SOE in Czechoslovakia

SOE in Czechoslovakia

Author: An Official History

Publisher: Frontline Books

ISBN: 9781399082761

Category: History

Page: 100

View: 948

The majority of the successful SOE operations in Europe took place in countries occupied by the Germans after the outbreak of war in 1939, Hitler’s forces being regarded as foreign invaders. In Czechoslovakia it was different. The country, which had large numbers of ethnic Germans living within its borders, had been occupied since 1938, allowing the Germans to establish a strong hold on the country which limited the opportunities for subversive action by resistance movements. Nevertheless, resist the Czechs did, despite the Germans conducting savage and indiscriminate reprisals. It was against this background that SOE attempted to infiltrate its agents into Czechoslovakia in 1941, their role being to help in co-ordinating and expanding the resistance movement and to establish communications with the Czech authorities in the UK. Successful actions were admittedly few before 1942 when one of the most successful SOE-backed operations resulted in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the highest-ranking Nazi to be killed by any resistance group. The huge wave of reprisals against the civilian population which followed severely hampered SOE activities in the immediate aftermath. Another factor which limited SOE’s ability to infiltrate Czechoslovakia and to supply the resistance was the distance and difficulty experienced by the RAF in flying to the region. During the short nights of summer, no flights could be attempted. This changed in September 1943 when sorties were able to be conducted from Italy, and by 1944 the scale of operations increased both in frequency and scale. More than 300 Czechs were trained by SOE and, in conjunction with local resistance groups, those that managed to infiltrate back into their homeland, kept the occupying forces constantly on the alert, ensuring that Germany’s eastern flank was never entirely secure. This is the first full, official account of SOE in Czechoslovakia, compiled by SOE headquarters staff who had direct access to all the organisation’s records, many of which were destroyed after the war.

SOE in Czechoslovakia: The Special Operations Executive's Czech Section in Ww2

SOE in Czechoslovakia: The Special Operations Executive's Czech Section in Ww2

Author: An Official History

Publisher: Frontline Books

ISBN: 1399082752

Category: History

Page: 224

View: 873

The majority of the successful SOE operations in Europe took place in countries occupied by the Germans after the outbreak of war in 1939, Hitler's forces being regarded as foreign invaders. In Czechoslovakia it was different. The country, which had large numbers of ethnic Germans living within its borders, had been occupied since 1938, allowing the Germans to establish a strong hold on the country which limited the opportunities for subversive action by resistance movements.Nevertheless, resist the Czechs did, despite the Germans conducting savage and indiscriminate reprisals. It was against this background that SOE attempted to infiltrate its agents into Czechoslovakia in 1941, their role being to help in coordinating and expanding the resistance movement and to establish communications with the Czech authorities in the UK. Successful actions were admittedly few before 1942 when one of the most successful SOE-backed operations resulted in the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the highest-ranking Nazi to be killed by any resistance group. The huge wave of reprisals against the civilian population which followed severely hampered SOE activities in the immediate aftermath.Another factor which limited SOE's ability to infiltrate Czechoslovakia and to supply the resistance was the distance and difficulty experienced by the RAF in flying to the region. During the short nights of summer, no flights could be attempted. This changed in September 1943 when sorties were able to be conducted from Italy, and by 1944 the scale of operations increased both in frequency and scale.More than 300 Czechs were trained by SOE and, in conjunction with local resistance groups, those that managed to infiltrate back into their homeland, kept the occupying forces constantly on the alert, ensuring that Germany's eastern flank was never entirely secure.This is the first full, official account of SOE in Czechoslovakia, compiled by SOE headquarters staff who had direct access to all the organization's records, many of which were destroyed after the war.

In the Shadow of Munich. British Policy towards Czechoslovakia from 1938 to 1942

In the Shadow of Munich. British Policy towards Czechoslovakia from 1938 to 1942

Author: Smetana, Vít

Publisher: Karolinum Press

ISBN: 9788024613734

Category: Political Science

Page: 360

View: 635

The book In the Shadow of Munich. British Policy towards Czechoslovakia from the Endorsement to the Renunciation of the Munich Agreement (1938 to 1942) analyses the varying attitudes and gradual change of British policy towards Czechoslovakia in the period from the Munich Conference in September 1938 to August 1942 when the British government proclaimed the Munich Agreement as dead and thus having no influence whatsoever on the future territorial settlement. The key focus of this work lies in the influence of 'Munich' upon the British political scene and upon the resulting British policy towards Czechoslovakia in the Central European context and also in the repercussions of Munich in negotiations with the Czechoslovak exile representatives. The book is a result of many years of the author?s research conducted primarily in the British and the Czech archives as well as his reflection of numerous documentary editions, diaries, memoirs and secondary sources. It aims to dispel frequent myths and stereotypes that have so far influenced the Czech and partly also Anglo-Saxon historiography in their interpretations of British attitudes towards Czechoslovakia immediately before and during the Second World War.

SOE's Mastermind

SOE's Mastermind

Author: Brian Lett

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781473863828

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 288

View: 442

For those with even a passing interest in the Second World War, the name Colin Gubbins is synonymous with the Special Operations Executive (SOE). This is not surprising as from its creation in late 1940 at Prime Minister Winston Churchills command to set Europe ablaze, Gubbins was the driving force behind SOE. Over the next four years as, first, Operations and Training Director (codename M) and, from 1943, its Commander (CD) he masterminded every aspect of its worldwide covert operations.Remarkably this is the first full biography of the man whose contribution to victory ranks in the premier league. The Authors research and access to family archives reveal the experiences in The Great War and later in Russia, Ireland, Poland and as Head of British Resistance that made Gubbins such a pivotal and influential wartime figure.The result is a fascinating biography that reveals as much about SOEs extraordinary activities as it does about the man who inspired and commanded them.

