Specially Employed

Title:                      Specially Employed

Author:                 Maurice J.Buckmaster

Buckmaster, Maurice J. (1952). Specially Employed: The Story of British Aid to French Patriots of The Resistance. London: The Batchworth Press

LCCN:    53000479

D802.F8 B8


Date Updated:  February 6, 2017

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

This was the first of the author’s two books on the operations of the SOE’s F Section during World War II. Head of this section and an officer who gained some fame because of his work with French resistance, Buckmaster was in a position to provide much more information than he did. He admits at the start that he does not claim that incidents he relates are completely and factually accurate, to which Foot in SOE in France[2] adds the comment, “quite so.” The author tells of some of the SOE agents’ operations in France but very little of his own and his section’s work. What he does relate on recruitment, training, and communications of agents, as well as methods of infiltration and exfiltration, is also minimal. This is another instance where constraints of various sorts were at work, especially so shortly after the war. They were so strong that Buckmaster goes to great pains not to reveal the names of the persons discussed or even to mention SOE by name. Many other works deal more comprehensively with the subject than this volume (Foot’s being one), and in others Buckmaster is described and his work discussed. In Foot’s Resistance[3] F Section and Buckmaster get a condensed treatment.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

The memoirs of the man who was chief of F Section (French) of the S OE. Covers aspects of the organization of the resistance along with some information on resistance tradecraft and on some individual agents of F Section. The author admits in his preface that some of the incidents described are not completely factually accurate.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 98-99

[2] Foot, M.R.D. (1966). SOE In France: An Account of The Work of British Special Operations Executive in France 1940-1944. London:H.M. Stationery Off

[3] Foot, M. R. D. (1977). Resistance : European Resistance to Nazism, 1940-1945. New York: McGraw-Hill

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 198



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2 Responses to Specially Employed

  1. Pingback: Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: SOE—The British Special Operations Executive, Chapter 17 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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