SOE In France 1941-1945: An Official Account of the Special Operations Executive's French Circuits

SOE In France 1941-1945: An Official Account of the Special Operations Executive's French Circuits

by Robert Bourne-Patterson


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In the archives of the Special Operations Executive lay a report compiled by a staff officer and former member of SOE's French Section, Major Robert Bourne-Patterson, that until recently could not be published. Because of the highly sensitive nature of the work undertaken by the SOE, the paper was treated as confidential and its circulation was strictly limited to selected personnel. Now, at last, it can be made available to the general public.

Limited, also, was the time available to Bourne-Patterson in compiling his report in 1946 as the SOE was being wound up and many documents were being ‘weeded’ from the files. Nevertheless, the paper he wrote gives a good picture of the work of the SOE in France, the country where its operations were most extensive. It contains an overview of operations in France by the Special Operations Executive during the Second World War with detailed records of individual circuits from their inception onwards, containing much information concerning individual agents and their contacts, calendars of subversive activity against the Germans and the names and addresses of personnel connected with the circuits who had survived the war.

In writing his account, Bourne-Patterson drew heavily on personal interviews and wartime debriefings by agents.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781473882034
Publisher: Pen and Sword
Publication date: 11/22/2016
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

A peacetime solicitor, Major Robert Bourne-Patterson became one of the Special Operation Executive’s planning officers in F Section. His service in this organisation led to his involvement with some of its most famous operatives – individuals such as Violet Szarbo GC, whose will he was a witness to. He is described as being SOE’s ‘first historian’.

Table of Contents

Preface John Grehan vii

Foreword x

Introduction xi

Notes to Introduction xvii

Abbreviations xviii

Part I The Old Occupied Zone

Chapter 1 The Paris Region 1

Chapter 2 The Bordeaux Region 64

Chapter 3 The Lille Region 88

Chapter 4 The Rouen Region 103

Chapter 5 The Strasbourg Region 108

Chapter 6 Indre, Vienne, Deux-Sevres, Charente Area 121

Notes to Part I 127

Part II The Old Unoccupied Zone

Chapter 7 A General Account of the Unoccupied Zone 133

Chapter 8 The Bordeaux Region, Châteauroux-Limoges 147

Chapter 9 The Bordeaux Region, Corrèze-Dordogne 168

Chapter 10 The Bordeaux Region, Toulouse and the South-West 172

Chapter 11 The Marseille Region 197

Chapter 12 The Lyon Region 223

Note to Part II 258

Index 260

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