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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
A must own for spy thriller, WW2, military, history, and political fans. Or those willing to try something completely different and astonishing.
It's a toss up as to whether it's more educational or entertaining. I submit 50/50. I began listing fave episodes till I realized it was them all. Helpful facts for the novice about British intelligence: MI6 = Brit. Intelligence Espionage Service; MI5 = Brit. Home Counter-Espionage Service; SAS = Special Air Service. The single drawback was noticing frequent duplicate use of archival film clips in different episodes. Even so, the set is worthy of 6 stars.
SDH SUBTITLES available.
1 SPECIAL INTERROGATION GROUP= SIG, least known intelligence/espionage group, summer '42. 40-German speaking Jews cause bedlam behind the Nazi lines.
2 HARDY AMIES: OPERATION `RATWEEK'= Fashion designer Amies, friend of the Queen, SOE spy, gay, in no-rules warfare. Belgian resistance.
3 THE MAFIA CONNECTION= Boss `Lucky' Luciano sentenced 50 yrs but died free after his secret dealing with the US forces. German spies were on the docks (control by Mafia) giving info to Nazi subs. Huge shipping losses required a unique remedy.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This show was dorky. It's a story about some soldiers who set out to do some amazing things, but ultimately failed. The forced drama in the narration is tedious. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Brian P. Lawler
Informative interesting little known story of the heroes of Telemark, worth watching.Published 16 months ago by D. Sepulveda
Fascinating and informative true stories of espionage and military operations performed behind enemy lines during the second world war by the secret organization SOE (Special... Read morePublished 20 months ago by pyero
Excellent DVD set! Fascinating and informative. Highly recommended, especially for WW2 spy buffs, or folks who are interested in behind-the-scenes SOE wartime operations.Published on March 31, 2014 by arthur willmore stead
If you want to go deeper into the history of WWII, this is a good set. It also includes some less than successful efforts.Published on June 16, 2013 by K. W. Forsyth