Reccommended reading for SOE (etc) in France and Low Countries

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by LesCM19, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    I am currently re-reading Sarah Helms' "Vera Atkins, A Life in Secrets" which covers the sending of SOE agents (principally female) to France and Atkins' efforts to discover the fate of those that did not return.
    Regarding the Low Countries, I have Herman Giskes "London Calling North Pole" and one of his adversary's tales "Inside North Pole" by Peter Dourlein which are both rivetting reads.
    Other books in a similar vein I have are "Odette" by Jerrard Tickel, "Of Their Own Courage" by Peter Churchill, "Saturday at MI9" by Airey Neave, "The Man Who Saved London" by George Martelli and "The Way Back" by Vincent Brome.

    Are there any biographies of Marcel Rousset (SOE codename Leopold) and Bernard Guillot (Free France agent), both of whom survived the war and gave lengthy debriefs?
    How about MRD Foot's "SOE in France" and "SOE in the Low Countries"?
  2. JJHH

    JJHH Member

    Regarding the Englandspiel, read this book, which provides an alternative explanation for this (deliberate?) disaster:

    Englandspiel: The England Game : SOE's Worst Wartime Disaster (Hardback),

    By (author) Roger Beam, By (author) Jo Wolters

    The England Game - 'Englandspiel'- was SOE's most humiliating spy disaster of the Second World War and Germany's most successful counter-espionage operation. German counter-intelligence penetrated the Dutch SOE network and fooled London into believing their agents were free and sending genuine radio messages in 1942-43, resulting in the deaths of 47 SOE agents and hundreds of civilian helpers, and the loss of 12 RAF aircraft on SOE missions. MI6 could easily have helped SOE prevent the disaster that unfolded in Holland by passing on and acting on the intelligence they received - but it wasn't in their interests to do so.
  3. lagarto

    lagarto Junior Member

    Regarding the Englandspiel, read this book, which provides an alternative explanation for this (deliberate?) disaster:

    Englandspiel: The England Game : SOE's Worst Wartime Disaster (Hardback),

    By (author) Roger Beam, By (author) Jo Wolters
    Have you seen this book in print? The Book Depository is saying it will not be available until 2014. It offers a pre-order option. It doesn't appear at all in the publisher's own website. I would very much like to get a copy. My special interest is Seymour Bingham, "N" of Dutch Section, SOE. Thanks for any help.

    Lagarto (Damian)
  4. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    This book has been delayed - I fear it may never appear as it is now years overdue! However Jo Wolters original version is available in Dutch!!
  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Until then,Errors of Judgement....SOE's Disaster in the Netherlands,1941-1944. by Nicholas Kelso gives a dedicated insight to this "own goal".

    Another penned by L De Jong is Het Kninkrijk der Nederlanden in de Tweede Wereldoorlog deel 9, by reports a classic account of the Englandspiel by a foremost Dutch military historian.

    MRD Foots "SOE in France" 1966 availability is on par with hens teeth.A very good official account of SOE activities and an account derived with access forbidden to SOE personal files or contact with former SOE officers.Had to take his material from official files

    Similarly E H Cookridge does a very good job on the SOE in his Inside SOE penned at virtually the same time as Foot's.Cookridge's account was abridged for publication in the UK but not for US readers.He did not get much help from official sources but was determined to talk to former SOE officers and in the course of 6 years interviewed former SD and Abwehr personel in what is a unauthorised version of SOE history.Covers the Dutch Tragedy quite well.
  6. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    I would also highly recommend Clare Mulley's new biography of Christine Granville the longest serving female SOE agent of WWII. Christine was murdered by a stalker in 1952.
    Her war was long, interesting and filled with the sort of action that is normally found in novels.

    The Spy Who Loved - The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville
    Clare Mulley
    ISBN 978-0-230-75951-0

    The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley: review - Telegraph
  7. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek

  8. Mike L

    Mike L Very Senior Member

    I have a copy of 'F section SOE' by Marcel Ruby (ISBN 0-586-20697-3).
    Haven't read it for many years, seem to recall it was a bit dry.
  9. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Thanks for the suggestions, everybody!
  10. LesCM19

    LesCM19 "...lets rock!"

    Just bagged a copy of M.R.D. Foot's "SOE in the Low Countries" for £4:59!! :D

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