Cover Image: SOE in Denmark

SOE in Denmark

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4 stars. It was refreshing to read about SOE's work in Denmark (I personally am sick to death with reading about their operations in France, as if it was the only country they operated in). I would have liked to hear more personal stories about the operatives.

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. My opinions are my own and not influenced by anyone. Ever.
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SOE in Denmark is an overview of SOE operations in Denmark written shortly after the war.  (Special Operations Executive) 
"SOE in Denmark was written at a time when SOE was still largely unknown to the general public and its operations a closely guarded secret. It was expected that its activities would never be officially acknowledged and the study of its actions in Denmark was compiled with the aim of provide a lasting record of its achievement."

While the book offers an account of the SOE's operations and collaboration with the Danish agents, it is an official report and lacks personal information about the agents who risked their lives.  The Appendices offer more information and reference material.  I was a little startled to find that approximately 2/3 of the book was the reference material, important and informative.

Having read Between Silk and Cyanide by Leo Marks (son of Benjamin Marks, antiquarian bookseller of Marks & Co and 84, Charing Cross Road fame), I mistakenly thought SOE in Denmark would be similar.  

It isn't.  It is, nevertheless, important.  I  wish someone had recorded a more detailed account of  the individuals involved in the resistance to the Nazi Occupation of Denmark. Although SOE in Denmark lacks the human aspect, it is historically interesting.

(Some of the most famous female SOE agents were in France and included Nancy Wake, Violette Szabo, Odette Sansom, and Noor Inayat Khan--they have been written about many times. I wish we knew more about the Danish agents.)  

NetGalley/Frontline Books

WWII History.  Sept. 21, 2021.  Print length:  208 pages.
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The book “SOE in Denmark: The Special Operations Executive’s Danish Section in WW2” will be published in 2021 (September). This is an official history of the unit. 

I categorize this book as ‘PG’. The story is about the Danish Section of the British Special Operations Executive. The SOE. These agents operated inside of occupied Denmark for nearly five years. 

This is different from many WWII histories as a member of the SOE wrote it shortly after the war. It is the detailed record of the principal agents and their mission. The various leaders and their roles are described. In a sense, it is the operational journal of the unit. As you might expect given its ‘official history’ status it is a very dry and academic read. 

  I enjoyed the 2+ hours I spent reading this 208-page WWII history. While it does have over 200 pages, the narrative part is less than 30% of the book. The rest is reference material. This would be a great asset to a researcher, but it is not exactly a fun read. I do like the chosen cover art. I give this book a 3.7 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

You can access more of my book reviews on my Blog ( https://johnpurvis.wordpress.com/blog/).

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).
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This is a fascinating book, comprising as it does the official record of aspects of the activities of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in occupied Denmark during the Second World War. Written from an official perspective, and lacking the historical perspective provided by other sources and changed perceptions since the mid 1940s over some of the activities of the SOE, it may appear to some readers as a rather cold, clipped - and even clinical - account of the activities of spymasters and agents in the field. Other readers will value the opportunity to make their own judgements based on the very straightforward accounts provided by the author of the official records, who doubtless drew on the knowledge of a range of colleagues.  Another unusual aspect of the book Is that the narrative is exceeded in length by an extensive set of appendices. A useful piece of advice for readers looking for accounts of the SOE inspired activities would be to take some time to seek out the accounts provided in the appendices of some actions. Similarly, readers with an appetite for data may be fascinated to read of the staggering quantities of arms, ammunition and explosives dropped to agents by the RAF, or shipped into Denmark by sea. 
A more chilling reminder of the stakes played for during sabotage and armed attacks against the occupying Nazi forces is the matter of fact way that people believed to have been traitors were simply ‘liquidated’. Reinforcing this sense of high stakes activities the remarkably courageous efforts of Allied pilots and crews in mounting two successful low level raids targeting Gestapo headquarters in occupied Denmark are briefly highlighted. The narrative explains the reasons for requesting such a difficult operation in relation to captured agents being held in the headquarters and compromising data that it was hoped would be destroyed in the raids..
In summary, whilst the book may appear a rather dry account of the SOE’s activities in Denmark, it has the valuable quality of reflecting how these activities were seen at the time by those intimately involved with the SOE. 
Recommended to those readers who enjoy exploring the more hidden corners of the history of the Second World War.
Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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At first, I would like to thank Netgalley and Pen & Sword for allowing me to review this book. Keep in mind that my review, however, is my true opinion on this book.

