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D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II

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3.74  ·  Rating details ·  2,108 ratings  ·  449 reviews
The dramatic, untold true story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to sabotage the Nazis and pave the way for Allied victory in World War II.

In 1942, the Allies were losing, Germany seemed unstoppable, and every able man in England was fighting. Churchill believed Britain was locked in an existential battle and created a secret agency, the
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by Broadway Books (first published April 23rd 2019)
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Average rating 3.74  · 
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Start your review of D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II
Christine
When I requested a review copy of this book, I thought I was going to get a historical fiction novel. It turns out this is a nonfiction book. I was a little upset with myself as I love historical fiction, but do not read many nonfiction titles. Having an intense interest in reading a book about D-Day, I decided to read it anyway.

This book has mixed reader reviews so far. My review is mixed as well, but certainly more positive than negative. In general I really liked it, mainly because I learned
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
A fascinating and compelling story about the women spies who influenced the outcome of D-Day. ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

1942 was not a good year for the Allies during World War II. They were losing. There isnt much that could be done at home in Britain because all the men are out fighting. Winston Churchill creates the Special Operations Executive (SOE), training spies in skills necessary to help win the war.

The SOE didnt have many men to choose from, again given that most were already battling in the war.
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Erin
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review

The women's fiction market has been filled since January with the stories of female protagonists who participated in special operations during WWII. In fact many of my ARCs have been on this specific topic.

So this April non fiction release provides readers with the background history they need to answer those burning questions. A lot of research has been put into the novel and author, Sarah Rose
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Literary Soirée
GAVE ALL
So many risked all to ensure victory 75 years ago in Normandy. D-DAY GIRLS tells the utterly compelling tale of female agents members of Churchills Secret Operations Executive who blew up weapon supplies and power lines, derailed trains, and sabotaged the Nazis with cunning, bravery and chutzpah to advance the Allied cause.

THEIR DUE
Meticulously researched and lovingly written with an eye to giving these courageous women their due. And what a cover!

Pub Date 23 Apr 2019.

Thanks to the
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Katie B
What peaked my interest when I first heard about this book was that it featured women who risked their lives to help win World War 2. I love reading these type of non-fiction books because it feels like for far too long the role women played in the war was largely ignored. It's nice that as more and more these books are published, these heroic women are finally getting some recognition.

Even though I have read quite a few non-fiction books featuring women during the war, almost all of the ones I
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Jennifer Ryan
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an incredible read. Not only are the women spies fascinating and their journeys brave and compelling, but the writer really engages the audience with background tales and details about where they were in the bigger picture of the war. Tension runs high. I found it difficult to put this one down.
A must for history lovers, and a terrific read for fans of historical fiction.
Kendra
Dec 31, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book will sell well to general readers. It shouldn't. It's disorganized and messy, and both condescends to its readers and lacks essential information on its topic. Author Sarah Rose makes sweeping generalizations about France and its citizens during WWII; misstates historical facts; engages in inaccurate and sometimes offensive hyperbole; and has apparently done little research into the role of women in war, women in WWI, or the history of war in general. She refers to figures in the book ...more
Quirkyreader
Feb 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this as an ARC from Crown, who I say thank you to.

This book was so well written that it seemed like a novel instead of a history of the SOE, the branch in charge of this group of agents.

Rose focused specifically on a unlikely group of women that became secret agents for Britain during the Second World War.

Rose gives us a taste of what the agents lives were like before they joined the SOE. And during the narrative of this book she was direct and to the point making the story more
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Maine Colonial
I received a free review copy from the publisher.

In his The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939-1945, the always-opinionated historian Max Hastings argues that field intelligence agents in WW2 contributed only marginally to the Allied victory. Regarding the Special Operations Executive, Churchills creation, he remarks: Most accounts of wartime SOE agents, particularly women and especially in France, contain large doses of romantic twaddle.

