OVERRIDE

Behind the Lines

The Oral History of Special Operations in World War II

Russell Miller

St. Martin's Press

This is the story of special operations in the second world war as it has never been told before-directly by those who took part.

Compiled from interviews, diaries, letters and contemporaneous first-person accounts-many unpublished until now-this oral history follows the adventures of the courageous men and women who volunteered for service with the Untied States' Office of Strategic Services and Britain's Special Operations Executive. They parachuted behind enemy lines, often alone, with orders to cause mayhem. Arrest almost always resulted in torture and imprisonment; sometimes in execution

Trained in the black arts of warfare-sabotage, subversion, espionage, guerrilla tactics and undermining enemy morale by the distribution of insidious propaganda-theirs was a war fought in the shadows. Their activities extended to every theatre of operations: in occupied France, equipped with false identities, they played a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Gestapo; in the Balkans they discovered that the fiery politics of the region were as dangerous as the enemy; in the Burmese jungle, in some of the worst combat conditions of the war, they led native marauders in surprise attacks against the Japanese. From Britain they were supported by a team of back-room inventors who produced expertly forged documents and dreamed up ingenious devices like exploding rats and invisible ink.

The special agents of World War Two really were a breed apart. This is their extraordinary story. In their own words.

This is the story of special operations in the second world war as it has never been told before-directly by those who took part.

Compiled from interviews, diaries, letters and contemporaneous first-person accounts-many unpublished until now-this oral history follows the adventures of the courageous men and women who volunteered for service with the Untied States' Office of Strategic Services and Britain's Special Operations Executive. They parachuted behind enemy lines, often alone, with orders to cause mayhem. Arrest almost always resulted in torture and imprisonment; sometimes in execution

Trained in the black arts of warfare-sabotage, subversion, espionage, guerrilla tactics and undermining enemy morale by the distribution of insidious propaganda-theirs was a war fought in the shadows. Their activities extended to every theatre of operations: in occupied France, equipped with false identities, they played a deadly game of cat and mouse with the Gestapo; in the Balkans they discovered that the fiery politics of the region were as dangerous as the enemy; in the Burmese jungle, in some of the worst combat conditions of the war, they led native marauders in surprise attacks against the Japanese. From Britain they were supported by a team of back-room inventors who produced expertly forged documents and dreamed up ingenious devices like exploding rats and invisible ink.

The special agents of World War Two really were a breed apart. This is their extraordinary story. In their own words.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Russell Miller

  • Russell Miller is a prize-winning journalist and the author of eleven previous books. He was born in east London in 1938 and began his career in journalism at the age of sixteen. While under contract to the Sunday Times Magazine he won four press awards and was voted Writer of the Year by the Society of British Magazine Editors. His book Magnum, on the legendary photo agency, was described by John Simpson as 'the best book on photo-journalism I have ever read', and his oral histories of D-Day, Nothing Less than Victory, and SOE, behind the lines were widely acclaimed, both in Britain and in the United States.
  • Russell Miller
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    Behind the Lines

    The Oral History of Special Operations in World War II

    Russell Miller

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    St. Martin's Press

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