"SOE in Denmark -The Special Operations Executive’s Danish Section in WW2" by An Official History is the story about Denmark during WWII. As the small country, Denmark is, it had a greater impact on the second world war than you would expect. The  Special Operations Executive (SOE) did a lot of work, and it paid off. This was a hidden part of history, and it is very interesting to dig into and to read about in this book. You will surely know all the details when you have read this book, which fills you in on all of it. 

This book will give you some insight into the war, and you will get to explore some interesting history. 

Get ready to learn, and get ready to read a good story and a book that is well written.
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A good book regarding the resistance movement in Denmark. The only drawback was the book could have used more personalized stories and first hand accounts. This one came across more of a chronicle of dates and action, but little human interest stories.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Denmark concentrated on social and industrial improvements before the war, and also decided that any preparations for defence it undertook would be hopeless, perhaps leading to provocation. This left the country in an extremely vulnerable position, so that the Germans could easily capture it. The British  Commonwealth even classified the Danes as 'enemy aliens' after the Germans took over. The S.O.E. started from a very small base, and the problem of organising opposition to the enemy was formidable, because of Denmark's huge collection of islands and strategic position.

However, the German reign of terror caused great disquiet in the population leading more people to join the Resistance, but they had a dreadful time with many difficulties, including betrayals, captures, factional fighting, and problems obtaining financial help.. These are all described here, along with the S.O.E.'s sabotage and bombing operations and major successes.

This is fairly dry, and factual, so it is more for research purposes. However, the story of the Resistance in Europe never fails to be interesting.



I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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As a Dane, this was of course very interesting to me to dive into. It's a part of my history and of my family history that is illuminated here. I don't have any issues with the text - it's matter-of-fact and illuminating. But I do have an issue with the editing. In my opinion the editor/publisher is doing the reader a huge disservice. This is a special text and it needs a preface! The reader needs context to really appreciate this text - why was it written, who wrote it, what context was it written it, what was the aim of the text. These things are essential in order to really delve into this text and get the most out of it.
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This concise history of SOE operations in Denmark is split into two parts, the first being an historical narrative of the creation and operation of the Danish SOE organisation, and the second being a series of appendices which go into greater detail about the SOE agents, a rundown of the wireless communications between Denmark and the UK, air and sea operations etc. There is also a particularly satisfying section on the various acts of sabotage carried out by the Danish Resistance. 
The story of this important yet largely unknown chapter of World War II is told lucidly and without sensationalism; written by an unknown Staff Officer in SOE’s Danish Section prior to disbandment in 1946, it is a vital addition to the history of SOE and the canon of wartime history.
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Note: ARC via Netgalley.  I also find it amusing that I am typing up this review while watching the Denmark vs England Euro Semi-final.  Go Denmark!

	During the Second World War, the Nazis occupied Denmark.  What most people, in particularly people in the US know about this occupation, can usually be summed up by some like non Jewish Danes ferried their Jewish citizens out of Denmark.  That’s pretty much it.  Yet there is so much more to the history of Denmark during WWII. 
	While this official report that not oriented on the Danish resistance but on SOE involvement in either supporting the Resistance or those in exile.  The tone is rather dry; after all it is an official report.  It does shed detail on the operations as well as those who took part in them.  The reader gets a sense of the various operations and people who battled against the Nazis.
	I do wish in some places there are more details, in particular when discussing Danish Resistance members who had been killed by the Nazis, leading to a Danish reaction and recommitment to resist.  
	Yet, there is much here for the student of history and the appendices are worth reading.
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This was first class scholarship hands down. I found this account of the Special Operations Executive in Denmark during WW II to be completely fascinating . The book’s step by step explanation of how these operatives from Britain and Denmark helped sow the seeds of resistance against the Germans is a deeply valuable resource to those who wish to know of a lesser known aspect of the Second World War.
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