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The fascinating and true story of the brilliantly conceived covert operations against the Nazis, and the basis for a gripping BBC documentary, by one of the world s foremost authorities.
In June 1940 Britain was driven from the continent by Hitler s conquering armies. As the British stared invasion in the face, a group of unconventional warriors planned a new form of warfare, and the Special Operations Executive was born. With a brief from Winston Churchill to set Europe ablaze, this top-secret agency was given the dangerous task of coordinating subversion and sabotage against the enemy by all means necessary using disguise, deception, bribery, explosives (sometimes disguised inside objects such as a dead rat or a chianti bottle), guerrilla, warfare, and even assassination.
The intriguing details of the men and women many of them civilians with no qualifications or experience who risked their lives to fight this secret war are recounted here. Through the personal reminiscences of these courageous individuals, Secret Agent reveals the covert world of the SOE: how the operatives were recruited; the daring operations they carried out; the radio and coding systems that kept them in touch with London; and the James Bond-style gadgets designed to help them carry out their missions. Breaking their long silence, these brave survivors finally tell their own stories in their own words. More than just a war-time thriller, Secret Agent narrates the true story of this remarkable group of people and the secret war they waged behind enemy lines.
Stafford gives us a superior example of the genre, writing with aplomb about the SOE s most daring operations. John Crossland, The Sunday Times (London)
An excellent starting point . . . both entertaining and informative. Alan Judd, The Sunday Telegraph
David Stafford, an expert in Britain s wartime intelligence operations (The Independent), is the author of numerous books, among them Churchill and Secret Service and Roosevelt and Churchill, which was a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. A former diplomat who has written extensively on intelligence history, he is currently Project Director at the Center for Second World War Studies, at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.