Tag archives for SOE

Into Darkness [WW2 SOE] – June Write Club Story

Into Darkness is the story I wrote for June's Write Club, which is a local group to encourage us to write and share feedback with each other. There were eight stories this month, which is the third time the group has met, but the first time I've managed to join. I did submit a story for the first time, and wrote one for the second time but it got way over the word count and I didn't send it in. I found it a very friendly and supportive group, and it was a pleasure to read the stories that the others had written. The theme was to write something involving a letter. Write Club meets on the second Saturday of the month, with the stories due in a week before that. Right now it's meeting via zoom, although that wasn't…
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reviews

Code Name Beatriz by Lou Cadle [Book Review]

Code Name: Beatriz by Lou Cadle My rating: 5 of 5 stars Code Name Beatriz by Lou Cadle is historical fiction done right. I always shy from historical fiction, not because I don't like it, but because it's really hard to get right. That's doubly so when it's one of my favourite and most read periods of history. I've read about SOE agents since finding a copy of Carve Her Name With Pride at my granny's house when I was ten. ┬áLou Cadle has done a great job with Code Name Beatriz. Code Name Beatriz French resistance fighters being arrested, France, Jul 1944 (photo: Bundesarchiv, Koll, Bild 183-J27289) Starting in the early spring of 1944 it follows an SOE agent with the code name Beatriz (hence the title). Beatriz is a fully rounded and complex character, which makes her interesting.…
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alternative

What if? Building an alternate history

Photograph of Lord Halifax, British Ambassador to the United States, with an unidentified officer, at the - NARA - 199243 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Last week I had dinner with a friend who asked me a "what if?" question that set me thinking about building an alternate history for a game and a story. We were talking about SOE in the spring and summer of 1944. The period is rich in possibilities and decisions for players on a game. However there's an awful lot of hindsight getting in the way of being able to properly game the period. The Problem with Hindsight The invasion is inevitable, and even when previous games have given the allies latitude over where and when the German players don't act the way the Germans did. It's impossible to create the same uncertainty in the German High…
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reviews

German Penetration of SOE by Jean Overton Fuller [Book Review]

English: Hon. Assistant Section Officer Noor Inayat Khan (code name Madeleine), George Cross, MiD, Croix de Guerre avec Etoile de Vermeil. Noor Inayat Khan served as a wireless operator with F Section, Special Operations Executive. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) The German Penetration of SOE by Jean Overton Fuller My rating: 4 of 5 stars I've been reading about SOE for more than three decades. This is the third book about SOE that I've read so far this year, and it is one of the earliest to point to the man behind the curtain. There is a carefully cultivated view of plucky heroism fighting thuggish Nazis, and prevailing eventually. The reality is clearly quite different. Each of the three books I've read this year has pointed that out (see my reviews of books about Vera Atkins & Nancy Wake). That we know…
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reviews

Vera Atkins: A Life in Secrets by Sarah Helm [Book Review]

A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Missing Agents of WWII. by Sarah Helm My rating: 5 of 5 stars A Life in Secrets has been on my shelf for a few years. I've had an interest in SOE since I read Carve Her Name With Pride when I was about 11. Since writing Hunting Nazis I've collected more and more material about SOE with the background thought that I might write some more historical fiction with the same characters. Vera Atkins: A Life in Secrets Vera Atkins in 1945 as a WAAF officer (but still serving with SOE) I found A Life in Secrets a very thorough piece of investigation by Sarah Helm. It builds on what has come before, especially the work of Jean Overton Fuller and adds to it using primary research with documents, interviews and…
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