Forgotten voices of the secret war
Roderick Bailey has trawled through hundreds of testimonies held by the Imperial War Museum (IWM) to present an agent’s-eye view in Forgotten Voices of the Secret War. Like other books in the IWM’s Forgotten Voices series, Bailey’s inspiring book is arranged both chronologically and thematically, providing a patchwork portrait of what it was like to be involved in some of the most daring missions of World War II.
. . .Anyone who wants to understand why and how so many apparently ordinary people displayed such extraordinary courage and determination should read Perrin’s book. This kind of behaviour was well known to readers in the 1950s and 60s, when there was a proliferation of memoirs and biographies of SOE agents, many of them in the heroic mould. Most of the literature of the self-sacrifice and comradeship that existed during the war has since faded from view; Perrin’s book makes an admirable (re)introduction to this forgotten world.
The effect of the operations conducted by 5,000 SOE agents during World War II were, to paraphrase a Frenchman, "the match that lit the fire". Some of those agents were women.