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No Moon as Witness (Hardback)

Missions of the SOE and OSS in World War II

WWII > Espionage & the SOE

By James Stejskal
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 208
Illustrations: 25-30
ISBN: 9781612009520
Published: 15th May 2021

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Winston Churchill famously instructed the head of the Special Operations Executive to “Set Europe ablaze!” Agents of both the British Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services underwent rigorous training before making their way, undetected, into Occupied Europe. Working alone or in small cells, often cooperating with local resistance groups, agents undertook missions behind enemy lines involving sabotage, subversion, organizing resistance groups and intelligence-gathering.

 

The SOE’s notable successes included the destruction of a power station in France, the assassination of Himmler’s deputy Reinhard Heyrich, and ending the Nazi atomic bomb program by destroying the heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway. OSS operatives established anti-Nazi resistance groups across Europe, and managed to smuggle operatives into Nazi Germany, including running one of the war's most important spies, German diplomat Fritz Kolbe.

 

All of their missions were incredibly dangerous and many agents were captured, tortured, and ultimately killed – the life expectancy of an SOE wireless operator in occupied France was just six weeks.

 

In No Moon as Witness, historian James Stejskal examines why these agencies were established, the training regimen and ingenious tools developed to enable agents to undertake their missions, their operational successes, and their legacy.

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About James Stejskal

James Stejskal, after 35 years of service with US Army Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency, is a uniquely qualified historian and novelist. He is the author of the definitive history: Special Forces Berlin Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956–1990 and Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz. This is his third novel.

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