15 February 2019
Following on from last month’s cover feature on the SOE, here’s a tale of Mathilde Carré and her involvement with the French Resistances, British Intelligence and German Abwehr.
Author: DAVID TREMAIN
Reviewed by: Duncan Evans
Following on from last month’s cover feature on the SOE, here’s a tale of Mathilde Carré and her involvement with the French Resistances, British Intelligence and German Abwehr. This was a woman who played all sides and was only really faithful to herself. She was initially employed by the Interallié network which was run by the Polish Secret Service in France. However, in November 1941 she was arrested by the Abwehr and became one of their main double agents. She was quite happy to betray colleagues and act as a honey trap for the Gestapo but her motivations for doing so were quite complex, as the author labours to explain.
It’s somewhat inevitable that with four years of occupation, France would be a hotbed of intrigue with competing ideologies working to rid themselves of the Germans but also to win influence for themselves. Tremain does a good job of picking through the very tangled web of intrigue, sidestepping away from the subject to explain more about some of the people she was dealing with and, often, subsequently betraying. It’s dense reading at times, but for fans of espionage and dangerous women, it’s a fascinating look behind the largely romanticised notions of WWII secret agents.
• The History Press
• 492 pages • Hardback • £25
As reviewed in The Armourer February 2019
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