- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd; 1st Edition edition (16 Mar. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0850526337
- ISBN-13: 978-0850526332
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 811,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Obedience to Instructions: FANY with the SOE in the Mediterranean Hardcover – 16 Mar 1999
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This is the story of the two seemingly different organisations which both played vital roles in the Second World War, the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY) and the Special Operations Executive (SOE).'
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The FANYs were a voluntary organisation and thus not bound by military conventions. Therein lies their contribution to SOE. Unlike the women in the other services (the ATS, WAAF, WRNS), Margaret Pawley notes that the FANYs were able to bear arms and because of this, the women agents of SOE were seconded to the FANY as a cover for their activities.
Perhaps one of the great strengths of her book is that she demonstrates considerable command over the political intrigues occurring at any given time in the War, into which she stylishly interweaves the testimony of both her own wartime experiences and those of her respondents. What is innovative about this book is the way in which the focus continually centres on the FANY coders, secretaries, wireless operators, conducting officers, drivers and orderlies and not the women agents, who have received attention elsewhere. Margaret Pawley does not slip into a chronicle of the women agents in order to make her book more marketable, but retains the 'backroom girls' as her focus.
It is a fascinating book and well worth a read.