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"Derring-do, deviousness, and courage" —The Daily Telegraph (U.K.) "Incredible tales of top-secret espionage missions" —The Times (U.K.)
The secret agents who set Europe ablaze
Less than a year after World War II began, Hitler’s armies occupied much of mainland Europe—and the island nation of Great Britain stood alone. Rather than wait for the expected German invasion, Prime Minister Winston Churchill decided to hit back at the Nazis any way he could. In the summer of 1940, he set up a secret new organization called the Special Operations Executive, or SOE, and gave it a simple mission: "set Europe ablaze."
Secret War goes inside Churchill’s secret army, to a dangerous world of agents, double agents, and even triple agents. In 13 episodes, it tells the story of SOE agents and other clandestine warriors who went behind enemy lines to conduct intelligence-gathering, sabotage, and assassination. Sometimes the operations were spectacularly successful, at other times inexplicably inept. But together, the efforts of these intrepid men and women helped save thousands of lives, liberate Europe, and turn the tide of World War II.
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Top customer reviews
All in all the series is an excellent summary of the role and operations of the Special Operations Executive begun by Churchill to disrupt the Nazi occupation of Western Europe. The results were mixed. The Counter-Intelligence units of the Abwehr and Gestapo outwitted the SOE on several occasions leading to the deaths of many agents in concentration camps.
Another thing not mentioned in the documentary was that SOE was riddled with Soviet agents. I suspect that this included the general in charge who in turn put Soviet agents in the top London management positions. Some of them defected to the Soviet Union after the war. Part of the Soviet agenda was to allow the Germans to kill off everyone who would have the capacity to fight against a Soviet take over of their country after the war. This would explain the numerous cases of apparent crass incompetence in London that are documented in this series. It also explains the crass incompetence that are white washed in this series such as doing nothing when there was hard evidence that all of the Dutch agents were captured.