"Mission France" by Kate Vigurs

Mission France The True History of the Women of SOE Kate Vigurs

Format:
Hardback
Publication date:
23 Jun 2020
ISBN:
9780300208573
Imprint:
Yale University Press
Dimensions:
352 pages: 235 x 156mm
Illustrations:
24 b-w illus.
Sales territories:
World

Formed in 1940, Special Operations Executive was to coordinate Resistance work overseas. The organization’s F section sent more than four hundred agents into France, thirty-nine of whom were women. But while some are widely known—Violette Szabo, Odette Sansom, Noor Inayat Khan—others have had their stories largely overlooked.

Kate Vigurs interweaves for the first time the stories of all thirty-nine female agents. Tracing their journeys from early recruitment to work undertaken in the field, to evasion from, or capture by, the Gestapo, Vigurs shows just how greatly missions varied. Some agents were more adept at parachuting. Some agents’ missions lasted for years, others’ less than a few hours. Some survived, others were murdered. By placing the women in the context of their work with the SOE and the wider war, this history reveals the true extent of the differences in their abilities and attitudes while underlining how they nonetheless shared a common mission and, ultimately, deserve recognition both collectively and individually.

Kate Vigurs is a freelance historian, academic advisor, and researcher. Her postdoctoral research was used for the BBC World War One at Home series. Kate makes regular appearances on television and radio.