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D-Day Girls

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

by Sarah Rose

D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose X
D-Day Girls by Sarah Rose
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  • Jeff M. (Somerset, NJ)
    A well-researched story
    A very well-researched book by Sarah Rose about the women agents the British government sent to France (and to other European countries) during World War II to help setup, work with and support local Resistance groups and send vital information on the enemy back to Britain. While the story of the SOE (Secret Operations Executive) Office is likely well-known to those interested in WWII, it is probably less so in the US, especially the key roles the SOE agents played in the D-Day invasion. Sarah Rose takes the reader on the dangerous journey five of the female agents faced in enemy territory (about one-third of roughly 50 women agents did not return) and the hardships they endured both during the war and, for some survivors, adjusting back into society. The story is fast-paced, simply told and for a history enthusiast like myself, it added a new perspective about D-Day and events in France. I would recommend the book. A couple of comments outside of the book's story. I personally did not care for title "D-Day Girls", which to me, did not lend itself to the very serious story it is trying tell. For a fictional version of SOE activities (with some of the real personages from "D-Day Girls"), see Wilbur Smith's "Courtney's War" which was published last fall.
  • Carmel B. (Manchester, NH)
    D-Day Girls - Forgotten Heroins
    Imagine! There are still those today who think that women have no place in the armed services. They are among those who call the escapades and heroism of the D-Day Girls "twaddle." The British government could not even acknowledge their existence after the war and continued to keep their identities and contributions a secret for more than fifty years! Sarah Rose illuminates not only the ugly underbelly of Special Military Operations and their masterminds, but also exposes a side of Winston Churchill that is little discussed, much less admitted. Once again, we are reminded that "All is fair in love and war." Intriguing read, even for men, if they can open their minds.
  • Bev C. (Latrobe, PA)
    D-Day Girls
    D-Day Girls is not a quick, easy read. It's not meant to be.

    I found these heroines daring and courageous and was pleased that their classified exploits were available to share.

    I have seen questions concerning the accuracy of some elements
    of this exposition but I will quickly add that there are 88 pages of notes and bibliography. I'm not a WWII scholar, those calls are for someone else.
    I found the read intriguing and informative but did experience a little delay in adjusting to the flow from chapter to chapter.
  • Mary G. (Trail Creek, IN)
    The Untold Story of Women Spies in the French Resistance
    I enjoy reading about womens history. D-Day Girls was a fascinating topic. The story was well researched with many references to the author's sources. The story inspired me to learn more about the French Resistance and other events taking place during WWII.

    I would have liked more information about the women's lives and their personal experiences while working covertly. I also felt the story jumped around a lot. It wasn't hard to follow, but it lacked continuity.
  • Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)
    History and narrative
    This is a very good addition to the WWII foundation. Many of us lived at that time and remember some of what occurred. In this book the contributions of women have been well described. I cheered at some of the anecdotes that Rose related. She is a good narrator and appears to have done her homework.
  • Becky D. (Gloucester, VA)
    An inside look at the resistance
    Rose's book definitely puts the individual efforts of the resistance up close and personal. The reader can't help but be impressed with the amount of research done and the skill it took to make it extremely readable (even humorous at times).
    She presents a good combination of the womens' background, training and actual "boots on the ground" work.
    While I didn't find this an absolute page turner of a book, it was definitely engrossing enough to keep me reading to see how each woman fared.
  • Ann W. (New York, NY)
    Fascinating Intense Read
    Rose's book was fascinating account of female courage, daring and organization. Her research was intensive and exhaustive, codes, aliases, operating covers, techniques used by these women. She provided a refreshing commentary about role of patriarchy, prejudice interacted, often hindered recruitment and greater use. The release SOE release of info in the late 1990's allowed new information to be revealed. Rose's perspective on the various political players, Churchill, De Gaulle and other players was thoughtful. These women were a small part of the Anglo-French effort. Wherever British troops were active, so were women as nurses. This is often overlooked it all warfare. One little fact that emerged was French women were only granted vote in 1946.

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