Re: SOE (Special Operations Executive)

Thunderpussy wrote:

I'm no expert, ( and I think it has already been mentioned) but in Britain there were
Units trained and equipment hidden, to be used as a resistance force, should Britain
have been invaded.

Yes I mentioned the Aux units earlier.


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ajb007/martini  see, what we learn on AJB.

"I've been informed that there ARE a couple of QAnon supporters who are fairly regular posters in AJB."


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I've mentioned this before, but my Grandad (Mums Side) was part of the Home Guard.

1.On Her Majesties Secret Service 2.The Living Daylights 3.license To Kill 4.The Spy Who Loved Me 5.Goldfinger


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I've got the impression that much of this was made public in other countries in the 1990's.


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There's a brilliant book about the SOE called "Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive" by David Stafford. Couldn't put it down, so many amazing stories.


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I'll check out the book. Thanks.
Back to Stay Behind. I find it strange if so little is known about British Stay Behind. In Norway we know detrails like how it was organised, the number of people involved, a couple of staff buildings, when it was dissolved etc. There is still a lot that's unknown, but it seems a lot more is known here than in Britain. I'm thinking there should be more open Sources info than what ha  been written on this thread ....


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As late as the 1960s there was still lots of stuff from WW2 that was secret in the UK, stuff that seems innocent enough now but which was obviously sensitive to someone. Strange that the Stay Behind efforts should still be so shadowy even now.

In Paul Brickhill's book 'The Great Escape' he calls Norwegian Spitfire pilot Jens Muller by the name "Rocky Rockland." Any idea why, Number24? Brickhill was in S-L III and knew Muller, so it wasn't a mistake but clearly intentional. I don't think Muller had an issue with the escape as he talked about it fairly freely later in life and was properly named in all later books, but I wonder if he ended up in Norwegian intelligence and with the 1950s being the height of the Cold War, didn't need/want any attention? I've always been curious about that.


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I have to admit I don't know much about Jens Muller. I knew Norwegians were among the three to Escape Stalag Luft III, and I've seen the movie. Muller wrote a book in 1946 called "Tre kom tilbake" ("Three came back"), so it looks like he was fairly open about it. I assume he was called Rocky Rockland simply because of the geography of this country. Jens Muller worked as a civilian pilot after the war and there is no indication he worked in the inteligence community. I know sailors were asked to take pictures and information when they visited ports behind the iron curtain, so it's likely som civilian pilots did the same. I don't know.
In the Hollywood movie the two Norwegians and the Dutchman who escaped are changed to characters from English-speaking countries (I think), obviously for commercial reasons. Poland is now making a new movie where the role of the Norwegians and the Dutchman has the place it deserves


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Thanks Number 24, so the puzzle remains as to why Brickhill called him Rockland and in fact it's all the more puzzling after learning that he wrote an account of it in 1946. Strange.

Great to hear of an accurate film being made of the Great Escape. I love the Hollywood effort. Superbly entertaining and from having spoken to a number of those who were actually in the camp and involved in the escape, a very accurate portrayal of camp life. But of course the whole Steve McQueen thing was complete fiction and in fact it was apparently McQueen's suggestion that he have at least part of his escape on a motorbike because he loved motorbikes so much. Fantastic film, but the true story is just as amazing.


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I understand the Hollywood movie was fairly accurate up to the point of the escape, but the rest of the movie is mainly for entrtainment.


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JamesBondRadio.com wrote:

There's a brilliant book about the SOE called "Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive" by David Stafford. Couldn't put it down, so many amazing stories.

That was accompanied by a very good TV series on BBC 32 around 2001 or so. I have the tapes still somewhere.  ajb007/martini

"The tough man of the world. The Secret Agent. The man who was only a silhouette." - Ian Fleming, Moonraker (1955).


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For anyone who's interested in SOE I saw the tail end of a film called 'Against The Wind' this morning on Film Four. It was made in 1947 & was about an SOE teams efforts to try & rescue a resistance leader from German custody. What I saw was really good & the makers employed correct techniques. During a fight scene one of the SOE men (a young Gordon Jackson) killed a Nazi soldier using methods anyone who knows about the subject woul recognise. There was also use of exploding cowpats to disable a Gestapo vehicle. There was also a Lysander aircraft which picked up the rescued resistance man & took him to England. All in all a good watch, it's sure to be repeated so if you get the chance I recommend you watch it.


