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Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive

In June 1940 Britain and her allies were driven off the continent by the German Army and with it lost any chance of fighting the Germans in Europe. With democracy on its knees and invasion imminent Britain needed a new style of warfare, and a new organisation to wage it... And so the Special Operations Executive was created.

With a brief from Winston Churchill to 'go, set Europe ablaze', the SOE's job was to co-ordinate subversive and sabotage activity against the enemy by any means necessary, using explosives, guerrilla warfare, even cold-blooded murder. In short, to aid the war effort by any secret and underhand methods possible.

This book introduces us to the people who fought this secret war: men like Monty Woodhouse who was parachuted into occupied Greece and, with the help of rival resistance groups, successfully destroyed an essential supply route for the Germans. It explores the recruitment of new operatives, the network of people and codes used to send information back and forth across the channel, and the James Bond-style gadgets that were designed to help them carry out their sabotage operations. It also touches on the torture and death suffered by those operatives unable to evade capture by the Gestapo.

More than just a war-time thriller, Secret Agent presents the true story of the secret war fought in occupied Europe.


‘A superior example of the genre.’

Sunday Times

‘As good an introduction to this thrilling and moving subject as we are likely to get.’


‘For those seeking enlightenment the book provides an excellent starting point.’

Sunday Telegraph.

“David Stafford has become the greatest expert on the SOE organization. Stafford shows a complete mastery of the literature, and incorporates extensive quotations from many of those actively involved in SOE activities.”

John Plowright

“I recommend this book to World War II buffs… this fantastic treasure trove of information on the Special Operations Executive.”


“This non-fiction book reads like fiction… like something straight out of a James Bond novel. Excellent.”

Hollie Burdett – Bookseller

“Great... exactly my kind of book. A history book written in an engaging way that can draw in even those readers who don't usually go for non-fiction reads.”

Holly Senecal - Reviewer

“An excellent read. Secret Agent combines all the excitement of a Spy novel with the truth of a well-researched documentary.”

Kevin Montgomery - Educator

David Stafford Buy