Special Operations Executive (SOE) operatives in the Touraine

In the Second World War British operatives from ‘Section F’ of the Special Operations Executive (SOE) were active in the Touraine Region, and across all France. Do visit www.fact-index.com/s/so/soe_f_section_timeline.html for a full list.

One example of those listed is Brian Stonehouse: 1918-1998 (pictured right). In 1941 he

Brian Stonehouse - 'self_portrait' sketched in WWII concentration camp

was parachuted into occupied France near Tours.

Eventually he was captured and interrogated by the Gestapo who placed him in solitary confinement and subjected him to brutal interrogations in the harshest of conditions, including those at the notorious Fresnes Prison, Paris. Finally he was sent to Germany and the Mauthausen concentration camp.

For more information on Brian Stonehouse click here and/or here.

About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
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4 Responses to Special Operations Executive (SOE) operatives in the Touraine

  1. rmb1957 says:

    I have just published a novel about the Special Operations Executive’s involvement with Rudolf Hess’ flight to Scotland and the use of the paranormal to win WWII. Although fiction, the book mixes fact with fiction, including real life characters like Ian Fleming, Aleister Crowley, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhold Heydrich, Arletty, and Rudolf Hess to tell a fascinating tale of thrilling intrigue. A major portion deals with a secret mission to Occupied France.

    It is for sale at Amazon.com Kindle. In February, the paperback version will be available.
    Check out my website dedicated to the book: www. robertmbennett. com


    R. Bennett

  2. sirgarreth says:

    Is there a way to gauge the lasting effects of having these operations based out of Touraine? Did the plights of those such as Mr. Stonehouse foment anti-Nazi resistance in the region, or is that putting the chicken before the egg?

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Hi, good questions you’ve raised, Sir Garreth.
      The support from the UK in the form of dropped agents was received in quite different ways by different resistance groups. There was a fair deal of duplicity going on at the time. For example, sometimes, to get local groups to provide intelligence (troop movements and deployments for example) British agents said that the information they radioed back to the UK was going to the Free French (i.e. de Gaulle) but actually it went back to UK military intelligence. There was also a lot of suspicion by certain groups of any association with British agents and then there was the issue of certain ‘members‘ of the resistance betraying British agents to the Gestapo. Preconceptions of the French Resistance can also be flawed for example many leaders of the resistance were in fact Spanish or youth, men and women of non-French origin who had fought Nazi-ism and Fascism in their own countries before fleeing to France.
      But, I’ll stick my neck out and say that, YES, overall, such British agents did help strengthen anti-Nazi resistance in the Region especially as preparations for liberation drew closer.

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