England, 1939, and the war is already not going well. PM-to-be Churchill complains that the War Office "would rather lose the war under Queensbury Rules [the rules of gentlemanly boxing] than win by any means necessary".
This book is a fascinating, easily accessible window on the world of the WW2 spy, consisting of the actual training notes issued by the SOE's secret camps and their inventive methods of "ungentlemanly warfare".
Covering everything from how to burgle an enemy's office (with advice from "reliable criminal sources") to martial arts ("it is not necessary to kill or injure your sparring partner, as no credit will be awarded for this..."), the tone is forthright, practical and peppered with wry British forces humour that will frequently have you laughing out loud.
Essential reading for any prospective covert agent and a tribute to the brave men and women who fought the hidden war.