D-Day Girls: The Spies Who Armed the Resistance, Sabotaged the Nazis, and Helped Win World War II (Large Print / Library Binding)
My favorite type of nonfiction: WWII, female-centered and reads like a novel!— Sarah
D-Day Girls first drew me in with its Erik Larson blurb and I stayed for the amazing English and French women who risked so much to relay information to the Allies before D-Day. It strikes me as a nonfiction companion to the story of the younger sister in Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale.— Sarah
The dramatic, untold story of the extraordinary women recruited by Britain's elite spy agency to help pave the way for Allied victory
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 sharpshoot-ing. 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 D-Day Girls, Sarah Rose draws on recently de-classified files, diaries, and oral histories to tell the thrilling story of three of these remarkable women. There's Andr e 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 unflap-pable "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.
About the Author
Sarah Rose is the author of For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World's Favorite Drink and Changed History. She has written for the Wall Street Journal, Outside, The Saturday Evening Post, and Men's Journal. In 2014, she was awarded a Lowell Thomas Prize in Travel Writing.