Secret War (Hardback)
The Story of SOE - Britain's Wartime Sabotage Organisation
What did SOE really achieve during the Second World War? Why were so many agents parachuted into enemy hands? Who chose to back Communist guerrillas in Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Greece and Malaya in preference to other anti-Axis movements? In this new and revised edition Nigel West strips away the secrecy that has surrounded the Special Operations Executive since it was officially wound up in 1946, and reveal the breath-taking political naivety, operational incompetence and ruthless manipulation. Despite the heroism of individual agents who suffered appalling privation to further the organisation’s dubious objectives, there is an underlying tragedy of dreadful proportions.
Secret War is a detailed analysis of SOE’s structure and performance and describes its successes and failures across the globe. The book casts doubt on the official histories authorised by the Cabinet Office and offers evidence of the setbacks that jeopardized D-Day and gives an account of the paramilitary units dropped behind enemy lines immediately after the invasion which saved SOE’s reputation.
This book is a highly provocative but authoritative history of the organisation that existed for less than six years but was to have a lasting impact on the world’s post-war development.
In the archives of the Special Operations Executive lay a report compiled by a staff officer and former member of SOE's French Section, Major Robert Bourne-Patterson, that until recently could not be published. Because of the highly sensitive nature of the work undertaken by the SOE, the paper was treated as confidential and its circulation was strictly limited to selected personnel. Now, at last, it can be made available to the general public. Limited, also, was the time available to Bourne-Patterson in compiling his report in 1946 as the SOE was being wound up and many documents were being ‘weeded’…By Major Robert Bourne-Patterson
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