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Secret War Heroes: The Men of Special Operations Executive by [Binney, Marcus]
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Secret War Heroes: The Men of Special Operations Executive Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Length: 336 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

The acts of courage portrayed in this enthralling book are of a kind so rare in our culture as to be virtually non-existent. His (Binney's) purpose- one that he pulls of superbly- is to pay tribute to the SOE. . . by recounting their wartime careers in a bouncy, Boy's Own Paper style that gives his account the pace of a page-turning thriller. (Nigel Jones, Literary Review)

I like to think myself quite familiar with SOE's wartime history, but Binney's book told me a host of new things about a host of remarkable people. He has done a fine job of culling hitherto unexplored files, to produce a splendid set of adventure stories for any devotee of the genre. (Max Hastings, Sunday Telegraph)

It is full of wonderful stories that really make one pause about the curious practicalities of war. A wonderful story and one which Binney tells well. (Toby Clements, Telegraph)

Book Description

A fascinating look at the hidden deeds of the male agents of Britain's Special Operations Executive during World War II, from the author of the hugely popular THE WOMEN WHO LIVED FOR DANGER.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 984 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (12 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340829109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340829103
  • ASIN: B007FXIH5K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,245 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Secret is out... Once you get past the slightly stiff, 'reportage' style, this book is a darn good read. Although I bought it mainly for research, I didn't realise just how many ideas I would come away with. After reading this book, I would say, 'Fiction? Forget it until after you've read "Secret War Heroes"' The stories are true, but they sing like the best fiction you will find in any major bookstore. The characters are real people, with real courage and they make James Bond seem like a schoolboy prankster. Buy this book and read it. You won't want to throw it out, because you will probably read it again and again. One thing is for sure. You'll never forget 'The Bishop'; and to find out who that is, you will have to read the book. So do so... You won't be sorry.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a good read. Research was excellent but the style did not always flow. However it was fascinating in its content. So many secrets revealed in spite of files still not available or destroyed to cover up the blunders of a higherarchy dominated by the "old boy" network and those with massive egos protecting interests not always in the best interests those who should have been protected or the country in general.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In some respects, this is a companion volume to "The Heroines of SOE: F Section: Britain's Secret Women in France" written by Squadron Leader Beryl E. Escott although that deals solely with the female agents of SOE's French Section, and they have different authors and publishers.

This book conversely deals with the men, who far outnumbered the females, and does not restrict itself to France but to all SOE Country or Regional Sections in which its agents operated, and also those working in the 'back office' who included future politicians such as Douglas Sandys, Raold Dahl (children's author), Ian Fleming (the Bond author), M.R.D. Foot (author and historian who wrote several books on SOE), and also Kim Philby who was later famous as one of the Cambridge Five and a long-term double-agent for the Soviets.

Those employed could come from all levels of society, from any walk of life, may have a profession or come from some blue-collar occupation. Some could be academics or they may have had a criminal background but all would be treated equally and trained equally. However, there was a constant and that was the involvement of any individual was to remain undisclosed and there were several cover stories for each, one for public consumption and others to be used when in the field.

Although training with weapons, self-defense, sabotage, radio and parachuting were commonly taught, almost all potential agents were expected to have high-level language skills in least one European (or occasionally Asian) language; knowledge of a country's geography, customs, politics etc was also expected and many had birth or blood ties to a second country.
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Format: Paperback
Really interesting book - like a collection of short stories. Narrative around 10 of the unsung heroes of SOE and their activities - Writing style is somewhat stiff but once you get into it the stories make you understand what real heroes the people in the SOE were. Well worth the purchase.
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Format: Paperback
Ten tales of SOE-related courage and audacity. Good to have for the reader who just can't get enough on the subject of subterfuge in WWII, written and assembled by the proud step-son of one project leaders.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There were some very interesting parts of the book, with great detail. However, more and more rumours have been circulating that there was a traitor who gave away important information on drops. It may have been the French, opr someone in SOE. I would have liked to see this explored rather than "were arrested" or "were captured".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not the usual SOE French section stuff. Interesting nevertheless; especially the account of Sweden's grossly unfriendly attitude and lack of neutrality towards Britain, and the total partiality the Swedes showed in their assistance to Nazi Germany, to the extent that their navy forced British merchant ships into the open sea around Sweden in the knowledge that German naval forces and U Boats were waiting to attack and sink them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read some reviews which criticised the author's style, I have to defend it...as a writer myself I know that everyone has a different style and it's not necessary for us all to sound the same. No, this isn't written in a sensationalist way, but it is clear, succinct and - most importantly - authentic. When it comes to a subject matter that is by its very nature 'sensational', I welcome such an approach. I am thoroughly enjoying it - the courage of these people is given full justice. Thank you, Marcus!
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