World War II

The British Services

Special Operations Executive

D - E

Daily Mail (London). "After 65 Years in the Shadows, the Indian Heroine of Churchill's Elite SOE Spy Network Is to Be Recognised with a Statue in London." 4 Jan. 2011. [http://www.dailymail.co.uk]

Noor Inayat Khan was the "first female radio operator sent into Nazi-occupied France." Working for SOE's F (France) Section, she was the radio operator (codename "Madeleine") for the "Prosper" resistance network in Paris, until "she was betrayed and captured." She was "executed at Dachau concentration camp on September 13, 1944, aged just 30.... [H]er bravery is ... to be permanently recognised in England with a bronze bust in central London, close to the Bloomsbury house where she lived as a child." See Basu, Spy Princess (2006); and Fuller, Born for Sacrifice (1957).

Dalton, Hugh. The Fateful Years -- Memoirs, 1931-1945. London: F. Muller, 1957.

Dalton was appointed Minister of Economic Warfare in 1940, was instrumental in establishing SOE, and later served on the PWE executive committee.

Dalzel-Job, Patrick. From Arctic Snow to Dust of Normandy. London: Lionel Leventhal, 1992.

Davidson, Basil. Special Operations Europe: Scenes from the Anti-Nazi War. London: Victor Gollancz, 1980.

Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War to Rescue Crete from the Nazis. New York: Crown, 2013.

According to Hull, Military Review (Jan.-Feb. 2015), Patrick Leah Fermor of SOE "spent several years in Crete aiding the Cretan partisans" after the island fell to the Nazis in mid-1941. This "fast-paced" and "important narrative" on partisam warfare in WWII "is a great read."

Deakin, Frederick William. The Embattled Mountain. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

According to Constantinides, the author headed the first British mission to Tito. His story includes "a number of anecdotes or items of intelligence interest."

Dear, Ian. Sabotage and Subversion: Stories from the Files of the SOE and OSS. London: Arms and Armour, 1996. Sabotage and Subversion: The SOE and OSS at War. Stroud: History Press, 2010 (reissue).

Shryock, IJI&C 12.2, notes that the book is more weighted toward SOE's activities than OSS' and more toward Europe than elsewhere. The book is only a "modest" success. Although the author "provides an abundance of stories of high adventure in hostile territory," the book suffers from organization problems. Basically, "[t]here is a confusing lack of causal and chronological order" within the book and within its individual chapters. Dear writes in a "rambling style," with "irrelevant detail" and "dull statistics."

Deroc, Milan. British Special Operations Explored: Yugoslavia in Turmoil, 1941-1943, and the British Response. Irvington, NY: Columbia University Press, 1988.

From publisher: The author "challenges the accepted interpretations of the role of Tito and Mihailovic in the turbulent history of Yugoslavia in World War II. It critically reviews the wartime policies of Great Britain toward Yugoslavia."

de Vomécourt, Philippe. Who Lived to See the Day: France in Arms 1940-45. London : Hutchinson, 1961. An Army of Amateurs. New York: Doubleday, 1961.

Capet notes that this work is about the SOE as seen by the French Resistance.

Dodds-Parker, Douglas. Setting Europe Ablaze: Some Accounts of Ungentlemanly Warfare. London: Springwood, 1983.

"Sir Douglas Dodds-Parker, wartime SOE officer and politician,... died on September 13, 2006, aged 97." Times (London), "Dodds-Parker: The Experience of War Made Him Pro-European," 14 Sep. 2006.

Knouse, http://home.att.net, identifies this as "[t]he first book to be written by a Mission Commander of Special Operations Executive (SOE). The author describes some of the covert operations conducted in France from secret intelligence and clandestine action to guerrilla and open warfare."

Doneux, Jacques [Captain]. They Arrived by Moonlight. London: St Ermin's, 2001.

From publisher: "Doneux reveals his six perilous months operating a secret radio-set under the very noses of the Gestapo. He parachuted into enemy-occupied Belgium on a moonlit night in 1943 and lived with danger 24 hours a day. Here he records his adventures, including a 23-hour trek across the Pyrenees."

Dormer, Hugh. War Diary. London: Jonathan Cape, 1947. Santa Fe, NM: Fisher Press, 1994.

http://www.abebooks.com: "Hugh Dormer was a young officer in the Irish Guards, who left his regiment at his own request to take command of a small expedition which was to be dropped by parachute behind the German lines in France and attack targets of military importance."

Dourlein, Pieter. Inside North Pole: A Secret Agent's Story. London: Kimber, 1953. 1957. [pb] New York: Time-Life Books, 1989.

The author was one of the SOE-trained Dutch victims caught in the Abwehr's Englandspiel, or radio game.

Downs, Jim.

