Her Finest Hour

Title:                      Her Finest Hour

Author:                 Gabrielle McDonald-Rothwell

McDonald-Rothwell, Gabrielle (2017). Her Finest Hour: The Heroic Life of Diana Rowden, Wartime Secret Agent. The Hill Merrywalks, Stroud UK: Amberley



Date Posted:      April 24, 2017

Reviewed in The Intelligencer[1]

Diana Rowden was an agent with the Special Operations Executive (SOE), dropped into France alongside Noor Inayat Khan and worked in the Resistance stronghold of the Franche-Comte 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. She was betrayed by one of her own colleagues, and faced desperation in 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 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.

[1] Reviewed in The Intelligencer: Journal of U.S. Intelligence Studies (22, 3, Winter 2016-17, p. 134).

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