SOE in France was first published in 1966, followed by a second impression with amendments in 1968. Since these editions were published, other material on SOE has become available. It was, therefore, agreed in 2000 that Professor Foot should produce a revised version. In so doing, in addition to the material in the first edition, the author has had access to previously closed government records, as well as drawing upon his own invaluable wartime experiences and the recollections of those involved.
SOE in France begins by explaining what SOE was, where it fitted into the Allied war machine, and how it worked in France. The narrative then recounts the adventures of its agents who worked on French soil. This intricate tale concentrates on the work of the 400 hand-picked men and women of the 'independent French' section, although it also covers SOE's five other sections that operated mainly in France. All told, the six sections despatched over 1,800 clandestine agents, who between them changed the course of the war. This updated new edition will be essential reading for scholars and for all those with an informed general interest in the activities of the SOE.
Part 1: Structure 1.The Origins of SOE 2. What SOE was 3. Recruiting and Training 4. Communications - by sea - by air - by land - by signal - in the field 5. Security in France Part 2: Narrative 6. Politics and the Great Game 7. Opening Gambits: 1940-1941 8. Development: 1942 9. Middle Game: 1943 10. A Run of Errors: 1943-1944 11. Pressure Mounting: January to May 1944 12. A Run of Successes: June to September 1944 13. Aftermath 14. Strategic Value
The Government Official History series began in 1919 with wartime histories, and the peacetime series was inaugurated in 1966 by Harold Wilson. The aim of the series is to produce major histories in their own right, compiled by historians eminent in the field, who are afforded free access to all relevant material in the official archives. The Histories also provide a trusted secondary source for other historians and researchers while the official records are not in the public domain. The main criteria for selection of topics are that the histories should record important episodes or themes of British history while the official records can still be supplemented by the recollections of key players; and that they should be of general interest, and, preferably, involve the records of more than one government department.