London still functioned, but it was a very different place in wartime. German bombs had destroyed two million homes, every window was blacked out, food was scarce, lawns had been dug up for vegetables, many of the men were enlisted, most of the children had been sent to live with strangers in the countryside, and those office workers probably each had a gas mask beside their deckchairs.
Following the Battle of Britain, Hitler abandoned his invasion plans and turned his armies against his former ally, the USSR. Operation Barbarossa began on 22 June 1941, and turned into the most costly and devastating military campaign in history. 4.5 million troops attacked along a 1,800 mile front.
Ultimately, it failed - just as Napoleon's invasion of Russia failed - because Hitler had underestimated both the strength of Soviet resistance and the ferocity of the Russian winter. The German army lost over 700,000 men in the first five months.
However, unlike Napoleon, the German army remained in possession of significant tracts of the USSR, and long after Operation Barbarossa concluded in January 1942 the two armies clashed over cities such as Voronezh and Stalingrad. Over 5 million Axis troops died on the Eastern Front, along with 9 million Soviet troops. Civilian deaths have been estimated at 15 million. It was a war of extermination.
A special squadron of black-painted Lysanders was formed to support the SOE's missions into Occupied France.
The aircraft was named after the Spartan general who defeated the Athenians in 405BC.
from Spy Princess – The Life of Noor Inyat Khan by Shrabani Basu
Louveciennes was a traditional French village that has now been absorbed into the western suburbs of Paris. It was a favourite subject for the Impressionist artists Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)and Camille Pissarro (1830-1903).
Pissarro eventually settled there with his family in 1866. Renoir and Monet also painted in the area.