Exile in London

Exile in London

Author: Smetana, Vít

Publisher: Charles University in Prague, Karolinum Press

ISBN: 9788024637013

Category: History

Page: 308

View: 745

During World War II, London experienced not just the Blitz and the arrival of continental refugees, but also an influx of displaced foreign governments. Drawing together renowned historians from nine countries—the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia—this book explores life in exile as experienced by the governments of Czechoslovakia and other occupied nations who found refuge in the British capital. Through new archival research and fresh historical interpretations, chapters delve into common characteristics and differences in the origin and structure of the individual governments-in-exile in an attempt to explain how they dealt with pressing social and economic problems at home while abroad; how they were able to influence crucial allied diplomatic negotiations; the relative importance of armies, strategic commodities, and equipment that particular governments-in-exile were able to offer to the Allied war effort; important wartime propaganda; and early preparations for addressing postwar minority issues.

Killing the Enemy

Killing the Enemy

Author: Adam Leong Kok Wey

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 9780857727718

Category: History

Page: 272

View: 794

During World War II, the British formed a secret division, the 'SOE' or Special Operations Executive, in order to support resistance organisations in occupied Europe. It also engaged in 'targeted killing' - the assassination of enemy political and military leaders. The unit is famous for equipping its agents with tools for use behind enemy lines, such as folding motorbikes, miniature submarines and suicide pills disguised as coat buttons. But its activities are now also gaining attention as a forerunner to today's 'extra-legal' killings of wartime enemies in foreign territory, for example through the use of unmanned drones. Adam Leong's work evaluates the effectiveness of political assassination in wartime using four examples: Heydrich's assassination in Prague (Operation Anthropoid); the daring kidnap of Major General Kreipe in Crete by Patrick Leigh Fermor; the failed attempt to assassinate Rommel, known as Operation Flipper; and the American assassination of General Yamamoto.

Resistance

Resistance

Author: Halik Kochanski

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 9780141979021

Category: History

Page: 960

View: 862

Across the whole of Nazi-ruled Europe the experience of occupation was sharply varied. Some countries - such as Denmark - were allowed to run themselves within tight limits. Others - such as France - were constrained not only by military occupation but by open collaboration. In a historical moment when Nazi victory seemed permanent and irreversible, the question 'why resist?' was therefore augmented by 'who was the enemy?'. Resistance is an extraordinarily powerful, humane and haunting account of how and why all across Nazi-occupied Europe some people decided to resist the Third Reich. This could range from open partisan warfare in the occupied Soviet Union to dangerous acts of insurrection in the Netherlands or Norway. Some of these resistance movements were entirely home-grown, others supported by the Allies. Like no other book, Resistance shows the reader just how difficult such actions were. How could small bands of individuals undertake tasks which could lead not just to their own deaths but those of their families and their entire communities? Filled with powerful and often little-known stories, Halik Kochanski's major new book is a fascinating examination of the convoluted challenges faced by those prepared to resist the Germans, ordinary people who carried out exceptional acts of defiance.

Secret War

Secret War

Author: Nigel West

Publisher: Pen and Sword

ISBN: 9781526755674

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 352

The author of The Kompromat Conspiracy reveals the truth behind Great Britain’s secret World War II group. What did SOE really achieve during the Second World War? Why were so many agents parachuted into enemy hands? Who chose to back Communist guerrillas in Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, Albania, Greece and Malaya in preference to other anti-Axis movements? In this newly revised edition, Nigel West strips away the secrecy that has surrounded the Special Operations Executive since it was officially wound up in 1946, and reveal the breathtaking political naivety, operational incompetence, and ruthless manipulation. Despite the heroism of individual agents who suffered appalling privation to further the organization’s dubious objectives, there is an underlying tragedy of dreadful proportions. Secret War is a detailed analysis of SOE’s structure and performance and describes its successes and failures across the globe. The book casts doubt on the official histories authorized by the Cabinet Office, offers evidence of the setbacks that jeopardized D-Day, and gives an account of the paramilitary units dropped behind enemy lines immediately after the invasion, which saved SOE’s reputation. This book is a highly provocative but authoritative history of the organization that existed for less than six years but had a lasting impact on the world’s postwar development. “Secret War is important, even necessary in political terms.” —Financial Times

Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence

Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence

Author: Nigel West

Publisher: Scarecrow Press

ISBN: 9780810878976

Category: Political Science

Page: 787

View: 235

British Intelligence is the oldest, most experienced organization of its kind in the world, the unseen hand behind so many world events, and glamorized by James Bond. Despite the change in role, from a global power controlling an Empire that covered much of the world, to a mere partner in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union, the country’s famed security and intelligence apparatus continues largely intact, and recognized as “punching above its weight.” Feared by the Soviets, admired and trusted by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), British Intelligence has provided the hidden dimension to the conduct of domestic and foreign policy, with the added mystique of Whitehall secrecy, a shroud that for years protected the identities of the shadowy figures who recruited the sources, broke the codes, and caught the spies. This second edition of Historical Dictionary of the British Intelligence covers the history through a chronology, an introductory essay, appendixes, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 1,000 cross-referenced entries on specific operations, spies and their handlers, the moles and defectors, top leaders, and main organizations. This book is an excellent access point for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about the British Intelligence.