Special Operations in WWII

The SOE and OSS

James Stejskal

Entertaining short history of the perilous missions undertaken by British and Amiercan agents in Occupied Europe during WWII.
Date Published :
March 2020
Publisher :
Casemate
Language:
English
Series :
Casemate Short History
Illustration :
25-30
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Hardback
ISBN : 9781612007717
Pages : 160
Dimensions : 7.75 X 5 inches
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Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
$14.95

Overview
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Winston Churchill famously instructed the head of the Special Operations Executive to "Set Europe ablaze!." Agents of both the British Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services underwent rigorous training before making their way, undetected, into occupied Europe to do just that. Working alone or in small cells, often cooperating with local resistance groups, agents undertook missions behind enemy lines involving sabotage, subversion, organizing resistance groups and intelligence-gathering.

SOE's first notable success was the destruction of a power station in France, stopping work at a vital U-boat base, and later operations included the assassination of Himmler's deputy Reinhard Heyrich and ending the Nazi atomic bomb program by destroying the heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway.

OSS operatives established anti-Nazi resistance groups across Europe, and managed to smuggle operatives into Nazi Germany, including running one of the war's most important spies, German diplomat Fritz Kolbe.

All missions were incredibly dangerous and many agents were captured, tortured, and ultimately killed – the life expectancy of an SOE wireless operator in occupied France was just six weeks. In this short history, historian James Stejskal examines why these agencies were established, the training regime and ingenious tools developed to enable agents to undertake their missions, their operational successes, and their legacy.

About The Author
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James Stejskal is a former US Army Special Forces soldier who served on special operations in many “interesting places” worldwide before retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. He was then recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to serve again as a senior Case Officer in Africa, Europe, and the Far East before finally retiring from active service. He is now a military historian and the author of Special Forces Berlin and Masters of Mayhem. He lives in Virginia with his wife, Wanda.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Introduction: The Need Arises; Timeline; Glossary; Origins of SOE and OSS; Training; Tools of the Trade; Operations; Legacy; Sources; Index

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