The Gestapo kept me three days in this interrogation house. They especially wanted to know what I did after my escape, and precise things on the organisation of the SOE. And just for fun I suspect, because I had really not much to tell them, they pulled one of my toenails out...' - Robert Sheppard, SOE agent. The Special Operations Executive (SOE) was a secret British organisation created early in World War 2 to encourage resistance and carry out sabotage behind enemy lines: in Winston Churchill's famous phrase, to 'set Europe ablaze'. Drawing on the vast resources of the Imperial War Museum Sound Archive and featuring a mass of previously unpublished personal testimonies, Forgotten Voices of the Secret War tells the stories of SOE agents, HQ staff, diplomats, aircrew and naval personnel in their own words. As the war unfolds, we learn of parachute drops into enemy territory, torture by the Gestapo and nerve-wracking sabotage missions in far-flung climes. Forgotten Voices of the Secret War is both an incredible account of espionage during World War 2 and a fitting testament to the efforts and sacrifices of a dedicated group of courageous men and women.
Roderick Bailey is a military historian attached to the Imperial War Museum and the author of the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, Forgotten Voices of the Secret War, and the critically acclaimed The Wildest Province: SOE in the Land of the Eagle. He is a graduate of Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and a former Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford.