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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Researched, 4 Jan 2009
By 
S. Ricks (England) - See all my reviews
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Rita Kramer writes like a journalist and has researched thoroughly the 4 women who were murdered at Natzweiler concerntration camp. She delves deeply into the four women's lives before - after and during the war that ended so tragically for them. She details their betrayal and elaborates further on the duplicity of Henri Dericourt and SIS.
It is an interesting read - thoroughly researched.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flames in the field, 25 Feb 2013
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Passionate and engrossing, this book was well researched and asks some very pertinent questions about the work of the SOE.Some detail is lacking due to the secretive nature of the subject matter, but Rita Kramer has done much to ensure that the legacy of the four female agents depicted in the book lives on. Haunting in places, this book will undoubtedly make the reader acutely aware of the bravery,and occasional foolishness of the operatives sent to deal a blow to Nazism in occupied France.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written, very moving and fascinating, 17 Jan 2013
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This is a well written and well presented account of the SOE and the brave people who were part of the resistance movement. It also shows the good and bad along with the mishandling and cover-up in a very even handed way.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 16 Jan 2013
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I picked this up after reading The Spy Princess about the life of Noor Inayat Khan and wanting to know more. This book concentrates on the 4 women who were executed at Natsweiler concentration camp but also touches on other agents in the field. I thought it presented an excellent overview of SOE, the agents in the field, the double agents and balances it against the overall strategy of the war. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 23 Nov 2012
By 
RL Cloherty (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This story of four agents is quite fascinating. At times their efforts seem inadequately planned and poorly conducted, but overall it is a story of remakable adaptability by these women and almost unbelievable bravery. Obcviously it has a series of sad endings, but it is a fascinating story. Ultimately like many stories from that period it exposes almost inhuman cruelty defeated by quiet bravery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening, 16 Mar 2014
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This book traces the lives of four SOE operatives that were executed by the Nazis at the end of the war, who they were, what they did, and how they died. The book also includes others that they worked with. The tragedy is that they were willing to risk everything for freedom and were cruelly killed even though the Nazis knew the end was near. They would never know the outcome of the work that they and many others did during those dark years.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking tales of missing secret agents, 15 Feb 2014
By 
James Kemp (Merstham, Surrey, UK) - See all my reviews
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While this has lots of fascinating information about SOE Operations in France in WW2 it needs a better editor. The nature of the story, primarily of the secret operations in German occupied France in 1943 and the SD penetration of the SOE network, is one of many parallel threads and the uncovering of a mystery. So this makes it hard to just write a linear narrative, and the author has done a pretty good job of writing very readable prose that clearly explains what is going on. However there are a few places where the ordering of the material goes backwards within a few paragraphs and crucial pieces of information are given out of order.

The book shows an awful lot of research was done by the author, over a period of what seems to be years, and building on the work done by a number of predecessors. There is an academic level of referencing and footnotes. There are several distinct parts to the book. The first is a narrative on four women SOE agents killed by the nazis at Natzweiler, which then widens to encompass the others that were arrested around the same time and that shared their captivity in Fresnes and then Karlsruhe. Each of these women is identified and has their life story before joining SOE told. Where it is known this then leads up to how they were captured.

Another piece of the narrative are the attempts by others (initally Vera Atkins in 1945-6 and then Jean Overton Fuller) to find out what happened to the women after they were arrested. This then leads nicely into attempts to work out whether or not the women were betrayed, and if so by whom. There has been a lot of controversy about this, and many of the participants in the events have competing theories. Traitors in SOE, strategic deception and sacrifice by the British, french informers, poor operational security of the SOE agents, German counter-intelligence competence. Each of these is disected in turn, sometimes adding new perspectives to help rule them in/out.

Lastly there is some discussion of the post-war discoveries as the secrets kept for 20-30 years following the war started to come out. How the revelations around both Ultra intelligence and the British strategic deception plans changed how the events of 1943 are interpreted to modern eyes.

On a content basis this should be a five star book, it draws together all the earlier sources and is well written. However the structure lets it down, and makes it harder to assimilate. It reads like the collected notes of the author more than as a structured narrative.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 31 Jan 2014
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Brings home the role some women played in the war. Bravery beyond my understanding, sad that so many lost their lives so horrifically.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flames in the field., 26 Nov 2013
This review is from: Flames in the Field (Kindle Edition)
This was an excellent read. I could not put it down. I would recommend this book . Very interesting and brave young women who lost there lives to betrayal .
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5.0 out of 5 stars loved it, 15 Nov 2013
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this was a very interesting book,one never knows what ordinary people have done in this world very good reading.well worth buying.
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