How to be a Spy: The World War II SOE Training Manual Paperback – Apr 1 2004
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In the early years of World War II, Special Operations Executive (SOE) set up top secret training schools to instruct prospective agents in the art of being a spy. By the end of 1941, an international network of schools was in operation in secluded locations ranging from the Scottish Highlands to Singapore and Canada. How to Be a Spy reproduces the extensive training manuals used to prepare agents for their highly dangerous missions behind enemy lines. The courses cover a variety of clandestine skills including disguise, surveillance, burglary, interrogation, close combat, and assassination - everything needed to wreak havoc in occupied Europe.
Secret History Files is an exciting series from The National Archives that puts covert history in readers' hands. Dossiers previously classified as 'Top Secret' are now available, with an introduction and background analysis by expert historians.
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Agent Cell organization
Codes And Ciphers
Fieldcraft and Tracking
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.