Secret Flotillas

Vol. I: Clandestine Sea Operations to Brittany, 1940-1944

By Brooks Richards

Foreword by M.R.D Foot

© 2004 – Routledge

416 pages

Purchasing Options:
Hardback: 9780714653167
pub: 2004-03-04
US Dollars$168.00
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About the Book

With the fall of France, almost the entire coastline of Western Europe was in German hands. Clandestine sea transport operations provided lines of vital intelligence for wartime Britain. These 'secret flotillas' landed and picked up agents in and from France, and ferried Allied evaders and escapees. This activity was crucial to the SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) and the SOE (Special Operations Executive).

This authoritative publication by the official historian, the late Sir Brooks Richards, vividly describes and analyses the clandestine naval operations that took place during World War Two.

Table of Contents

Introduction. Acknowledgements. Preface. Foreword Part 1: Clandestine Sea Lines to Brittany - 1940-1944 1. May-June 1940: The Lost Battle for France 2. The British Clandestine Services in the New Strategic Context 3. Slocum's Section and the First Operations to Northern France 4. First Contacts with the West Coast of France 5. August-October 1940 6. November 1940 - March 1941 7. Did the Abwehr Allow L'Emigrant to Escape? 8. SOE's Aspirations and Operations: August 1940 - June 1941 9. SOE's Endeavours to Set up Independent Sea Transport to Brittany, 1941 10. April - November 1941 11. October 1941 - February 1942 12. November 1941 - June 1942 13. January 1942 - March 1943 14. West Coast: November 1942 - October 1943 15. North Coast: Winter 1943-44 16. The Aber-Benoit Saga: November-December 1943 17. North Coast and the 'Var' Line: August 1943 - April 1944 18. The 'Shelburne' Escape Line: January-March and July-August 1944 19. July-August 1944 20. Operations for SIS: January-August 1944 21. Escapes by Sea from Brittany: 1940-44. Footnotes. Appendix A: Clandestine Sea Transport Operations to North and West Coasts of France, 1940-44. Appendix B: Clandestine Escapes and Contacts at Sea by Vessels from Breton Ports, 1940-44. Appendix C: Recommendations by Captain Slocum for awards to members of the 15th MGB Flotilla and Inshore Patrol Flotilla. Appendix D: Comments on MARIE-LOUISE Rendez-Vous

About the Series

Government Official History Series

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.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS027000
HISTORY / Military / General
HIS027150
HISTORY / Military / Naval