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Special Agent Christine Granville – ‘The spy who loved …’

On this day in 1939, just a few months after the Nazi invasion of Poland that had marked the start of WWII, a determined Polish Countess and former beauty queen marched in to British secret service headquarters and demanded to be sent on an active mission. ‘She is a flaming Polish patriot, an expert skier and great adventuress…’ the startled British officer reported, ‘I really believe we have a PRIZE’.

Countess Krystyna Skarbek is now better known in Britain by her adopted name of Christine Granville of which, she later wrote, she was ‘rather proud’. When she volunteered for service …