Lynne Olson on Women in the Resistance In WWII
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A New York Times bestselling author of nine books of history, Lynne Olson has been called (by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright) “our era’s foremost chronicler of World War II politics and diplomacy.”
In her book on Marie-Madeleine Fourcade, the Frenchwoman and mother of two who became leader of a vast Resistance intelligence organization in France, Olson explores one of the most crucial and effective spy networks during World War II.
No other French spy network lasted as long or supplied as much crucial intelligence, including providing American and British military commanders with a 55-foot-long map of the beaches and roads on which the Allies would land on D-Day, showing every German gun emplacement, fortification, and beach obstacle along the Normandy coast. The Gestapo pursued Fourcade and Alliance relentlessly, capturing, torturing, and executing hundreds of Fourcade’s three thousand agents. Although Fourcade moved her headquarters every few weeks, constantly changing her hair color, clothing, and identity, she was captured twice by the Nazis. Both times she escaped, once by slipping naked through the bars of her jail cell — and continued to hold her network together even as it repeatedly threatened to crumble around her.