The Transylvania Times -

Former CIA Officer Writes Of America's Greatest WWII Spy

 

June 27, 2019



Pisgah Forest novelist and former CIA senior officer Craig Gralley has written a new book about America’s greatest spy of World War II, a disabled woman from Baltimore named Virginia Hall.

The American spy, unknown until recently, is the subject of Gralley’s book, “Hall of Mirrors.” A book launch event was held at his home the evening of Sunday, June 23. Forty invited guests heard Gralley tell Hall’s incredible story — how, despite having lost her left leg in a hunting accident, she was recruited by British intelligence to become the Allies’ first resident spy in WWII France.

In presenting Hall’s story, Gralley told how she established an extensive network of agents and saboteurs, assisted downed airmen and conducted jailbreaks to free allied prisoners. Eventually betrayed, wanted posters bearing her likeness were posted over France, calling her, “The most dangerous allied agent.” Hunted by Gestapo Chief Klaus Barbie (nicknamed the “Butcher of Lyon”), Hall was forced to flee over the snow-capped Pyrenees to freedom in Spain, dragging her prosthetic limb 50 miles.

Despite her harrowing escape, she demanded to return. At first her request was denied, but the newly created American intelligence organization, the Office of Strategic Services, needed her expertise. Despite the dangers, Hall returned to France, and behind the lines, led 1,500 French resistance fighters in sabotage operations that 75 years ago helped to secure the success of the Allies’ D-Day invasion.

Gralley’s book, which took six years to research and write, takes advantage of his 30-year career with the Central Intelligence Agency. He used documents from the CIA’s files, the American and British archives, and conducted interviews with the last relative who knew Hall. His recent book tour took him to the Washington, D.C. area.

“Hall of Mirrors” is available in Highland Books.

 
 

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019