This is the fourth in a series of four lectures for the Virtual Spring 2021 Richmond Hill Speaker Series, presented in partnership with the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts.
By the time the war broke out in Europe in September 1939, women had long been involved in the shadowy world of spies. Yet, the intelligence community was still an all-male operation. World War II ended up offering women new opportunities. The various resistance movements in Western Europe, together with the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) created by Winston Churchill, called on women's determination and courage to conduct some of the boldest covert operations. In occupied France and Belgium, women came to play a crucial role. We will take a look at a few of those remarkable women and how they helped win WW2.
Olivier Courteaux received his B.A. in history, M.A. in war and conflict studies and Ph.D. in contemporary international relations from the University of Paris-Sorbonne. He has lectured at various Canadian universities, including Ryerson and the Royal Military College of Canada. He is the author of The War on Terror: the Canadian Dilemma (2009), Canada Between Vichy and Free France, 1940-1945 (2013) and Quatre Journées qui ébranlèrent le Québec on Charles de Gaulle’s famous 1967 “Vive le Québec Libre” (2017). His is working on his latest book, The Empress Eugenie at Suez, 1869: France and Egypt during the Second Empire.