“We should not be wiped out!”
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said the Japanese attack on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor was, “The greatest day of the most horrible war.” The war had been going poorly for the Brits. Now the US would join the fight, which bolstered Churchill’s outlook. “We should not be wiped out!” he said.
But Virginia is now in greater danger . . .
American Virginia Hall was spying for British intelligence in Vichy France. She was relieved the US was finally in the fight but it would complicate her life. She could no longer use US neutrality as a shield when traveling through France. Americans would be placed under greater scrutiny by the German military and French secret police.
So she slips into the shadows.
Faced with greater danger, Virginia tightened her personal security. She wrote her last article for the New York Post in January 1942 and postmarked it, “Somewhere in France.” Then she changed residences from Lyon to the Hotel de la Paix in the capital, Vichy, and began using the name, Brigitte LeContre on her “official” documents.
Still, the Gestapo was watching . . .
Virginia sent a coded message to London in early January telling her spymasters that letters addressed to her had stopped arriving since America entered the war. Coded letters, frequently used secret writing or other enciphering techniques were an important method of communication between London and its agents in WWII France.
To see photos and learn more about Virginia’s life of espionage, click here: Virginia Hall blog.
What others are saying about “Hall of Mirrors— Virginia Hall: America’s Greatest Spy of WW II”:
“What pervades this novel like a miasma is the sensation of being a spy . . . A fascinating, electric account of a heroic woman.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Empowering!” Independent Review of Books
“Fascinating . . . Very satisfying,” Historical Novel Society
“A tremendous read!” General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.)
“Enthralling!”—Sarah Megan Thomas, Actress/Producer, “A Call to Spy.”