SOE Agent

Churchill’s Secret Warriors

SOE Agent cover

SOE Agent

Churchill’s Secret Warriors

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Osprey's study of Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents during World War II (1939-1945). On average an SOE agent would be dead within three months of being dropped in the field. Terry Crowdy tells the extraordinary story of these agents, some of whom were women as young as 22, following them through their experiences beginning with their recruitment and unorthodox training methods, particularly the unarmed combat training provided by the notorious Fairburn and Sykes partnership. As well as detailing these controversial techniques, the training chapter also covers the tough physical training course and parachute training that all recruits had to endure before being sent into occupied Europe.

Crowdy also examines the SOE's unique system of codes, which included each agent composing their own poem as well as using quotations from famous pieces of literature to convey secret messages, and explores the strengths and weaknesses of this system. Full-color artwork and photographs show the innovative equipment, including the S-Phones and Eureka sets, which allowed the agent to communicate directly with pilots and other agents. Lastly, the book recounts the incredible combat missions of the SOE agents, including operations in the field with Yugoslav and Greek partisans, as well as sabotage missions ranging from blowing up bridges to the raising of full-scale partisan armies as they attempted to fulfill Churchill's directive to set Occupied Europe ablaze.

Table of Contents

Introduction · Recruitment and Training · Organisation · Communication · Equipment · Combat missions · Sabotage missions · Post-war · Bibliography · Colour Plate Commentary · Index

Product details

Published Nov 18 2008
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 64
ISBN 9781846032769
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 50 b/w
Dimensions 10 x 7 inches
Series Warrior
Short code WAR 133
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Terry Crowdy

Terry Crowdy has long been fascinated by many aspe…


Steve Noon

Steve Noon was born in Kent, UK, and attended art…


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