Based on exciting new, and previously unpublished, research the book reclaims the stories of women in the field of military and civilian intelligence, with primary focus on the Second World War. From the women of Bletchley Park and signals intelligence, two thirds of whom were women, to clandestine missions behind enemy lines, the book will provide a major study in the field. In earlier research for The Walls Have Ears, Helen highlighted the unusual roles of the women working in a tri-services setting at three secret bugging sites in Britain. Woven through this, will be a thread of how the inter-services cooperation in intelligence worked and achieved results; how all of the above related to each other, and areas where rivalries between departments and services became a block to successful intelligence work.
Claude Dansey (deputy head MI6) was opposed to women becoming agents, but even he had to concede; arranging for the Comtesse de Milleville (aka Mary Lindell) to be the first woman to be trained with the top secret section of MI9. She went on to save the two surviving Cockleshell Heroes of Operation Frankton [Commando Raid]. Hers was not an isolated story, as attested by the legacy of the brave female agents of SOE across many theatres of the war. With the public fascination with agents and spies unabated, the book examines what marks out women in key roles of espionage, if anything, from their male counterparts. The book showcases the inspirational, and oft hidden bravery, leadership and heroism – and their ethos of defiance.
Helen Fry was raised in North Devon and went on to graduate from the University of Exeter with a degree and Ph.D. She has written over 25 books on the Second World War with particular reference to the 10,000 Germans and Austrians who fought for Britain, and intelligence, espionage and prisoners of war. Her highly acclaimed book The Walls Have Ears: The Greatest Intelligence Operation of WWII was in the top 8 Daily Mail’s Books of the Year in War, and has been optioned for film. It has been the subject of numerous documentaries and continues to receive media attention.&n...
More about Helen Fry