By David Stafford
This publication is the 1st common examine of SOE operations in Europe to were written utilizing the wartime records now to be had. even if SOE documents stay closed, the writer has used quite a lot of different resources to provide what's more likely to stay for a while the one comparative examine of Britain’s direct actual hyperlinks with resistance in occupied Europe, that is set firmly within the wider strategic and diplomatic context of the conflict.
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Additional info for Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the Special Operations Executive, with documents
The parliamentary correspondent of The Fighting Forces found solace in the littered Dunkirk beaches-'No longer do we rely on others ... alone we bear the honour of shouldering the responsibility', while the more 18 Britain and EuropeanResistance,l940-1945 august Journal of the Royal United Services Institute echoed his relief by remarking that 'Now that we are alone in the fight we have a sense of freedom and a feeling that we can concentrate on British interests'. Maurice Hankey, the ubiquitous eminence grise of British governments since the First World War, told Sir Samuel Hoare, the British Ambassador in Spain, on 19 July that it 'was almost a relief to be thrown back on the resources of the Empire and of America'.
The Charter concluded by saying that 'the general plan for irregular offensive operations should be in step with the general strategic conduct of the war', and Dalton was instructed to keep the Chiefs of Staff informed of his plans, and, in return, it was promised he would be kept informed of the broad strategic picture. Similarly, he was instructed to consult with the Foreign Office and other ministries when their interests were likely to be affected. The Charter was vague, however, about the precise relationship of SOE to the Foreign Office, the Chiefs of Staff, and SIS, and rivalries with these three organisations, as well as with the Ministry oflnformation which was in charge of overt propaganda, were soon to emerge.
Moreover, SOE was at a positive disadvantage for the first two years of its existence as it was dependent on SIS for its personnel, technical assistance in matters such as the production of forged documents, and communications. So far as this last item was concerned, W /T sets were in short supply, and W /T traffic was controlled by SIS. Under an agreement reached between SOE and SIS in September 1940 all SOE's W /T traffic was to be handled through SIS which was given the right to accept or reject it.