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The Heroines of SOE: Britain's Secret Women in France
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The Heroines of SOE: Britain's Secret Women in France

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Female spies are often the stuff of legend and myth. Here, for the first time, Beryl Escott tells the true story of the incredible 40 women who worked for Britain's Special Operations Executive during the Second World War. These women came from a variety of backgrounds, from Gillian Gerson a Chilean actress, to the Irish Mary Herbert, recruited for her linguistic skills, t ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by The History Press
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3.96  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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Dan Lutts
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
I first learned about SOE (Secret Operations Executive) from a Netflix hybrid reality show called Churchill's Secret Agents. The show takes everyday men and women and puts them through the same grueling and dangerous training that real-life SOE agents went through before they were dropped into German-occupied countries during World War II. What makes the series a hybrid is that the program includes information, videos, and photos of real-life SEO candidates going through training and the special ...more
Kathryn
There have been multiple biographies written about individual SOE women but Beryl Escott’s book is the first I know of that gives short biographies on all 40 of the women of the SOE’s F (French) Section, the largest section of the SOE.

What makes the SOE – an organization that recruited, supplied, and trained resisters in Nazi-occupied countries -- such a fascinating study is that it worked outside of the box, militarily-speaking, their end goal being the destruction of German communication and w
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Christine
I'm not sure when I learned about the S.O.E and the role that women played in it during the Second World War. I knew about them when I watched the movie Charlotte Gray, but not that much. It wasn't until a couple years ago that I knew more. I was at Borders and saw a copy of A Life In Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII out on the table. I can't say why I picked it up, but I did. And that greatly deepened my knowledge of SOE, and most likely sparked my currect interst in World Wa ...more
Katia M. Davis
Nov 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a very thorough book detailing the experiences of the 40 women who worked for the Special Operations Executive in France during WWII. It is quite detailed and a fairly easy read. There are some points of repetition where the same experience happened to more than one individual as they were grouped together but this is such an extensive analysis of service that it does not hinder the writing. I would recommend to anyone interested in women in warfare.
K. A. MacKinnon
The writing is clumsy, the facts often jumbled or vague. Feels overall like a high school essay. If it hadn't been a gift, I would have abandoned reading it ages ago.

If you're looking for a book that details all the SOE women, read the vastly superior Churchill's Angels by Bernard O'Connor.
eddie jezierski
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So young so brave

This book takes you back to the young agents fighting for the libertarian of France and some paying the ultimate price. Some as young as 19teen so very brave a factual account of people working behind enemy lines .
Marie Smith
Apr 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good opening book in my start to researching the activities of the women involved in SOE F-Section. There is a lot to take in with the many different networks, which can cause confusion to a new reader on the subject, let alone the Germans during the day. :-)

Each chapter is dedicated to one of the 40 women and gives a good insight into their motivation in joining and the desire and drive to continue in such dangerous work. An ideal research book.
Liz
Jun 26, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a difficult book to read at one sitting. The women whose war-time lives are recounted by Beryl Escott were courageous beyond imagining, often very young and many of them died in the course of their work, so each has to be given space to be remembered. The author's spare, factual style only serves to reinforce the often harrowing outcomes of their expeditions into occupied France.
Mojie
May 17, 2014 rated it liked it
A bit to gushy and hero worship but a very good intro to the Ladies
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Also published as Beryl Escott

Squadron Leader Beryl E. Escott was born in Newfoundland and educated in Guernsey, South Wales, Lancashire, Yorkshire and at Durham University. She joined the RAF in 1961 and in her spare time edited magazines and wrote books for the service. On leaving the RAF in 1986, she started work on her first book in civil life, Women in Air Force Blue, a history of the service
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