A groundbreaking history of women in British intelligence, revealing their pivotal role across the first half of the twentieth century
From the twentieth century onward, women took on an extraordinary range of roles in intelligence, defying the conventions of their time. Across both world wars, far from being a small part of covert operations, women ran spy networks and escape lines, parachuted behind enemy lines, and interrogated prisoners. And, back in Bletchley and Whitehall, women’s vital administrative work in MI offices kept the British war engine running.
In this major, panoramic history, Helen Fry looks at the rich and varied work women undertook as civilians and in uniform. From spies in the Belgian network “La Dame Blanche,” knitting coded messages into jumpers, to those who interpreted aerial images and even ran entire sections, Fry shows just how crucial women were in the intelligence mission. Filled with hitherto unknown stories, Women in Intelligence places new research on record for the first time and showcases the inspirational contributions of these remarkable women.
Historian and biographer Helen Fry is the author of The Walls Have Ears, Spymaster, MI9, and more than twenty books on intelligence, prisoners of war, and the social history of World War II. She appears regularly in media interviews and podcasts and has been involved in numerous documentaries.
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