World War Ii

Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the by David Stafford

By David Stafford

This booklet is the 1st basic research of SOE operations in Europe to were written utilizing the wartime files now to be had. even though SOE files stay closed, the writer has used a variety of different resources to provide what's more likely to stay for a while the single comparative research of Britain’s direct actual hyperlinks with resistance in occupied Europe, that is set firmly within the wider strategic and diplomatic context of the battle.

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Extra info for Britain and European Resistance, 1940–1945: A survey of the Special Operations Executive, with Documents

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It was unrealistic,' he said, 'to rule out internal politics altogether. ' 30 This illustrated some of the Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945 problems which SOE faced. Apart from the whole question of supporting left-wing elements in Europe and the problems associated with SOE recruitment, the discussion showed how foreign policy towards Vichy France cut right across the desire •to set Europe ablaze'. The result in fact was that until Germany occupied Vichy France in November 1942 SOE was forbidden to carry out any major acts of sabotage there.

On 17 November 1940 a meeting took place at Woburn Abbey-the wartime headquarters of SOl-to discuss propaganda policy towards France. As Dalton and Jebb were present the discussion ranged over the entire field of SOE activities in France. Jebb, clearly reflecting Dalton's views, put forward proposals for the recruitment of agents to work in France and suggested that the main effort should be directed to training agents suitable for working amongst industrial workers. For it was here, Jebb asserted, that the best chance lay of arousing resistance to Germany.

Thus, the formal and legal commitments accepted by the British government to recognise the exiled groups in London as the legitimate governments of Europe-commitments which in the aftermath of Dunkirk it would have been unthinkable not to give-were incompatible with the revolutionary goals and methods of SOE as first conceived by Dalton and other left-wing enthusiasts. As one historian of resistance has put it, the fact that London became the haven of exiled governments meant both that '[their] nature and composition ...

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