Complete with rare photographs, diagrams and glossary documents, this is a compact and concise history of the training and missions conducted by the Special Operations executive (SOE) and Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.
Working alone or in small cells, sometimes with local resistance groups, SOE and OSS agents bravely undertook missions behind enemy lines involving sabotage, subversion, organising resistance groups and intelligence-gathering.
Notable successes included the destruction of a power station in France, the assassination of Himmler’s deputy and ending the Nazi atomic bomb program by destroying the heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway. The life expectancy of an SOE wireless operator in occupied France was just six weeks.
In No Moon as Witness, former Special-Forces soldier turned historian, James Stejskal, examines why these agencies were established, their training regimes and the ingenious inventions developed to enable agents to undertake their missions.
There are a lot of books published about the SOE and OSS – many of them very thorough and detailed. No Moon as Witness is a more concise, more easily readable but nevertheless thorough account that benefits from the author’s particular knowledge and background as he applies his personal analysis to this important part of our military history.
An excellent read.
Winston Churchill famously instructed the head of the Special Operations Executive to Set Europe ablaze! Agents of both the British Special Operations Executive and the American Office of Strategic Services underwent rigorous training before making their way, undetected, into Occupied Europe. Working alone or in small cells, often cooperating with local resistance groups, agents undertook missions behind enemy lines involving sabotage, subversion, organizing resistance groups and intelligence-gathering.
The SOE's notable successes included the destruction of a power station in France, the assassination of Himmler's deputy Reinhard Heyrich, and ending the Nazi atomic bomb program by destroying the heavy water plant at Vemork, Norway. OSS operatives established anti-Nazi resistance groups across Europe, and managed to smuggle operatives into Nazi Germany, including running one of the war's most important spies, German diplomat Fritz Kolbe.
All of their missions were incredibly dangerous and many agents were captured, tortured, and ultimately killed - the life expectancy of an SOE wireless operator in occupied France was just six weeks.
In No Moon as Witness, historian James Stejskal examines why these agencies were established, the training regimen and ingenious tools developed to enable agents to undertake their missions, their operational successes, and their legacy.
|Publication date:||15th May 2021|
James Stejskal is a historian. To get background for his stories, he served 35 years with US Army Special Forces and the Central Intelligence Agency in many interesting places overseas. He is the author of the definitive history of Special Forces Berlin Clandestine Cold War Operations of the US Army's Elite, 1956-1990 and Masters of Mayhem: Lawrence of Arabia and the British Military Mission to the Hejaz. He lives in northern Virginia. This is his first novel.More About James Stejskal