Download Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the by David Stafford PDF

By David Stafford

This e-book is the 1st normal examine of SOE operations in Europe to were written utilizing the wartime records now on hand. even supposing SOE data stay closed, the writer has used a variety of different resources to supply what's more likely to stay for it slow the single 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

Sample text

The Foreign Office, for example, vetoed certain sabotage operations in Rumania late in 1940 on the grounds that this would negate the effects of British diplomacy, although later on, as recent research has shown, the Foreign Office and SOE agreed on a joint strategy towards the Rumanian regime. 29 1t would be misleading to suggest that there was little but conflict between SOE and the Foreign Office, and they often worked in harmony. But it would be equally misleading to ignore the fact that the interests of diplomacy and subversion were different; and as the war progressed, and Foreign Office attention turned increasingly to the shape of the postwar world, the conflicts became worse.

The gallant Polish resistance in September 1939, the presence in Britain of large numbers of Polish soldiers and airmen only too keen to fight against the Germans, the feeling of guilt that such an ally could not have been helped more, and the strong personality and presence of General Sikorski as leader of the government-in-exile, contributed their part in creating an image in British eyes of Polish internal and external resistance as the ideal model for other European nations. Gubbins's influence was particularly important here, as at the time of the German attack he had taken part in discussions with the Polish General Staff about post-occupational resistance planning, and he maintained close personal links with the Poles in London.

An example from the early SOE days is provided by the reaction of the SIS representative at a meeting in December 1940 to discuss raiding parties on the European coastline. He told the meeting that SIS was against such raids 'as they might interfere with their organisation for getting agents into enemy-occupied territory'. 24 This objection did, indeed, place most of the coastal areas of occupied France out of bounds to SOE operations. More generally, the conflict of interest made itself felt in SIS's objections to direct contacts between SOE and the secret services of the governments-in-exile on the grounds that it would disrupt the intelligence flow from these sources.

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