How to Be a Spy: The World War II SOE Training Manual (Secret History Files) Paperback – 1 Apr 2004
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About the Author
Denis Rigden was engaged in information and historical research for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for over 30 years. He is the author of "Kill the Fuhrer: Section X" and "Operation Foley," and has in recent years made a study of the SOE.
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This is just a sample of the material covered. This book is ideal for researches, historians and military enthusiasts. This is the same program of instruction that the OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner to the CIA and Green Berets) was trained with at Camp-X in Canada. Great historical source.
Anyway, without going into all the gory details, one thing this book contains, which rather surprised me, is photographs of high explosives molded into various "popular Balinese carvings" which were to be pawned off on unsuspecting Japanese and exploded with delayed fuses. Imagine my surprise to find several of these absolutely identical "popular Balinese carvings" in the attic. Except mine are really made of wood. Perhaps a coincidence, but food for thought...
Reading the book or, perhaps more accurately, browsing through it, gives me a little glimpse of the life my mom had had that she never talked about. That's something to be cherished.
This book is a look at espionage and sabotage training 70 years ago, and it reflects that era.
As a historian and military scientist I can recommend this book to individual World War II enthusiasts, and to students of military and espionage history as a reference and guide which accurately reflects the era and the training syllabus of the period. And I can recommend that every library buy a copy for its collection of accurate works on espionage and military history.
The course work would be similar to that taught by the NKVD and COMINTERN of the Soviet Union, similar to the training of German agents, and similar to that training of the Japanese Nakano Spy School. The book reflects the basics of being a 1930s-1940s spy trained in war time.
Along with all the background information, there is training in leadership and managerial skills. "Everything I learned about business management, I learned from the SOE" :-)
This is not the type of book one sits down and reads cover to cover. This is to browsed, stopping to read topics of interest. It would be a valuable starting point for anyone interested in the wider picture of WWII and not just the battles.