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

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Chicago Review Press, Aug 1, 2013 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 208 pages
3 Reviews
In 1943 a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) report called agent-in-training Pearl Witherington "cool and resourceful and extremely determined" and "the best shot, male or female, we have yet had." Soon after, 29-year-old Witherington parachuted into Nazi-occupied France and posed as a traveling cosmetics saleswoman to make her way around the country as an SOE courier. 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. She went on to become one of the most celebrated female agents in SOE history. In Code Name Pauline Witherington's remarkable story is told in her own words. In a series of reminiscences she describes her difficult childhood and harrowing escape from France in 1940, her recruitment and training as a special agent, the logistics and dangers of working as an undercover courier, failed and successful attempts at sabotaging the Nazis, and much more. Editor Kathryn J. Atwood provides helpful context and background on the SOE and the French Resistance. Also included are an annotated list of key figures; an appendix of original, unedited interview extracts; and previously unpublished photographs and documents.   Pearl Witherington Cornioley (1914-2008) worked for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) as a special agent and with the French Resistance as an undercover courier and later a network leader of 3,500 men. She was instrumental in carrying out numerous acts of espionage and sabotage. Kathryn J. Atwood is the author of Women Heroes of World War II and has contributed to War, Literature, and the Arts and Midwest Book Review.  
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mancmilhist - LibraryThing

This is a dry and unemotional account of a female SOE agent. Told in her own words you can hear the stiff upper lip and the way that people of that period try to make everything that they did sound so ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LaPrieta2 - LibraryThing

4P, 4Q (my VOYA codes). I found this book to be an easy read with easily understandable language, thus I think a 4 in quality is fitting as well as many people who enjoy reading non-fiction works ... 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
Back Cover
185
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. She lives in the suburbs of Chicago.

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