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SOE in France by M.R.D. Foot

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III

Recruiting and Training

 

All the fundamental mistakes that were made in the field in France arose from three causes: wireless direction-finding, faulty original choice of a very few agents who turned out careless or worse, and – especially in RF section – over-centralization. The second cause created much the most trouble; so it would be useful to take a close look at what the recruiting system was. Unfortunately – and this was a radical error – the arrangements for testing and accepting agents were not systematic at all.

A summary of achievements, or the lack of them, at the end of 1940 recorded the difficulties ruefully:

In fact, in the belligerent, occupied and so-called neutral countries of Central and Western Europe no field staff ...

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