Monday, June 27, 2022

Try these

First the collage:

Obviously need you to identify them, think you already know what they did in WW2 so not asking that. Two of the above were executed after betrayal, one made it back to Blighty, one was a Mata Hari type and was eventually stabbed to death by one lover too many she used and discarded.  Which?

This next bit is not quiz - it's about "Vera Atkins: The Most Powerful Woman in the History of Espionage" as Vanity Fair put it, calling her badass and eulogising and drooling over her.

But I'm not eulogising this person.  She was a tall, bombastic woman who never went into the field, she coordinated from a safehouse, admittedly not all that safe, the man nominally over her was also inefficient and the result was that dozens of agents went to their deaths on their account, that pair ... which she totally refused to accept till the end.  She was not well liked, and yet Vanity Fair wrote what it did, as she's the darling of the feminazi men.

The credit for the capture was not just down to their inefficiency but also to the remarkable efficiency of the German officer tasked with infiltration ... unfortunately, he did it too well.

Take another one, actually in the field, first name Noor ... now she really was a heroine, badly mistreated by the Germans, far too trusting for an agent, a genuinely nice girl, yet defiant and did not give up any core info before her grubby execution along with three other women.


  1. Bottom right - Dame Anna Neagle playing Odette Sansom - she made it back alive. Her hubby didn't.

    1. Right. One is Violette, another Krystyna, the other Cecily.

    2. Top left Violette Szabo. She was executed. Her hubby was killed in action early on in the war. It was her hubby I was thinking of not Odette's. She divorced Sansom and married her handler.

    3. Krystina - aka Christine Granville, was the first woman to work for Britain as a special agent during the Second World War. She was also the longest-serving. Churchill's fave. What happened to her?

      Cecily Le..... arrived in France in June 1943 and was a courier, code named "Alice,' for SOE's (Jockey) network (or circuit). She was arrested by the Gestapo in September 1943 and deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp.

    4. Krystina - stabbed by a spurned lover.
      Took a bit of "efort" to find Cecily. She got sick and asked for a transfer to another camp where she was gassed.

    5. I made a mistake They called that pic top right Cecily Lefort but in fact, it was Lilian Rolfe:

      She and Szabo could not walk by the time they were executed.