families to become saboteurs in France. In [this book], Sarah Rose draws on recently declassified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There's Andrée Borrel, a scrappy and streetwise Parisian who blew up power lines with the Gestapo hot on her heels; Odette Sansom, an unhappily married suburban mother who saw the SOE as her ticket out of domestic life and into a meaningful adventure; and Lise de Baissac, a fiercely independent member of French colonial high society and the SOE's unflappable "queen." Together, they destroyed train lines, ambushed Nazis, plotted prison breaks, and gathered crucial intelligence--laying the groundwork for the D-Day invasion that proved to be the turning point in the war. Rigorously researched and written with razor-sharp wit, D-Day Girls is an inspiring story for our own moment of resistance: a reminder of what courage--and the energy of politically animated women--can accomplish when the stakes seem incalculably high."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Crown, [2019]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9780451495082
Branch Call Number: 940.5486 ROSE
Characteristics: xi, 384 pages : map ; 25 cm


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Sep 16, 2020

This is a book of brave women who were sent by the British to France to help the resistance, disrupt the infrastructure, radio back about the Nazi movement, and collect new agents and supplies that were dropped by parachutes in open fields. I wish the book focused on 3-4 women from start to finish. The book is organized more like a history book rather than the lives of women. For example the book "Woman of no Importance" by Sonia Purnell is a far better read on a similar topic. And also the old book "Code Name: Lise" by Larry Loftis is far better read on one of the women mentioned in D-Day Girls. Code Name is also well written with cliff hanger at end of each chapter, and well explained various organizations and secret agencies.

I still recommend this book for those who are interested in role of women in World War II.

Aug 24, 2020

Interesting history!
In 1942, desperate to employ any means necessary to resist the relentless progress toward what seemed an inevitable Nazi victory, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive (SOE) took the radical and controversial step of recruiting women as secret agents for the first time. Rose (For All the Tea in China) follows the story of a handful of these female saboteurs, trained in England and parachuted into occupied France to transmit intelligence, destroy power lines, and disrupt the German war machine at risk of imprisonment and death. Based on interviews, diaries, and declassified archives, Rose's history of the women of the SOE details the gritty heroism of these British agents who lived through the worst days of World War II and helped keep the French Resistance alive until D-Day at the cost of their own freedom, families, and lives. Readers who enjoyed Damien Lewis's Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare will find this a fascinatingly different facet of the SOE; unlike those special-ops commandos, the agents here had to survive invisibly in the guise of civilians, and later vanish into cover identities once again.

LoganLib_darsh Jan 06, 2020

This was a fascinating read that plunges you into the world of individuals who did everything they could to stop the horror that was the Nazi occupation in France. It reminds us that it takes people with great strength of mind and heart to fight back when all seems lost, to do small jobs that get bigger and bigger as the fight wears on.

Jun 05, 2019

If you’ve read other books about WW II spies, you probably already know these stories. Just a re-hash from other books.

Unsure if this was meant for YA...the writing/explaining of things, seemed so.

May 04, 2019

This is a very thoughtful, well laid out book about some very amazing women who risked their lives and everyone around them to save France from Nazism. I find it ironic because the author makes a point to detail how women in the OSE in Britain and in the different resistance organizations in France who were directed and supplied by Britain were treated so shabbily in wages, pension, post-war opportunities, and gratitude and credit they so richly deserved and then in the title calls them girls. Anyway, this is a very good book, details the European side of WW2 and how the resistance worked within France to assist the Allies in preparation for and during and after D-Day. One thing I had never heard was that due to the Nazi infiltration of a prominent resistance network in 1943 D-Day had to be put off for a year thus giving the Germans that much longer to harden defenses along the Northern coast of France which made it much harder for the landing armies to penetrate. Very interesting book.


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