Women of SOE

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Gage, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. marek_pk

    marek_pk Senior Member

    For those in the UK. "Odette" is on Channel 4, Thursday 23rd March at 1.25pm.
    It's about Frenchwoman Odette Churchill, SOE agent.
    She was captured and tortured by the Germans.
     
  2. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    For those in the UK. "Odette" is on Channel 4, Thursday 23rd March at 1.25pm.
    It's about Frenchwoman Odette Churchill, SOE agent.
    She was captured and tortured by the Germans.

    Thanks Marek, damn, gonna be at work. A good film, worth a watch. See page 2 of this thread for a bit of info.
    How did you get on with the book about Christine Granville?:)
     
  3. marek_pk

    marek_pk Senior Member

    How did you get on with the book about Christine Granville?:)

    Not quite finished yet. But good so far.


    She saved the lives of SOE agents Francis Cammaerts & Xan Fielding.


    At great risk to herself she used threats, her powers of persuasion and a bribe of 2 million francs to a Gestapo liaison officer to get the men released.


    Marek
     
  4. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Not quite finished yet. But good so far.


    She saved the lives of SOE agents Francis Cammaerts & Xan Fielding.


    At great risk to herself she used threats, her powers of persuasion and a bribe of 2 million francs to a Gestapo liaison officer to get the men released.


    Marek

    I've heard of Francis Cammaerts. I'll do a bit of research to refresh my memory. Thanks mate.
     
  5. Marina

    Marina Senior Member

    I see Pearl Cornioley(nee Witherington), ex SOE, was awarded her paratrooper's wings today.
    Marina
     
  6. Kitty

    Kitty Very Senior Member

    Only 60 years late. Probably entrusted to Royal Mail to deliver...;)
     
  7. Marina

    Marina Senior Member

    :) wouldn't surprise me!
    But apparently, to get the wings, you have to have made five jumps. She had three training jumps, then one into France, so didn't qualify.
    Marina
     
  8. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I see Pearl Cornioley(nee Witherington), ex SOE, was awarded her paratrooper's wings today.
    Marina

    Thanks for the info, Marina. About time. A very brave woman.:) :) :)
     
  9. Fresearcher

    Fresearcher Junior Member

    There is a new book out about the SOE. It is called The Grand Prix Saboteurs and is the true story of three Grand Prix racing drivers who became SOE agents in France. It is a really extraordinary story including some shocking revelations from search about some of the most famous SOE agents in France. For more details see www.morienval.com.
     
  10. marek_pk

    marek_pk Senior Member

    From 12-4-2006
    I see Pearl Cornioley(nee Witherington), ex SOE, was awarded her paratrooper's wings today.

    From Wikipedia : -

    After the war, Witherington was recommended for the Military Cross, but as a woman, she was ineligible and instead was awarded the civil MBE. Witherington returned the medal, noting that her service was military, not civil.

    Good that things have changed.
    Marek
     
  11. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Hi everybody.
    I'm new and just learning about forums. I wondered what people thought about women being used as agents for SOE. I know a lot didn't survive the war, as they were denounced and then murdered at camps like Ravensbruck. Was it worth it? Did they make a difference?
    I would much like to hear people's thoughts on this subject. Cheers.


    This was one of my first threads and I thought what the current members now thought to my (see above) original question?
     
  12. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    The women of SOE made a great contribution to the Resistance in France and Belgium, because of their gender they were able to operate more easily than men, their contribution to the war and their suffering helped break the glass ceiling for women in the Services and in many ways their suffering and sacrifice ensured the study of SOE would be in the public forum
     
    brithm likes this.
  13. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    The women of SOE made a great contribution to the Resistance in France and Belgium, because of their gender they were able to operate more easily than men, their contribution to the war and their suffering helped break the glass ceiling for women in the Services and in many ways their suffering and sacrifice ensured the study of SOE would be in the public forum

    Do you think SOE would have still used women knowing how many would not return?
     
  14. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I think so - women were in the main a success - some should not have been sent, but were sent despite adverse training recommendations, and that they were sent was a tragedy - later (from late 1943) all trainees had to pass the SAB - Student Assessment Board which improved the quality of those selected immeasurably.
     
  15. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    I think so - women were in the main a success - some should not have been sent, but were sent despite adverse training recommendations, and that they were sent was a tragedy

    You mean Noor Inayat Khan? Anybody else?
     
  16. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Noor is one who should not have gone Col Spooner of the Training Section failed her but he was over-ruled by Buckmaster of F Section beacuse of her lack of security the Germans got all her message traffic and codes - by and large it was the earlier deployments that caused problems due to gaps in training etc.
     
  17. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Noor is one who should not have gone Col Spooner of the Training Section failed her but he was over-ruled by Buckmaster of F Section beacuse of her lack of security the Germans got all her message traffic and codes - by and large it was the earlier deployments that caused problems due to gaps in training etc.

    Was Buckmaster really upto the job? Radio protocol was ignored at critical times especially when an operator was compromised.
     
  18. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    Call me a Conspiracy Theorist but there were some strange lapses that signals picked up on but that the Country Sections ignored, Holland is the best known lapse but they also happened in France and Belgium. I sometimes wonder if people were sacrificed in the name of deception . . .
     
  19. JJHH

    JJHH Member

    Call me a Conspiracy Theorist but there were some strange lapses that signals picked up on but that the Country Sections ignored, Holland is the best known lapse but they also happened in France and Belgium. I sometimes wonder if people were sacrificed in the name of deception . . .

    Exactly my thoughts. Englandspiel or Germany game?
     
  20. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As regards France there has long been conjecture that the "amateur" side was sacrificed by the professionals to further intelligence gains over the Germans.

    The suspicion that Col Claude Dansey interferred in SOE matters and the handling and the freedom afforded to Henri Dericourt to associate with the SD has led some to link SOE network collapses, such as that of the Prosper network with British intelligence deception.
     

Share This Page