1. "Lessons From the Failure of the OSS/SOE DAWES Mission." Journal of Intelligence History 2, no. 1 (Summer 2002). [http://www.intelligence-history.org/jih/ previous.html]

The Dawes mission was one of a series of OSS teams sent into an area of Czechoslovakia held by Czech partisans in September 1944. After Czech defenses broke down toward the end of October, team members fled the area but were captured, tortured, and killed by the German military.

2. World War II: OSS Tragedy in Slovakia. Oceanside, CA: Liefrinck, 2002.

According to Jonkers, AFIO WIN 48-02 (17 Dec. 2002), this work "tells the story of an OSS unit supporting local partisans, some two dozen American and British agents, and two women, whose mission in Slovakia ran afoul of German counterintelligence in 1944. Pursued by an 'Abwehr' unit through rugged terrain in frigid weather, most lost their lives.... The story is set in a complicated mosaic of personalities of all nationalities, in obscure towns and villages, and may be a challenge to follow for some."

Duke, Madelaine. No Passport: The Story of Jan Felix. London: Evans Bros., 1957.

SOE agent.

Durovecz, Andrew. My Secret Mission: The Story of a Young Canadian in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during World War II. Toronto: Lugus, 1996.

From publisher: The author, a Hungarian immigrant to Canada as a child, joined SOE in 1942. In 1944, "he was one of a party of four dropped by parachute on to Slovak territory." After crossing into Hungary, Durovecz was captured, but "later escaped and fought on the side of the Russians in the siege of Budapest."

Earle, John. The Price of Patriotism: SOE and MI6 in the Italian-Slovene Borderlands during World War II.. Lewes, UK: Book Guild, 2005.

Stafford, I&NS 20.3 (Sep. 2005), finds this to be "a small gem of a book." It is about "the SOE agents and British liaison officers sent into Slovenia." The postwar fate of the Slovene agents "makes somber reading -- and explains the book's title." The author also "throws instructive light on the internecine fighting that took place along the disputed border [with Italy] between Italian non-communist Osoppo partisans and the pro-communist Garibaldini."

Elliott, Geoffrey.

1. I Spy: The Secret Life of a British Agent. London: Little Brown, 1998. New ed. 2000. [pb] London: St. Ermin's, 2001. [pb]

From publisher: The author seeks to learn "the truth about his father," Maj. Kavan Elliott, "World War II saboteur, rogue and peacetime spy[.] Behind an ostensibly respectable facade, his business covered a nomadic life which entangled him in a web of deception,... communist double-agents and interrogation at the hands of the Gestapo and the Hungarian secret police."

2. The Shooting Star: Denis Rake, MC, A Clandestine Hero of the Second World War. London: Methuen, 2009.

Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010), notes that Rake served with SOE during World War II, including, first, as Virginia Hall's and, later, as Nancy Wake's clandestine radio operator. Using the SOE files released to the British National Archives, the author "sets the record straight for this war hero." See also Rake's autobiography, Denis Rake, Rake's Progress (1968).

Elliott, W.Murray. Vasili: The Lion of Crete. London: Hutchinson, 1988. London: Gazelle Distribution, 1992. [pb]

From publisher: "The wartime exploits of 'Kapetan Vasili', New Zealander Dudley Churchill Perkins, have become a legend on Crete. He first arrived on Crete following the Allied withdrawal from Greece, and was then captured by the Germans. He escaped within 2 weeks and spent a year avoiding German patrols and roaming western Crete in search of a way to leave the island, before being evacuated to Egypt by a Greek submarine." He then joined the British SOE "and returned to Crete as a special agent, taking command of a guerrilla band which he trained, organised, and led in numerous attacks against the Germans."

Escott, Beryl E. [Sqn. Ldr.]

1. Heroines of the SOE F Section: Britain's Secret Women in France. Stroud : History Press, 2010.

From publisher: "Beryl Escott tells the true story of the incredible 40 women who worked" for SOE during World War II. "These women came from a variety of backgrounds.... She explores what made them risk their lives.... She takes us on a journey through their recruitment and training into their undercover operations,...and details their often tragic demise from death by injection to being shot in a prisoner of war camp[]."

2. Mission Improbable: A Salute to the RAF Women of SOE in Wartime France. Cambridge: Stephens, 1991.

Tells the stories of 15 women from the WAAF who served with SOE in France during WWII.

http://www.nielsenbookdata.co.uk: The author "examines the role played" in the SOE by women of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF). "Their mission was indeed improbable and hazardous.... In view of the dangers and horrific ordeals undergone by these young women, it is miraculous that some of the missions were successful, but the cost in lives was high. Beryl Escott uses her knowledge and experience of the Women's Royal Air Force to piece together the stories of 15 women of the SOE."

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