Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent

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Chicago Review Press, Aug 1, 2013 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 184 pages
20 Reviews

 

There was a full moon on the evening of September 22, 1943, when Pearl Witherington, age 29, parachuted into France to aid the French Resistance as a special agent for the British Special Operations Executive (SOE). Out of the 400 agents sent to France during the German occupation, 39 were women. Pearl, whom the SOE called “cool and resourceful and extremely determined” and “the best shot, male or female, we have yet had,” became one of the most celebrated female World War II resistance fighters.

In Code Name Pauline Pearl describes in a series of plainspoken reminiscences her difficult childhood and harrowing escape from France in 1940; her recruitment and training as a special agent; the logistics and dangers of posing as a cosmetics saleswoman to make her way around the country as an undercover courier; and both failed and successful attempts at sabotaging the Nazis. She tells how, when the leader of her network was caught by the Gestapo, she became “Pauline” and rose to command a 3,500-strong band of French Resistance fighters.

With an annotated list of key figures, an appendix of original unedited interview extracts—including Pearl’s husband Henri’s story—and never-before-published photographs from Pearl’s personal collection, Code Name Pauline will captivate World War II buffs of any age and, just as Pearl wished, inspire young people.

  

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Review: Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent

User Review  - Wanda - Goodreads

This is a short account of the Resistance movement in France during WWII. You get to read about Pearl's experience as well as her husband's. Read full review

Review: Code Name Pauline: Memoirs of a World War II Special Agent

User Review  - William K - Goodreads

Code Name Pauline is an autobiography of the experience of Pearl Witherington, a WWII Allied spy working with the Resistance. I liked this book because the story is detailed and real. Pearl grew up in ... Read full review

Contents

Prologue
3
1 A Difficult Childhood
5
2 Courtship with Henri Cornioley
15
3 Escape from France
19
4 Training and Preparation in the Ranks of the SOE
31
5 Parachuting into Occupied France
39
6 Courier Missions Code Names and Covers
49
7 The Michelin Factory Affair
61
12 Postwar Life
103
13 Righting Wrongs
113
Conclusion
121
Epilogue by Raymond Billard Gaspard
123
Acknowledgments
125
Key Figures
127
Extracts from Original Interviews
133
Notes
165

8 Arrest of a Resistance Leader
67
9 The Battle of Les Souches
73
10 Organizing the Maquis
81
11 Into the Forest
95
Bibliography
173
Index
175
Copyright

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About the author (2013)

Pearl Witherington Cornioley joined the Special Operations Executive in 1943 and worked with the French Resistance as an undercover courier and later, under the code name “Pauline,” as a network leader of 3,500 men. She was instrumental in the carrying out of numerous acts of sabotage during World War II.   Kathryn J. Atwood is the author of Women Heroes of World War II. She has contributed to Midwest Book Review; BookPleasures.com; PopMatters.com; and War, Literature, and the Arts.

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