By David Stafford
This e-book is the 1st basic examine of SOE operations in Europe to were written utilizing the wartime records now to be had. even supposing SOE records stay closed, the writer has used quite a lot of different resources to supply what's more likely to stay for a while the one comparative examine of Britain’s direct actual hyperlinks with resistance in occupied Europe, that is set firmly within the wider strategic and diplomatic context of the struggle.
Read or Download Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the Special Operations Executive, with documents PDF
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Additional info for Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the Special Operations Executive, with documents
Another subsection ofSOE, known as S03, enjoyed a brief life as the body responsible for planning, but eventually sank out of view under the weight of its own paper. Within S02, which is our main concern here, energies were directed mainly to the building up of the central headquarters which after October 1940 were located in Baker Street. This meant the recruitment of personnel, the creation of an administrative machinery, and all the other complex tasks of creating a functioning government department; and it all had to be done in great secrecy.
This effort, however, was to be thwarted. Both the Foreign Office, and the Ministry of Economic Warfare under the leadership of Hugh Dalton, a dynamic and ambitious man, put in claims for control. A lengthy and complicated behind-the-scenes struggle took place, and was eventually resolved on 11 July 1940 when it was decided by Churchill that Dalton should head the new organisation. 22 Dalton had lobbied hard for the position and had pleaded eloquently at a meeting in the Foreign Office on 1 July that subversive warfare was a matter better handled by civilians than by regular soldiers.
Similarly, he was instructed to consult with the Foreign Office and other ministries when their interests were likely to be affected. The Charter was vague, however, about the precise relationship of SOE to the Foreign Office, the Chiefs of Staff, and SIS, and rivalries with these three organisations, as well as with the Ministry oflnformation which was in charge of overt propaganda, were soon to emerge. 26 The inflammatory image contained in Churchill's injunction to Dalton clearly appealed to the Prime Minister's belligerent nature.