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The Spy Who Loved: the secrets and lives of one of Britain's bravest wartime heroines

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In July 1944, she parachuted into France to join the resistance in the Vercors region as lieutenant to Francis Cammaerts – one of Britain’s top agents and the key leader in that area. That evening, Cammaerts, Fielding, and Sorensen were marched out of the prison by Waem, dressed in his SS uniform.

Marcus Binney, The Women Who Lived for Danger: The Women Agents of SOE in the Second World War, London, Hodder and Stoughton, 2002, ISBN 0340818409. Indeed, Krystyna's love life was equally adventurous with a string of passionate affairs, including one with one-legged Polish war hero Andrzej Kowerski who used the nom de guerre Anthony Kennedy. On one voyage she had a brief affair with another steward, Dennis Muldowney, who became obsessed with her. However, it never saw wartime service with the Allies, as the designs and specifications had deliberately been destroyed upon the outbreak of war and there was no time for reverse engineering. In late February, Skarbek and Kowerski continued their journey in the Opel, first to Sofia, Bulgaria.A British Embassy driver smuggled Skarbek out of Hungary and into Yugoslavia in the trunk of O'Malley's Chrysler. Masson eventually received the support of the group to publish a "scrubbed" version of Granville's life. She proved to be very bad at wireless transmitting and hated firearms training, but she loved parachuting.

I bought it after I saw Clare Mulley give a talk on the life of Christine Granville and after half an hour of detailing one impossible feat of heroics after another, Mulley confessed she'd barely got started. In January 1941, when Britain's ambassador to Budapest, Sir Owen O'Malley, produced passports in false names for Skarbek and her partner Andrzej Kowerski, the two Poles chose the names "Christine Granville" and "Andrew Kennedy". Upon their arrival at SOE offices in Cairo, Kowerski and Skarbek learned they were under suspicion because of Skarbek's contacts with the Polish intelligence organisation, the Musketeers.

Her activities however had been noted by the relevant authorities and a reward for her capture was offered across Poland. Skarbek biographer Clare Mulley, however, wrote that, "if Christine was immortalised as the carelessly beautiful double agent Vesper Lynd, Fleming is more likely to have been inspired by the stories he heard than the woman in person. With a mix of charm, money, threats and the story she was the niece of General Montgomery, she successfully persuaded the Gestapo chief to release them – whatever the odds she got the job done.

Although she was temperamental, we remained friends; I preferred to build a pleasant atmosphere full of fun and wild whimsy with her at a restaurant or dance hall table, rather than to dally with her. Christine’s bravery had been instrumental in saving countless lives and keeping the resistance movement throughout Europe sustained during the most difficult times of the war.Now without regular employment she found herself working on a cruise ship as a stewardess where she caught the interest of fellow ship worker, Dennis Muldowney. At fourteen, he had quarrelled with his father, run away from home, and worked in the United States as a cowboy and gold prospector.

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