Public Record Office


Public Record Office. Intro., Mark Seaman. Garbo, The Spy Who Saved D-Day. London: 2000.

According to Anderson, Intelligencer 11.2, most of this book, "with the exception of a first rate introduction by Mark Seaman,... is developed from a report by Garbo's MI5 case officer, Thomas Harris.... This is a great read for anyone interested in counterespionage and, in particular, the exploitation of double agents." See also, Juan Pujol, with Nigel West, Garbo (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1985).

[WWII/Eur/D-Day & Deception]

Public Record Office. Intro., Mark Seaman. Operation FOXLEY: The British Plan to Kill Hitler. Kew: PRO, 1998. 2001. [pb]

From publisher: "Britain developed contingency plans to assassinate Hitler at Berchtesgaden during World War II. Britain's Public Record Office has recently released all the original plans, including color sketches of the grounds and guard uniforms." See also, Mark Seaman, "The Foxley Report: Secret Operations in World War Two," BBC, 17 Feb. 2011, at:


Public Record Office. "Release at The National Archives of SOE Agents' Personal Files." May 2003.

"The final transfer of records of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) to The National Archives consists of the Personal Files (PFs) of SOE agents and other staff.... The released files relate, among others, to a number of the more celebrated SOE agents, and to individuals who achieved fame outside of their work for SOE.... PFs typically consist of a mix of material, and may contain both regular personnel information (for example, service forms, management assessments, medical reports, leave or discharge papers and photographs) and operational or policy material."


Public Record Office. Intro., Mark Seaman. Secret Agent's Handbook of Special Devices. London: 2000. The Secret Agent's Handbook of Special Devices, World War II. Guildford,CT: Lyons, 2001.

Kruh, Cryptologia 25.2, identifies this as a large hardbound volume with "the main pages from the 1940's SOE Descriptive Catalogue of Special Devices and Supplies in their original format." Seaman's 30-page introduction "places the catalogue in its historical context and describes how many of the items were used on actual missions.... It is a fascinating collection."

[RefMats/Weapons; UK/WWII/Services/SOE]

Public Record Office. Intro., Denis Rigden. SOE Syllabus: Lessons in Ungentlemanly Warfare, World War II. London: 2001.

According to West, IJI&C 15.3, this is "a collection of lectures given to Special Operations Executive (SOE) 'students' while they moved through the organization's various stages of training.... [It] offers a remarkable insight into how practicioners of the arcane arts thought the war could be won." Anderson, Intelligencer 13.1, calls the work "a detailed and fascinating textbook on covert operations.... [It] is chock-a-block with interesting tidbits." Denis Rigden has written "a fine thirty-page introduction."


Public Record Office. "Special Operations Executive (SOE): Release of Records." Jul. 1998.

"The sixth set of Special Operations Executive (SOE) records, covering wartime operations in Western Europe, will be released at the Public Record Office (PRO) ... on 23 July 1998.... The files being released ... provide details of the work of SOE and its agents in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Iberia (Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar and Spanish Morocco), Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and the Channel Islands. A wide variety of issues are covered -- operations, intelligence, organisation, politics, personnel and administration.... [F]or the first time light is shone on SOE activities in Austria and Germany, including plans to assassinate Hitler and other Nazi leaders, and to exploit their cult of personality to help to destabilise the regime."

According to a report by BBC Foreign Affairs Correspondent David Lyon [], the plan to kill Hitler, codenamed Operation Foxley, was approved by Prime Minister Winston Churchill. However, "the agents ran out of time and the war ended before an attempt could be made."


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