Behind Enemy Lines with the SOE

Major Ernest Barker BEM

 
Date Published :
May 2021
Publisher :
Frontline Books
Contributor(s) :
Michael Kelly
Illustration :
16 pages of color plates
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526779748
Pages : 256
Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Not Yet Published. Available for Pre-Order
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$49.95

Overview
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With his special forces training completed, Sergeant Roland Barker was allocated to Operation Arundel as its radio operator. Led by Major Bill Smallwood, he was parachuted into the Dolomites in 1944. The team’s brief was to cause havoc in the area around the Italian border and to infiltrate into Austria.

During the mission, Major Smallwood was injured in a fall and was unable to move rapidly. Despite their best efforts, both Smallwood and Barker were subsequently captured by pursuing German troops who they were unable to outpace.

Barker provides a vivid account of being ‘interrogated’ by the SS and Gestapo and despite the threats and the terrible conditions, the true nature of their mission was never revealed to the enemy. Having survived these experiences, he was incarcerated in Stalag Luft XVIII in Southern Austria. Ever defiant, Barker escaped by having himself admitted to the camp hospital and made his way into Hungary, from where, as this account of his wartime service reveals, he was eventually repatriated to the UK.

After the war Barker opted to remain in the Army, at which point he took a commission. Promoted to Major, Barker became the Officer Commanding 22 SAS in Malaya. He was killed in a helicopter crash in Malaya in 1953, before he could see through his plan to have his memoir published.

About The Author
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ERNEST CHARLES ROLAND BARKER enlisted as a Boy soldier in 1934, going on to serve in the Western Desert and in Greece in 1941. As a Sergeant in the Royal Corps of Signals, Barker was assigned to the Special Operations Executive and underwent parachute training. After the war Barker opted to remain in the Army, at which point he took a commission. Promoted to Major, Barker became the Officer Commanding 22 SAS in Malaya. He was killed in a helicopter crash in Malaya in 1953, before he could see through his plan to have his memoir published.

MICHAEL KELLY was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England. Educated at the University of Hull, he served for twelve years in the Royal Navy before joining the British police and working as a detective in the Regional Crime Squad, Major Crime and Surveillance Units for twenty-five years. After a serious injury on duty, he was retired from the police in 1999. Since then Michael has been a guide and a military historian on the battlefields of the Western Front and Normandy. He is founder member of the Nolan Group, which is engaged in the exploration of the site and action where Alvin C. York was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in the Argonne Forest, France. Michael is former chair of the H.M.S. Ganges Association, a past president of Grimsby Rugby Union Football Club and President of the Lincolnshire Rugby Football Union.

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