Spirit of Resistance, The Life of SOE Agent Harry Peuleve DSO MC

B2123

The full story of the SOE may never be told. There was a destruction of documents in the final days of war and some SOE agents were transferred to other intelligence organizations, whilst others were simply thrown out to make their own way in post-war Britain. This new book is based heavily on the unpublished memoirs of the subject and two years of painstaking research across Europe by the author. The result is a story that reads well and draws the reader into the world of SOE and survival in Occupied Europe. The story is remarkable, gripping, emotional, sad, inspiring with a tale that a fictional writer might kill for. This is so much more than a wartime history. It is the story of the triumph of the spirit with the depths and highs of a group of very brave individuals. There is a photo section of very rare photographs and an excellent set of Appendices to support the main text. Not a story to miss.

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NAME: Spirit of Resistance, The Life of SOE Agent Harry Peuleve DSO MC
DATE: 081214
FILE: R2123
AUTHOR: Nigel Perrin
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PAGES: 225
PRICE: £12.99
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: WWII, World War Two, Second World War, covert operations, HUMINT, human intelligence, Occupied Europe, espionage, sabotage, counter intelligence
ISBN: 1-47382-302-1
IMAGE: B2123.jpg
BUYNOW: http://tinyurl.com/nw2adsq
LINKS:
DESCRIPTION: The full story of the SOE may never be told. There was a destruction of documents in the final days of war and some SOE agents were transferred to other intelligence organizations, whilst others were simply thrown out to make their own way in post-war Britain. This new book is based heavily on the unpublished memoirs of the subject and two years of painstaking research across Europe by the author. The result is a story that reads well and draws the reader into the world of SOE and survival in Occupied Europe. The story is remarkable, gripping, emotional, sad, inspiring with a tale that a fictional writer might kill for. This is so much more than a wartime history. It is the story of the triumph of the spirit with the depths and highs of a group of very brave individuals. There is a photo section of very rare photographs and an excellent set of Appendices to support the main text. Not a story to miss.

The subject of this study joined the BEF in France in 1940 and was much affected by the fall of France. He volunteered for F Section of the Special Operations Executive. After training, he was inserted into France to set up a cell or circuit under the code name of SCIENTIST, Breaking a leg on landing, he escaped several close calls and made his way on crutches to Spain where he was imprisoned by Franco’s regime. He escaped and made his way back to Britain in May 1943.

He was returned to France, formed a close relationship with Violette Szabo, Established and trained a Maquis group in Central France, was betrayed to the Germans, tortured and then sent to Buchenwald concentration camp where he escaped death, escaped and reached American lines in April 1945.

SOE had a chequered reputation during WWII. Other long established intelligence organizations resented the competition for missions and funding. The SOE agents were amateurs who were recruited from all walks of life. A fundamental requirement was fluency in French and other languages, with many agents being of mixed race parentage. Those in Section F mostly had at least one French parent. They received a comprehensive range of training in self-defence, weapons, sabotage and espionage. Those who passed their training and were inserted into France by parachute or by sea were very brave individuals who were mentally, physically, and skilled for the task ahead. They should all have received full recognition but in 1945 there was little appetite to expose the bravery that was often betrayed by ‘allies’ as political groups in France prepared for the battle after liberation and were happy to use the Germans to remove potential post-war opponents.

SOE itself faced a range of criticism, much of it unfair and often motivated by jealousy. Betrayal was not always from ‘allies’ in France but by other organizations that were supposed to be on the same side. Of those SOE agents who survived the war, many were physically and/or mentally crippled by their experiences.

This book goes some way to correcting the gross neglect. The history of the memoirs, on which the story is built, does not show the publishing industry in a good light. That Pen & Sword have taken the story forward is commendable and a further example of this publisher’s commitment to expanding our knowledge of military history

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