Commissioned by the Cabinet Office, Mission Accomplished is the official history of the Special Operations Executive in Italy 1943-1945 and the first ever complete account of this story between the Allied landings at Salerno and the end of the war.
SOE contributed significantly to the final political and military liberation of Italy from Nazism and Fascism by the Allied armies in May 1945 by giving extensive material support to the Italian resistance. This, as Churchill wrote in his History of the Second World War, ‘was created in a cruel atmosphere of civil strife, assassinations, and executions,’ and it makes for a story of considerable intrigue, interest, and excitement. Yet compared to the story of its activities in France, SOE’s achievements in Italy have remained almost unknown over the sixty years that have passed since Britain’s wartime Prime Minister wrote these words.
Written in accessible style for a popular market, the book is based on full access to all the recently released files, documents retrieved from other secret agencies, diaries, letters, memoirs, personal interviews and some rare Italian material. It provides the first ever narrative account of SOE operations in Italy, demonstrates how SOE worked closely with the Italian partisans as well as elements of the Royalist government, discusses the part played by SOE officers and their missions in the liberation of such major cities as Milan, Turn, and Genoa, reveals how after having had its networks penetrated by SIM, the Italian military intelligence service, SOE began to work alongside it, explore various controversial claims about Britain’s secret wartime role in Italy such as the theory that SOE was behind the killing of Mussolini, and it narrates the extraordinary and heroic individual missions of the many secret agents despatched to work with the partisans.
David Stafford is an historian and former diplomat who has written extensively on espionage, intelligence, Churchill, and the Second World War. The former Project Director at the Centre for The Study of the Two World Wars at the University of Edinburgh, he is now an Honorary Fellow of the University and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, where he and his wife now live. He has frequently acted as a TV and radio consultant, has written radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the BBC, and his latest book, Ten Days to D-Day, formed ...
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