- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (15 May 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 019215883X
- ISBN-13: 978-0192158833
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.7 x 22.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,309,080 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Special Operations Executive in Scandinavia Hardcover – 15 May 1986
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The official history, based on closed papers. The vital operations are described with the help of agents' contemporary reports. The techniques of the agent, and the part played by the RAF and the famous Shetland Bus service are also covered.
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Firstly, this is nothing like the work of Foot, both in terms of the written narrative, and I suspect the research. I know they are 2 very different accounts, but I suspect Scandinavia was a poor neighbour compared to the rich storytelling pickings that were on offer in France. However to give you only 5 pages on probably the most significant and successful SOE-led attack on German installations (the Vermork Heavy Water plant - of The Heroes of Telemark fame) and a sentence or two on the most impressive escape story (by Jan Baalsrud, immortalised by the David Howarth book, We Die Alone), makes me think the author had got his priorities wrong.
The narrative was quite dull in many pieces, and I thought he was trying too hard to get so much in, that he either should have cut out the insignificant to highlight the more noteworthy incidents and make the book a decent 250 page book, or expanded the volume into a +350 page tome, which given his writing style might have tested the endurance of many readers.
However, on the plus side, it gave a good bibliography, for me to drill down into stories with more detail, and hopefully I get what I was looking for.
Interesting aspect of the book is that it maintained the continuation of national stereotypes I have picked up elsewhere, namely;
Sweden - firmly maintained a neutral positioning, which always shaded to the winning side, whoever was winning at that time, namely German in the earlier years, and the Allies after it became more obvious they were going to win.
Denmark - short a few rounds off when Germany crossed the border, then capitulated, and although not accepting their fate, did very little to change it, hoping to be saved by others on 'The Day'
Norway - fought or resisted from the beginning, even when the odds favoured the Germans. Resisted to the end but it was too damn cold or 24 hour light made it very difficult to see how this could be focus of the Allies return to mainland Europe.
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