MRD Foot - SAS WWII & SOE Historian

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Jedburgh22, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I learnt today that M R D Foot the doyen of the SOE Historical Community passed away on Saturday 18th February. Michael Foot was educated at Winchester college and New College Oxford, and joined the Army during WWII gaining a commission in an RE Searchlight Battalion. When they were later transferred to the Royal Artillery in 1941. He also served with Combined Operations HQ and later transferred to the SAS as an intelligence officer being parachuted into France after D Day. He was captured and while a POW was severely injured during an escape attempt. He was awarded two MIDs and a Croix de Guerre for his wartime service. He attained the rank of major during WWII and post war served in the Territorial Army and in 1950 moved to the Intelligence Corps.

    Post WWII he taught at Oxford and was later Professor of Modern History at Manchester University. He wrote the first of the published Official Histories of and SOE Country Section SOE in France, being given privileged access to the SOE Files held by the Government, this was followed by many other books and articles on SOE. He was also a stalwart of the Special Forces Club Historical Committee and was the inspiration and mentor for many historians who followed his lead in the study of SOE in WWII.

    :poppy:RIP Michael Richard Daniell Foot 14 December 1919 to 18 February 2012:poppy:
    Jonathan Ball likes this.
  2. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    RIP M R D FOOT WWII historians will mourn your passing
  3. Jonathan Ball

    Jonathan Ball It's a way of life.

    Sad to hear of his passing. The last contribution I can recall of his was on the Paddy Ashdown BBC Timewatch documentary on the Cockleshell Heroes. He was very astute but with a dry and very funny sense of humour.
  4. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    I have referred to M.R.D. (Michael) Foot's research many times in writing about WW2, particulary the SOE and Resistance in France. He was very thorough with his research methods and made some astute observations.

    His books on the SOE will no doubt remain the definitive works for many years to come. His passing is a great loss.

    M.R.D. Foot - R.I.P.
  5. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    I copied these last year, thought it would be good see the originals of Foot's time as a prisoner. Foot was given the task coming upto D-Day of Operation Titanic, being the Intelligence Officer of 1 SAS, a deception plan to deceive and divert German forces away from the Normandy beaches by dropping SAS teams behind the American beaches near Carentan and dummies near south east of Le Havre and Octeville airfield. Foot felt this was not a successul operation due to the loss of life, though it is believed it did have a significant affect on the way the Germans reacted to the landings.

    His books are fantastic and are always a great help for understanding World War II.

    Attached Files:

  6. ritsonvaljos

    ritsonvaljos Senior Member

    Very interesting! Thanks for posting this.
  7. Recce_Mitch

    Recce_Mitch Very Senior Member

    :poppy: MRD Foot. RIP :poppy:

  8. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Never too late to put a face (and voice) to the name.

    From the "Legasee" archive.

    Michael Foot | SAS

Share This Page