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The Ways We Hide


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Was Fenns parachuting into Holland realistic or true?

Created: 09/13/22

Replies: 12

Posted Sep. 13, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
smallino

Join Date: 06/06/21

Posts: 50

Was Fenns parachuting into Holland realistic or true?

I felt that Fenns suddenly parachuting into Holland unbelievable, or perhaps this really happened. Even in war I would have expected more training before sending a gadget woman behind enemy lines. Once I realized she was parachuting, I wondered about training….and maybe a few paragraphs later they described some barn jumps. I’ve read other ww2 historical fiction and it seems there was always more training than this. And I guess I’d lost the background on fenn that she spoke fluent Dutch. So was surprised about that.


Posted Sep. 13, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
smallino

Join Date: 06/06/21

Posts: 50

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

I'm really curious about this. As it didn't seem possible that a naive young woman could be trained within hours to go into Holland, behind Nazi lines. Does anyone know?


Posted Sep. 13, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shirleyv

Join Date: 04/29/22

Posts: 9

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

I just reread the preparation for the jump and Fenna's comment, "I'm cheese in a trap, a worm on a hook. (240) She was included as bait for Arie. Then the jump, "It's nearly showtime on the largest stage imaginable with limited planning, countless variables, and a mass of uncontrollable parts."(244). So yes, her handlers were willing for her to go in on a smattering of training to be a decoy contact to attract Arie. Lenora had already told Fenna that she had overheard the order was "to take him out." I seem to remember a comment, maybe by Hutton, that they didn't expect her to make it back either, so the gesture of training was just to get her there. Also, in a more general statement in the author's notes, she validated "that despite what was standard, there were always remarkable and necessary exceptions. It was wartime after all." (468). Thanks smallino for a good question. It made me have to support my opinion of the scenario.


Posted Sep. 15, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
smallino

Join Date: 06/06/21

Posts: 50

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

Thanks for that, you’re right. But I cannot imagine parachuting behind enemy lines with such limited training and survive, but I guess everyone was expendable in war. And from other historical fiction I’ve read, female agents spies were especially expendable.


Posted Sep. 15, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marks

Join Date: 02/25/19

Posts: 90

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

It did seem somewhat unrealistic because her training was almost nonexistent but she was (as others pointed out) essentially bait. This makes her expendable. If she survived, go ahead with the mission. If she didn't, I doubt it would have been considered a serious loss. Lousy way to look at it, but THAT seems realistic.


Posted Sep. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 192

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

In most books that I've read, there was a lot of training given before a person parachuted into enemy territory but as others pointed out, Fenns was bait to capture Arie so they didn't really care if she made it back.


Posted Sep. 25, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
christineb

Join Date: 10/13/11

Posts: 106

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

In war nothing is sacred. I thought it was very believable that this could have happened in the desperation to capture Arie.


Posted Sep. 26, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 294

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

It was a different time, safety and precautions were not like today (carseats, playground equipment, seat belts, etc.). People were doing extraordinary things during WWII, so I didn't question Fenns jump as unusual at all. If something had to be done, they did it.


Posted Sep. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 57

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

I definitely agree with Navy Mom - they just got on with it, and their desperation to capture Arie was the main objective.


Posted Sep. 29, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 435

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

I have to admit that I found it unbelievable that they would just select a girl from a magic show and give her the responsibility of working in a highly classified area and then have her parachuting into enemy territory. But I found other chapters just as unbelievable. Her ability to move around an area so highly under the control of the Germans, her meetings with Willim, her trust in the rooming house owner. It seemed there was a lot of just plain luck.


Posted Oct. 03, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Missys

Join Date: 10/24/17

Posts: 46

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

Unbelievable to today's standards? Yes; Probable during WWII? Most definitely.
She was a woman being used a bait to catch a suspected spy in a war where everything was at stake. As stated above, she was expendable.


Posted Oct. 10, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
angelakuemmel

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 12

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

She was only supposed to be there for a week and wasn’t a radio operator plus she already knew Dutch. I couldn’t believe the dog didn’t find her!


Posted Oct. 17, 2022 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janett

Join Date: 03/23/22

Posts: 3

RE: Was Fenns parachuting into Holland ...

I actually think it is realistic. Women do things during wartime that would be beyond what is expected of women.


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