What was the role of Special Operations Executive and what kind of people worked for it?

More training and lectures for work in the field

Extracts from a film called "Now It Can Be Told" produced by the RAF Film Production Unit for the British Government in 1946 about the work of British agents during the war.

Catalogue ref: IWM RMY 78
Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum, London.

Male agent: This really was a school. I mean we had lessons. The instructors were smooth university dons who had taken a course under "Pimpernel Smith" or "Raffles". They told us in the most gentlemanly manner how to organise our private lives as saboteurs, how to burgle a house, how to get out of handcuffs. They told us almost apologetically about 'lethal tablets', suicide pills, to be taken only as a last resort.

Female agent: We made notes about organisation and personal security.

Male agent: Learned how to recognise all ranks of the German services.

Female agent: Told how to use codes.

Male agent: How the BBC sent personal messages during the French news.

Female agent: The organisation of the Gestapo.

Male agent: Until our brains reeled under the load of information!

Male agent: At another school we were taught how to organise reception committees. That's local people who'd collect in a field the night the RAF were coming to parachute supplies.