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Bravest of the Brave: True Story of Wing Commander Tommy Yeo-Thomas - SOE Secret Agent Codename, the White Rabbit Hardcover – 21 Mar 1997
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This is the biography of World War II secret agent, Wing Commander "Tommy" Yeo-Thomas. The book is a study of the nature of heroism and the reality of fighting behind enemy lines. Yeo-Thomas's work in Occupied France, where he worked alongside the French Resistance, won him the MC and the George Cross, but he was eventually betrayed. He survived torture - ultimately in Buchenwald - but never revealed his secrets to the Nazis.
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All books on this SOE Agent will be compared to the Bruce Marshall book 'The White Rabbit', which was endorsed and narrated by the author by Yeo-Thomas, shortly after the war, which was a strong seller. Accordingly, all subsequent books always had to beat that book or compare unfavourably against it. The passage of time, and the methodical approach by Seaman, has resulted in an honest/truthful/searing account of the two areas that the Marshall book was light on - namely the degree of torture received and the endless politicking that Tommy had to endure.
The remainder of the book following fairly standard SOE Agent stories, but the degree of torture endured is described in (almost too much) detail, and gives one of the best ( or most honest) accounts of the beatings and water tortures I've read, and I've read many SOE books. It got to the point where it was so recurrent I almost skimmed over it - if that is conceivable. The level of politiking was considerable, but I still did not properly understand it all, being masked by 'staff officer idiots/REMF's', which is such an easy excuse to blame, that I was not really enlightened, and the reason for 1 star less than a full house. Incidental to this last point, I think I am going to have to read the CdG memoirs, to understand why 'Free France' should have borne such a grudge against Britain for continuing to support them, for this point remains un-explained by this Francophile account .
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