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

A mission for "Felix" and the Gestapo attempt to locate "Cat" transmitting

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: For my next operation I used another field with a new reception committee. I tried the "Eureka" this time and it worked very well. The aircraft, fitted with special apparatus, picked up our radar waves ten minutes before we heard the engines. The navigator had to watch a green line that moved horizontally across a dial, this line showed him at once when he wondered off course. All he had to do was to keep it in the middle. It was a grand feeling seeing the stores dropping to us. It meant we could soon begin our sabotage activity. It wasn't only explosives we needed, it was just as important to have arms for protection.

We knew the Germans had wireless direction finding stations in France. Once they realised an operator was working within a certain area, they sent out small listening vans. Finally, they were able to place a transmitter to within a few hundred yards, then, they'd watch until they were sure of the actual room. This meant the operator had to be continually on the move. "Cat" hadn't been working in the same room for very long, so perhaps we were a little too confident.

There are shots of German police officers listening to transmissions.

Subtitles: Send two men to Place Carnot - they're transmitting now.

There is sound of loud piano music.

Two men walk towards "Cat's" building and knock on the door of her apartment. They ask her to show her papers. They search the apartment, but find nothing and leave.

Female agent: Luckily, I had made an arrangement with the girl who lived in the house opposite to keep a sharp lookout when my curtains were drawn. That meant I was transmitting or receiving. So when I'd heard a loud thumping on her piano, the danger signal, I was all prepared to receive those unwelcome visitors.