All the King's Men: The Truth Behind SOE's Greatest Wartime by Robert Marshall

By Robert Marshall

The tale of mystery carrier treachery within the moment international struggle. It describes how the pinnacle of MI6, piqued by way of Chruchill's constructing of SOE as a rival sabotage and intelligence association, devised a seize, utilizing a double agent, Henri Dericourt, to ruin the complete of SOE's intelligence community in France. therefore approximately 1,000 women and men have been arrested, 1000's of whom died in focus camps.

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Of course, not all the inmates the Germans imprisoned there in 1943 were true patriots and nor indeed were all those imprisoned in 1946 guilty of treason. The prisoners in Fresnes were part of a larger society that was gradually steeling itself for a painful period of self-examination. France was emerging from one of the darker chapters in her long history. She had not been united by war, but shattered into a hundred fragments. The presence of the Nazi occupiers had encouraged some Frenchmen of a fascist persuasion to embrace the invader – in the name of France.

15 For the first few years Menzies was somewhat in awe of Dansey, who at 63 was four years older than his chief. 16 But the MI6 to which Dansey had returned was not the same outfit he had known five years before, the domain of ex-Indian policemen and naval types. There had been a vast influx of new recruits, mostly graduates and intellectuals, a breed he particularly disliked. ’17 He was a man who had a passionate dislike of many things. ’ The creation of the Z Organization was by any standard a remarkable feat, though apart from having provided a springboard for Dansey’s own ambitions it achieved very little else – except in one particular respect.

Successive governments had pared MI6’s budget to the bone. The Passport Control network had been allowed to run down and was virtually an open secret within the diplomatic world, while Churchill’s demands for better intelligence only served to highlight MI6’s complete lack of penetration in Germany. MI6 was virtually bankrupt and many of its staff were being paid out of Sinclair’s own pocket. In 1936 he sought a solution with the man who was at that time the PCO at the embassy in Rome, Claude Dansey.

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