SOE Operations in Scandinavia, by Louise Atherton

SOE Operations in Scandinavia, by Louise Atherton
Ssubtitled 'A Guide to the Newly Released Records in the Public Record Office'

Published by the Public Record Office in 1994, 34 pages. A4 booklet (A13K)

From the introduction: The second release of Special Operations Executive records to the Public Record Office took place in May 1994. This booklet offers an introduction to the organisation's archives relating to its work in Scandinavia. The records are available in the class HS 2 and can be consulted at the PRO in Kew. Altogether about 165 files have been released, although some files and papers still remain closed. Dummy sheets within the files indicate where this has taken place.

Many of these records are in Danish and Norwegian. They are mainly operational and administrative records, with some duplicates of Foreign Office telegrams and correspondence. There are copies of many telegrams which were received from agents in the field as well as operational reports of various kinds and the personal summaries of SOE agents who were 'interrogated' at the end of the conflict. Maps and some reconnaissance photographs can also be found in some operational files. A short summary of the contents of the records is provided in the following sections which concentrate on some of the most interesting and important subjects covered.

The records of SOE were never kept on an orderly manner, mainly due to the need for secrecy. There was no central registry for the papers produced at the headquarters at Baker Street and any papers kept abroad were always under the threat of destruction in the face of enemy attack. Agents in the field were strongly advised not to keep any papers: the value of this advice became apparent with the early security leaks in the Table organisation in Denmark. Papers were subsequently destroyed as a result of a fire at the headquarters and in weeding exercises. It is estimated that up to 87% of SOE's records were lost as a result. Nonetheless. a good deal of important information about operations in Scandinavia has survived. The contents include:

1. Introduction
2. The origins and organisation of SOE
3. The Special Operations Executive in Scandinavia
4. Arrangement of the records
5. Scandinavian policy: general
6. Relations with other organisations
6.1 The Office of Strategic Services (OSS)
6.2 srs and the Foreign Office
6.3 The Political Warfare Executive (P'vVE)
7. Propaganda
8. Operations and Policies
8.1 Denmark
8.2 Finland
8.3 Norway
8.4 Sweden
8.5 Germany
9. Abbreviations and code names commonly found in the records
10. A select key to the identification of SOE personnel

The condition of the booklet is generally ok. The covers have several minor scuffs and creases, and light creasing and wear along the edges and corners. The hole punched binding has become detached along the bottom quarter, and this has caused some pages to become seperated along that part of the spine. All pages are clean, intact and unblemished.