Hastingss comment struck a nerve with Sarah
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Ed
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fairly interesting historical account of the Allies female spies working undercover in Nazi-occupied France. I liked the discussions of their clever methods, and the different colorful personalities involved. I found again how the spy game is dangerous and deadly. Of course many of the women spies/saboteurs were never recognized for their heroic efforts. I also learned about what Vichy France was during the war. All in all, the book held my attention on an important topic.
Erika Robuck
Apr 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
D-Day Girls is impossible to put down. It tells the remarkable stories of a group of phenomenal, courageous women in WWII. Highly recommended.
Loraine
I am trying really hard to read more non-fiction as this is probably my least favorite genre. This new release caught my eye, and I found it read like a novel. Focusing on the country of France after it had been invaded by Hitler and divided into two parts: occupied and Vichy (ruled by Charles de Gaulle until the Nazis took it over in Nov 1942). Britain knows that overtaking the Nazis in France is key to winning the war. Every available man has been drafted into the army, but the British forces ...more
Jeanette (Again)
3.49 stars

There was a lot of interesting information in this book, but it was so poorly organized that it was hard to keep track of all the different people and their stories. Still worth a read or a listen as a starting point on the subject.
Ann-Marie
Apr 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
War is a story of men. Because men tell the stories of war. Women in war torn countries are wallpaper, scenery. They embellish the story, they are victims, objects of pity, sometimes brave supporters of their soldiers as wives, nurses, etc.
They don't fight the war.
But, if your country were invaded and you were a girl or a woman, would you just roll over and play the victim? Or would you be part of the resistance?
"D-Day Girls" tells the true story of just one of the efforts utilizing brave,
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Casey Wheeler
I had high hopes for this book as I had not read much about the subject before, but it was an utter disappointment. It reads like it was thrown together as many facts are inaccurate and others "facts" are strictly opinion. The book itself is very unorganized. 

I cannot honestly recommend this book to anyone.

I received a free Kindle copy of this book courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher with the understanding that I would post a review on Net Galley, Goodreads, Amazon and my fiction book review
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Mellie Antoinette
Im personally not a fan of filler in non-fiction. The linchpin of good NF is well-researched, well-written, well-told stories. For me, this missed on all fronts which is a shame because it had such a strong opening! ...more
Toni Osborne
The spies who armed the resistance, sabotaged the Nazis, and helped win World War 11

This is a dramatic true account of extraordinary women recruited by Britain who helped win the day on June 6, 1944 and pave the way for Allied victory.

Drawn from declassified files, diaries and oral histories, as per her notes, Ms. Rose did intensive research and has written a story of five remarkable women. These courageous women are Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom, Lise de Baissan, Yvonne Rudellat and Mary
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Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an review.

D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose is a fantastic work of nonfiction about the British female spies who sabotaged the Nazis during WWII including Odette Sansom, Lise de Baissac, and Andrée Borrel. These women risked their lives to assure an Allied victory in Europe. They did everything from derail trains, blow up weapons caches, destroy power and phone lines, as well as gather crucial intelligence for the British. Their stories are absolutely
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Kari
The following is based on review of an Advance Readers Copy:

I stopped reading this book about 100 pages in. I wanted to like it--I really did! However, the author chose to rehash certain points ad nauseam. I understand that male military attitudes toward women tend to be chauvinistic but Grove brought up the same points of it so often that it interrupted the interesting parts about what the women were achieving.
Jim Stennett
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining and educational. Reads like a spy novel and sheds light on an important but little known aspect of WWII. Warning. There are a handful of brutal tortures, but it is definitely worth reading.
L.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Normally I wouldn't bother to review a book like this, but since I was gifted a copy a few months before release I figured I should do one anyway so that people can decide whether or not to purchase it.

