Any recommandation for books on the Special Operations Executive ?

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
Met a lad yesterday looking for info on his grandfather who served in SOE, in Albania and the Far East .
Oupa was a South African of British descent.

The only source I could think of, off the cuff was MRD Foot's history -

1629206208462.png



His SOE personal file is open at the National Archives. If you haven't seen it, I can grab a copy for you.

This would be of great interest to the lad concerned.

Is there a poc at the National Archive who is the specialist on SOE? Thanks.

This was the book I reviewed.

Amazon product

@AlienFTM - have you still got it ? Happy to buy it off you if so ? (Wiltshires connection )
 
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AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
Met a lad yesterday looking for info on his grandfather who served in SOE, in Albania and the Far East .
Oupa was a South African of British descent.

The only source I could think of, off the cuff was MRD Foot's history -

View attachment 597249




This would be of great interest to the lad concerned.

Is there a poc at the National Archive who is the specialist on SOE? Thanks.



@AlienFTM - have you still got it ? Happy to buy it off you if so ? (Wiltshires connection )
I suspect it went to the Bovington Christmas Fayre, chez @Grownup_Rafbrat a good few years ago, mucker.
 
Met a lad yesterday looking for info on his grandfather who served in SOE, in Albania and the Far East .


The only source I could think of, off the cuff was MRD Foot's history -

View attachment 597249
I'm almost certain though not quite 100% that this excellent tome was authorised to be published on the understanding that although SOE ops could be mentioned only in passing, no specifics were to be given on Far East operations.

I recall, when in conversation with an operator in that theatre, the lady was very disappointed in being airbrushed from the history, as was Professor Foot in having to agree to the conditions. My conversation was some years ago. Perhaps there's been an update?
 

Goatman

ADC
Book Reviewer
From National Archive:

Special Operations Executive: Far East: Registered Files | The National Archives

HS1


This series contains material relating to the organisation, administration and activities of the Special Operations Executive in the Far East during the Second World War. It includes sections on Burma, Siam, French Indo-China, Malaya, China, Japan, India, Australia and the Dutch East Indies. It also includes files from the C and AD/SI series and papers on black market commodity and currency operations and currency counterfeiting.

Shortly after the Special Operations Executive (SOE) was set up to engage and harass the enemy in Europe, preparations for guerrilla war in the Far East were begun and terms of reference for an SOE group in Singapore were settled by SOE Headquarters in November 1940. Known as the Oriental Mission (OM) it was to operate under the C-in-C Far East. A Singapore headquarters under a civilian, Valentine Killery, was established in May 1941, but his operating methods met with strong objections from the local military authorities, and this together with the rapidity of the Japanese advance meant that it was short-lived and its achievements relatively limited. It was wound up in mid 1942.

A separate special operations organisation in India was established in May 1941, initially to cover countries to the north and west. It was expanded eastwards after the Japanese invasion brought India into the war zone and the OM had folded up. The India Mission, known subsequently as Force 136, under Colin Mackenzie, operated on the authority of the Viceroy and the C-in-C.

Although the directive followed the lines of that for SOE operations in Europe, the Far Eastern theatre had nothing in common with that of Europe, either in local (native) perceptions of who constituted the enemy, or in the vast size and physical character of the territory to be covered and its remoteness from London. Its operations were therefore of a very different nature.
 

Tiger-Monkey2

War Hero
For whomever was looking for information about the SOE in Albania, try:

Bailey, P. (2009): The Wildest Province, SOE in the Land of the Eagle. Vintage,

It is an excellent account of the SOE in Albania, along with how internal Albanian politics works. Also how despite all the support received, the communists crapped all over the SOE and others, including the deliberate destruction of the graves of British soldiers killed while helping them.
 
For whomever was looking for information about the SOE in Albania, try:

Bailey, P. (2009): The Wildest Province, SOE in the Land of the Eagle. Vintage,

It is an excellent account of the SOE in Albania, along with how internal Albanian politics works. Also how despite all the support received, the communists crapped all over the SOE and others, including the deliberate destruction of the graves of British soldiers killed while helping them.
It's a novel but also well worth reading, Eight Hours From England by Anthony Quayle (yes the actor ), based on his experiences with SOE in Albania:


 

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