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"They flirted with men, and with death." In The Women Who Lived for Danger, acclaimed historian Marcus Binney recounts the story of ten remarkable women -- some famous, some virtually unknown -- recruited to work behind enemy lines as secret agents during WWII. Part of Winston Churchill's Special Operations Executive, formed in 1940 to "set Europe ablaze," the women of the SOE were trained to handle guns and explosives, work undercover, endure interrogation by the Gestapo, and use complex codes. Once in enemy territory, theirs was the most dangerous war of all, leading an apparently normal civilian life but in constant danger of arrest and execution. Passing themselves off as country wenches by afternoon and chic Parisiennes by night, these women put service to Britain and the Allied forces above all concerns for personal safety -- they organized dropping grounds for arms and explosives destined for the Resistance, helped operate escape lines for airmen who had been shot down over Europe, and provided Allied Command with vital intelligence.
The exploits of those chronicled in The Women Who Lived for Danger form a new chapter of heroism in the history of warfare matched only by their legacy of daring, determination, resourcefulness, and ability to stay cool in the face of extreme danger.
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