This is not a life-changing book. There is nothing in here that is ground-shattering or will significantly add to the mountains of things we know about World War II. In fact, most of the facts presented by this book have done better elsewhere. Instead, we get to listen to the opinions of Sarah
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Aly
I loved this! Usually when it comes to WW2, we hear about the scientists, the atomic bombs, the Holocaust, and Anne Frank. Of course, these are all learned about for very good reasons. We never really hear much about women in WW2, except for women taking over many manual labor jobs back at home, giving a charge to those far away. I loved this being non-fiction. It was nice to be able to read stories about some women who were able to have some kind of impact during those years. Whether it was ...more
Cheryl
Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First off, I do want to comment by saying that while, I do agree with some readers that this book was a bit scattered; it did not distract or turn me off from my reading experience of this book. Yes, it felt like the author, Ms. Rose was so excited that she was just penning down all of the facts and her research to paper. However, it is because of this "excitement" that helped me with my reading experience.

It is easy to forget that past history not only touched men but women as well. Women were
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Katie
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
really solid on ~personal lives~ of the SOE gals, also had the best layout of the Paris network that I've read so far (not enough Noor Inayat Khan but w/e)
Bev Walkling
Many thanks to Crown Publishing and #Netgalley for allowing me to read an uncorrected proof of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First off I was drawn to this book because of the beautiful artwork on the cover which immediately suggested to me the era in which the book was set. The title set up certain expectations for me and I am not sure they were fully met within the pages of the book. To be fair, I was reading an uncorrected proof and it is possible that the finished book will
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Aimee
Nov 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook. Really good. Brief summary of the history of several British women of French heritage who worked as spies in occupied France and were instrumental in D-Day. Starts with a biography of each of the women and then after all women's biographies there is the history of the resistance in France which includes the parts each woman played. Very interesting, however I think that reading the book as opposed to listening to would make this book much more enjoyable. In an actual book, each name ...more
Peppy
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bravo to Sarah Rose for bringing to the foreground a factual historical account of the WW ll contributions of three talented and brave women agents of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) who served in occupied France: Andrée Borrel, Odette Sansom and Lise de Baissac. This book has all the elements of a great thriller and the best part is that it is all true not historical fiction. The courageous clandestine acts of these women have been predominantly unrecognized both during and after ...more
BDW
Feb 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good addition to the WWII histories. Strong and interesting characters and stories. Important coverage of women's role in the secret war to liberate France.
Jocelyn
While most books about World War II focus on military maneuvers or the Holocaust, there have lately been more books and novels about women and their contributions during that time period. The D-Day Girls focuses on the women of the Special Operations Executive, which was a spy agency. 39 women served, half were caught, and 1/3 did not make it home alive. One nice aspect of this book is the use of declassified files to help tell the story of Odette Sansom, Lise de Baissac, and Andree Borrel. If ...more
Alexis(Andra)
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Extensively researched from documents only recently declassified by GB in 2003, from personal narratives, and from seminal research.

Supported my knowledge of the SOE, British organization that trained female spies/agents to be sent/ parachuted into France to set Europe ablaze in the years before D-Day.

Chronicles the perils faced in the 2 Frances. The Nazi response to finding them including long imprisonments and torture to reveal arms drops and locations of the invasion . Lots of treachery .

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Sarah Rose is a journalist and author of D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis and Helped Win World War II, and the critically acclaimed For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the Worlds Favorite Drink and Changed History.

She was a news columnist at the Wall Street Journal, and her features have appeared in Outside,
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“Lise was on only the first day of what would be a three-day bicycle ride over small back roads “through thick enemy formations” to the combat zone. She slept in ditches when she tired, then picked up her vélo and began traveling again to her headquarters. She was nowhere near a radio when the communiqué from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, supreme commander of Allied forces, aired for the people of Normandy: The lives of many of you depend on the speed with which you obey. Leave your towns at once—stay off the roads—go on foot and take nothing with you that is difficult to carry. Do not gather in groups which may be mistaken for enemy troops. The largest armada the world had ever known was minutes away from landing on the northern beaches of France. The hour of your liberation is approaching.” 1 likes
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