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I've just found this clip:



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A fantastic, informative and enjoyable thread, many thanks to those that have contributed.


"Do you expect me to talk?  "No Mister Bond I expect you to die"


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I absolutely love reading about the SOE. I highly recommend a booked called 'Secret Agent' by David Stafford. It's a collection of real-life stories following the missions of some of the SOE agents. Couldn't put it down, it's one of my favourite books.


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I watched 'School For Danger' yesterday. It has been mentioned here before. All the people appearing were actual SOE agents & members of the French Resistance. It's on You Tube & well worth an hour of your time.


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I have recently come across a gentleman by the name of Peter Mason who authored a book called "Official Assassin: Winston Churchill's SAS Hit Team." The premise of the book is that Mason was in the SAS during WW2 and when the war ended he was amongst a small group tasked with tracking down Nazis who weren't going to face official justice, and remove them (ie he had a "Licence to Kill"). He is amongst those described as 'the real James Bond' and claims to have been a friend of Ian Fleming's and advised him on spy gear and equipment. The book was published in the US in hardback and paperback in the late 1990s. Sadly I have not read it as copies are very expensive and I'd like to hear some more about Mason before I take the plunge.

The thing is that if you do try and find out more information on Mason, the only thing that comes up is his book (and a few references to knives etc). I've come across nothing on him or the missions described in any book on the history of the SAS, SOE or WW2 war crimes trials etc, and no mention of him in any books on Fleming. And that's a lot of books! He says that the MoD stopped the publication of his second book which would be interesting if true, but again, I can find nothing beyond his own claim to this. When you read reviews of his book, opinions seem to range from 100% acceptance to complete dismissal of the whole thing as fiction. But again, it's the internet and anyone can say anything without providing proof, especially in reviews.

Just wondering if anyone on here had ever read this book or heard of Mason.


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Personally it sounds a bit dubious to me. There were SAS teams tasked with hunting Nazis after the war but they were under very strict orders to bring them in to face justice. There was a Jewish outfit also operating (not under British control) who did hunt then kill Nazis. I am a rather keen amateur WW2 historian & for what it's worth I have never heard of him or such a unit.

Ian Fleming must have had a lot of friends & anyone who likens themselves to 'the real James Bond' immediately arouses suspicion. The thing about such stories is that the teller can always hide behind the official secrets act & dead people.

BTW did I ever tell you that I knew both Winston Churchill & Ian Fleming but was under orders not to say anything. Do you get my drift?


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Thanks Stag. I've met a few "I was in the SAS but can't talk about it" types, and you're right, they do hide behind the OSA, although you can still often tell who is/might be real and who's telling porkies. The Mason story is an interesting one as you would have thought that the publisher would have vetted him beforehand, but then again, we've had books published as real that were known to be fiction before, so who knows. I'm leaning heavily towards the "on ya bike" with this one, but just wondered if anyone had ever heard anything about it or him before.


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Mason has been exposed as a serial BS'er many times.    He also manufactured fake SOE weapons which he claimed were his and flooded the market.  His war record is a lot less bland and he was no way connected with SF.



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Here's some reading about this Peter Mason character

https://crimethroughtimecollection.word … aker-team/

Oh dear, oh dear!


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Great replica Welrod shown in post 12.

These replicas are very well made and nice to handle although no match for an original.


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I saw a Welrod in a museum outside Bergen, Norway. The museum documents the "Bear West" WWII guerilla base. I got the impression the museum guide knew next to nothing about the gun.

The commander of the partisan base Bjørn West, SOE agent Harald Risnes, teaching the troops gun handling.



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A very Bondian news article: how the SOE used diamonds (needs registration)

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/uk/d … 773539.ece


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These are pictures of the SOE group named "Grebe"that hid in the Norwegian mountains in 1943 to sabotage the railways:

Origonal caption: "The mountain is ours"


Collecting containers dropped by parachute:

Hiding the containers: