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About the book
  • Published: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448104017
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

S.O.E.

An outline history of the special operations executive 1940 - 46




'A fit testament to the bravery, selflessness and sacrifice of a magnificent group of people. ' Sunday Telegraph

Recruited from remarkably diverse callings, the men and women who were members of this most secret agency in the Second World War lived in great and constant danger. Their job was to support and stimulate resistance behind enemy lines; their credentials fortitude, courage, immense patience and a devotion to freedom. The activity of the S. O. E. was world-wide. Abyssinian tribesmen, French farmers, exiled Russian grandees, coolies, smugglers, printers, policeman, telephonists, tycoons, prostitutes, rubber workers, railway men, peasants from the Pyrenees to the Balkans, even the regent of Siam - all had a part to play as saboteurs, informers, partisans or secret agents. In this engrossing and illuminating study, the eminent Second World War historian, M. R. D. Foot, sheds fresh light on the heroism of individual S. O. E. agents across the world and provides us with the definitive account of the Executive's crucial wartime work.

  • Pub date: 30 November 2011
  • ISBN: 9781448104017
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

About the Author

M R D Foot

M.R.D. Foot was an army officer throughout the 1939-45 war, and received the French Croix de Guerre for work with the SAS in Britanny. He taught politics and history at Oxford, was for six years Professor of Modern History at Manchester and the first editor of Gladstone's diaries, and has written - among other books - SOE in France, Resistance, M19 and Six Faces of Courage. He helped Ian Dear edit The Oxford Companion to the Second World War. He died in 2012.

David Stafford is the author of several books on intelligence history, including Britain and European Resistance, Churchill and Secret Service, Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets, Flight from Reality and Ten Days to D-Day. He was Professor of History at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Executive Director of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs, Chairman of the Canadian Association for Security and Intelligence Studies, an Associate Member of St. Antony's College, Oxford, and Project Director at the Centre for the Study of the Two World Wars at the University of Edinburgh, where he is currently an Honorary Fellow.


Praise for S.O.E.

“It is impossible to imagine M.R.D. Foot's position as the pre-eminent historian of SOE ever being challenged”

Antony Beevor

“A fit testament to the bravery, selflessness and sacrifice of a magnificent group of people”

Sunday Telegraph


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