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Despite doubts about her suitability, she was flown to France in June 1943 to become the radio operator for the 'Prosper' resistance network in Paris, using the codename 'Madeleine' and with the famous instruction to 'set Europe ablaze'.
Many members of the network were arrested shortly afterwards but she chose to remain in France and, frequently changing her appearance and alias, she spent the summer moving from place to place, trying to relay messages back to London.
Despite carrying a passport of an imperial subject, Khan had no loyalty to Britain.
But she and her brother Vilayat despised the greater evil of Nazi Germany and fled to England after the fall of France.
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A picture in a Dachau concentration camp exhibition shows an execution of inmates, and, above right, camp commandant Wilhelm Ruppert who was hanged for war crimes in 1946.
In November 1943, she was sent to Pforzheim prison in Germany where she was kept in chains and in solitary confinement.
Despite repeated torture, she refused to reveal any information and in September 1944, Khan and three other female SOE agents were transferred to Dachau where they were shot.
For ten months she was tortured by the Gestapo desperate for any information about SOE operations, but she stood firm and was eventually executed at Dachau concentration camp on September 13, 1944, aged just 30.
And, mainly due to the efforts of her biographer Shrabani Basu, her bravery is finally to be permanently recognised in England with a bronze bust in central London, close to the Bloomsbury house where she lived as a child.