World War II

The British Services

Special Operations Executive

So - V

Soulier, Dominique. Le plan Sussex: Opération ultra secrète tripartite américano-franco-britannique, 1943-1944. Strasbourg: Ronald Hirlé, 2009. [Capet]

Stafford, David.

1. Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945: A Survey of the Special Operations Executive, with Documents. London: Macmillan, 1980. Oxford: St. Anthony's, 1980. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1980. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1983. [pb]

2. "Britain Looks at Europe, 1940: Some Origins of SOE." Canadian Journal of History 10, no. 2 (1975): 231-248. [Capet]

3. "The Detonator Concept: British Strategy, SOE and European Resistance after the Fall of France." Journal of Contemporary History 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1975): 185-217.

4. Mission Accomplished: SOE and Italy 1943–1945. London: Bodley Head, 2011.

For Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), "Mission Accomplished is a fine history that finally documents the SOE contribution in that part of Europe."

5. Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive. London: Overlook, 2001. London: BBC, 2002. [pb]

This work accompanied a BBC television series of the same name.

6. "SOE and British Involvement in the Belgrade Coup d'Etat of March 1941." Slavic Review 36, no. 3 (1977): 399-419.

Starns, Penny. Odette: World War II’s Darling Spy.  Stroud: History Press, 2009. 2010. [pb]

From publisher: "Odette Brailly entered the nation's consciousness in the 1950s when her ... exploits as an SOE agent first came to light. She had been the first woman to be awarded the GC, as well as the Legion d'Honneur, and in 1950 the release of a film about her life made her the darling of the British popular press.... From her life as a French housewife living in Britain and her undercover work with the French Resistance, to her arrest, torture, and unlikely survival in Ravensbruck concentration camp," the truth of Odette's mission is revealed.

Steinacher, Gerald. "The Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Austria, 1940-1945." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 15, no. 2 (Summer 2002): 211-221.

"Austrian Resistance was almost entirely passive: no open resistance, no partisan movement, and no leader of note produced (with the exception of [Karl] Gruber)."

Stevenson, William. Spymistress: The Life of Vera Atkins: The Greatest Female Agent in World War II. New York: Arcade, 2007.

Troy, Studies 51.2 (2007), rips this book as "history and fiction distressingly conmingled," although "[t]here is no question" of the author's honesty. Rather, Troy sees Stevenson as letting his passion and imagination run rampant. That Atkins "worked in an especially dangerous wartime role ... is beyond cavil." However, this account "hardly proves her a great agent, much less 'the greatest female secret agent in World War II.'"

An even more negative reaction to this book comes from West, IJI&C 21.3 (Fall 2008), who says that the author is "just wrong about ... almost every ... item in his book." West also uses such descriptions as "nonsensical," "fanciful," "patent invention," "invariably inaccurate or plain wrong," and "many obvious fabrications." He concludes that "Stevenson's interpretations, based on fake quotations, invented missions, and non-existent organizations, really amounts to literary fraud."

Sugarman, Martin.

1. "Lieutenant Marcus Bloom: A Jewish Hero of the SOE." Jewish Historical Studies 39 (2004): 183-196. [Capet]

2. "Two Jewish Heroines of the SOE." Jewish Historical Studies 35 (1998): 309-328. [Capet]

Suttill, Francis J., and M.R.D. Foot. "SOE's 'Prosper' Disaster of 1943." Intelligence and National Security 26, no. 1 (Feb. 2011): 99-105.

This article by Prosper's second son and namesake and the official historian of SOE in France "seeks to clear up what went wrong" when Prosper's Paris-based circuit was rolled up. See also, Seiler, La tragédie du réseau Prosper (2003).

Sweet-Escott, Bickham. Baker Street Irregular. London: Methuen, 1965.

Szabo, Tania. Young Brave and Beautiful: The Missions of Special Operations Executive Agent Lieutenant Violette Szabo. Jersey: Channel Island Publishing, 2007.

Szabo was an SOE agent in France. Captured by the Germans on a second mission, she was murdered in the Ravensbruck concentration camp. Szabo was portrayed by Virginia McKenna in the 1958 British film "Carve Her Name with Pride." (Nash, Spies, p. 550) The author is Violette Szabo's daughter.See also, Minney, Carve Her Name with Pride (1964); and Ottaway, Violette Szabo (2002).

Thomas, John [Jack] Oram. No Banners: The Story of Alfred and Henry Newton. London: W.H. Allen, 1955. London: Corgi, 1974. [pb]

Thomas, Martin. "The Massingham Mission: SOE in French North Africa, 1941-1944." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 696-721.

Thompson, Julian. The Imperial War Museum Book of War Behind Enemy Lines. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1998.

According to Wiant, Studies 46.1, Thompson, a retired Royal Marine Major General, surveys "the accomplishments of British special operations organizations" in World War II. The author "is a lively writer. These are fine stories, well retold.... [S]tudents of intelligence support to military operations will find great value in his examination of the intelligence contributions made by these units in the last year of he war."

Tickell, Jerrard. Odette: The Story of a British Agent. London: Chapman, 1949. Odette: Secret Agent, Prisoner, Survivor. London: Headline Review, 2008. [pb]

Clark comment: This is the story of Mrs. Odette Samson who was awarded a George Cross for her service with SOE in France. To Seaman, I&NS 20.1 (Mar. 2005), 30-31, this work "was a virtual hagiography." The author's opportunity to consult some SOE documents did not prevent him from "drifting into a cloying narrative."

Tilman, H.W. When Men and Mountains Meet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press , 1946.

From publisher: "Exploration in the Assam Himalaya, and also Tilman's wartime experiences with Albanian and Italian partisans."

Trenowden, Ian. Operations Most Secret: SOE, The Malayan Theatre. London: Kimber, 1978. Rev. Ed. Manchester: Crécy, 1994.

Tudor, Malcolm Edward. Special Force: SOE and the Italian Resistance, 1943-1945. Newtown, UK: Emilia Publishing, 2004.

Turner, Des. Station 12: Aston House -- SOE's Secret Centre. Stroud: Sutton, 2006. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2006.

From publisher: The task of Station 12 "was to design and supply special weapons and explosive devices for sabotage operations against the enemy. The scientific and military personnel at Station 12 invented, made and supplied 'toys' such as plastic explosives, limpet mines, pressure switches, tree spigots, incendiary bombs, incendiary liquids and arrows, and a variety of time fuzes for the Resistance, Commandos, Special Boat Service and SAS."

Valentine, Ian. Station 43: Audley End House and SOE's Polish Section. Stroud, UK: Sutton, 2006. [pb]

Harrison, I&NS 21.6 (Dec. 2006), finds that this work "offers an interesting and informative account of an important SOE station." The training was harsh and the missions dangerous. "Out of the 316 Audley End trainees who were parachuted into Poland, 108 lost their lives."

Vance, Jonathan F. Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation. Toronto: HarperCollinsCanada, 2008.

From publisher: SOE parachuted Ken Macalister and Frank Pickersgill into France "just as the underground network they were to join was cracked open by the Germans." They died in Buchenwald concentration camp.

Verlander, Harry. My War in the SOE: Behind Enemy Lines in France and Burmah with the Special Operations Executive. London: Privately published, 2010. [http://evacueetosoe.com/index.html]

The author was dropped into France with Jedburgh Team HAROLD in July 1944, and later served with SOE in Burma.

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