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

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By David Stafford

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

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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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The support and encouragement they found themselves obliged to give these groups in exchange for cooperation therefore extended Section D's activities into the area of political subversion. ) Subversion, however, immediately created problems for the conduct of official foreign policy, and for this reason also many of Section D's activities were discouraged or curtailed. They appear also to have been limited by the rivalry with SIS which had an extensive Balkan network and was disinclined to see it damaged by the activities of Section D.

We must use many different methods, including industrial and military sabotage, labour agitations and strikes, continuous propaganda, terrorist acts against traitors and German leaders, boycotts and riots. 25 This was a programme of action which SOE never fulfilled for a number of reasons which will emerge in the course of the study. It should be sufficient at this stage to say that the reasons had less to do with SOE than 26 Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945 with the inability of the European resistance forces to accomplish organisation and effective action until a time when the Allied regular armies themselves were able to intervene, thereby to a large extent undercutting the role originally assigned to them.

To say that the British government was committed to the restoration of the European governments, however, is not to deny the pragmatic nature of British foreign policy, nor to overlook that the need for some change in the European states' system was accepted in the Foreign Office. On the contrary, it was accepted in the area of foreign policy almost as quickly as it was in the domestic sphere. Just as plans for the postwar economic and social reconstruction of Britain began (at superficially the least likely moment) in the Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945 34 grim days and weeks following Dunkirk and through the Battle of Britain, the same can be shown for foreign policy.

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