The book explores the Special Operations Executive (SOE) which was established by the British government during the Second World War for the purpose of coordinating ‘all action, by the way of subversion and sabotage, against the enemy overseas.’

At the start of the Second World War there were few existing facilities established within the UK to support clandestine operations. As the conflict progressed, in parallel to learning the operational procedures of their trade, SOE also had to rapidly expand their support infrastructure around the world. The organisation could effectively support their agents only by establishing facilities dedicated to training, research and development, supply, transportation, communication, and command and control.

Dr Derwin Gregory, said: “Although the overseas operations of this branch of the British Secret Services are relatively well known, few studies have explored the ‘backroom sections’ of this organisation.

“This book draws together the infrastructure developed to support an agent’s ‘journey’ from recruitment to despatch to the field.

“By predominately focusing on the organisation’s ‘agent facing’ infrastructure, this book provides a backdrop to the brave men and women who conducted operations abroad. In addition, it gives an overview of the facilities in which SOE’s backroom staff lived and worked.

“I hope this book will be of interest to students and scholars of archaeology, history and war studies.”

Derwin specialises in militarised landscapes and modern conflict archaeology.

The book is available now at:

To found out more about archaeology at BGU, visit:

5th January 2022

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