Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the by David Stafford

By David Stafford

This ebook is the 1st basic examine of SOE operations in Europe to were written utilizing the wartime records now on hand. even though SOE files stay closed, the writer has used a variety of different resources to provide what's prone to stay for a while the single comparative learn of Britain’s direct actual hyperlinks with resistance in occupied Europe, that's set firmly within the wider strategic and diplomatic context of the conflict.

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Additional resources for Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the Special Operations Executive, with Documents

Example text

In November 1940 he was to be found telling his senior officials that 'if the Germans were in occupation of Great Britain, and he were trying to organise a movement against them, he would choose people like his own constituents, the Durham miners, ' 5 and he was quick on occasion to suspect that his senior officials in SOE, many of whom came from banking and the legal profession, were prejudiced against mobilising left-wing and Labour elements in Europe. There was a particularly acrimonious internal row in 1941 over the apparent reluctance and then failure of SOE French section to persuade Leon Jouhaux, the doyen of French syndicalism, to co-operate with SOE.

This link between resistance strategy and political objective was explicitly recognised by SOE in an appreciation of the factors governing its operations written in 1943. 'u And that Britain was committed to assisting their return home was incontrovertible. To say that the British government was committed to the restoration of the European governments, however, is not to deny the pragmatic nature of British foreign policy, nor to overlook that the need for some change in the European states' system was accepted in the Foreign Office.

In short, where 38 Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945 bureaucratic in-fighting was concerned SOE was at a severe disadvantage. Moreover, SOE was at a positive disadvantage for the first two years of its existence as it was dependent on SIS for its personnel, technical assistance in matters such as the production of forged documents, and communications. So far as this last item was concerned, W/T sets were in short supply, and W /T traffic was controlled by SIS. Under an agreement reached between SOE and SIS in September 1940 all SOE's W /T traffic was to be handled through SIS which was given the right to accept or reject it.

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