Gender, Passing and the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War

256pp 22 ILLUS 3 TABLES 2007 LIST PRICE: £55.00 H420



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This examination of gender relations in wartime uses the Special Operations Executive (SOE) as a case study. Drawing on personal testimonies, as well as official records and film, it explores the extraordinary experiences of male and female agents who were recruited and trained to infiltrate Nazi-occupied France to encourage sabotage and subversion during the Second World War. With its original interpretation of a wealth of primary sources, it examines how these civilians were transformed into para-military secret agents and shows how SOE veterans reconstruct their wartime experiences of recruitment, training, clandestine work and captivity, focusing specifically upon the significance of gender and their attempts to pass as French civilians. The book is a major contribution to British socio-cultural history and war studies.