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The true story of women agents of the secret World War II Special Operations Executive, mandated by Winston Churchill to "set Europe ablaze" by organizing resistance in occupied Europe during the prelude to D Day. Intrigue and heroism, adventure and betrayal figure in this account of British-led efforts to defeat the Nazis in wartime France, based on extensive research in records, documents, letters and memoirs, and the author's interviews with surviving agents and officials. Despite sporadic defeat and betrayal, SOE leaders managed to delay the arrival of German reinforcements to the Normandy beachhead, contributing to the eventual Allied victory. Details of the operations of SOE recounted here remained secret for decades after the war, finally revealing the human cost of the reconnaissance and sabotage efforts that helped to shorten the conflict.