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SOE in France by M.R.D. Foot

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XIV

Strategic Balance Sheet

 

SOE was set up with the advice and consent of the regular service chiefs of staff; and although it was not fully integrated into the Ministry of Defence's system, on the whole they were able to lay down its strategy. It provided an exceptionally economic means of attaining strategic ends, and the chiefs of staff and their assistants had all been brought up to approve the doctrine of economy of effort as a fundamental strategic principle. Yet while they paid lip-service to this doctrine, in fact they pinned their faith on the big battalions. They did this because the great war of 1914 had been their main formative experience, and because a lifetime's training had accustomed them to the handling of great fleets, massed ...

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