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SOE in France by M.R.D. Foot

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VI

Politics and the Great Game

 

There was a paradox at the centre of SOE's existence. Winston Churchill, the body's first weighty promoter, was a duke's grandson, best known till that time as a resolute opponent of what he once called ‘the foul baboonery of bolshevism’. Though his government was a coalition, its main political base lay in a conservative majority in the commons more than twice as large as any that party has since enjoyed. Yet SOE's subversive purpose was revolutionary: it was dedicated to the forcible overthrow of nazi dominion in Germany, and of the puppet rulers who depended on the nazis for power, Pétain above all. SOE's task in France was to provoke, under conservative sponsorship, another French revolution.

In the German-occupied ...

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