Books – Espionage

Her Finest Hour: The Heroic Life of Diana Rowden, Wartime Secret Agent
By Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell
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Diana Rowden was a woman of the finest character. As an agent with the Special Operations Executive (SOE), she was dropped into France alongside Noor Inayat Khan and worked in the Resistance stronghold of the Franche-Comté department. Hunted at every turn by the Gestapo, Diana worked tirelessly for the Allied war effort, sabotaging the Nazi-requisitioned Peugeot factory and providing the British military with frequent radio messages. In the ultimate tale of intrigue, Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell relates how Diana's escapades ended up in betrayal by one of her own colleagues, and the final desperation of the concentration camps—murdered by her captors with the end of the war in sight. This full biography, untold until now, attempts for the first time to honor Diana's service to her country. At a time when the use of female spies was controversial and marred by establishment prejudices, Diana's tragic life is here given its full recognition. Although she was later mentioned in Dispatches and awarded an MBE and the Croix de Guerre, she has all but vanished from the annals of WWII history.