Secret Alliances: British Special Operations and Intelligence in Norway, 1940-45

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'Secret Alliances' book cover

Dr Tony Insall discusses the work conducted by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) and Special Operations Executive (SOE) alongside local resistance in Norway during the Second World War.

After the Second World War, the American general (and later president) Dwight D Eisenhower commented that there had never before been a conflict where resistance forces were so closely harnessed to the military effort.

In this talk, based on his book 'Secret Alliances', Dr Tony Insall provides a definitive reappraisal of Anglo-Norwegian Second World War co-operation.

Some of the most striking, but least-known, achievements of the Norwegian resistance were reports produced by agents living in the country’s desolate wilderness. Their coast-watching intelligence highlighted the movements of Nazi warships threatening Allied convoys, and led to counter-strikes which damaged or sank many German ships, most notably the Tirpitz in November 1944.

Using previously unpublished archival material from London, Oslo and Moscow, Dr Insall will describe how SIS and SOE agents developed links with their Norwegian counterparts. He will also examine the crucial intelligence from the Security Service and Bletchley Park codebreakers who supported their sabotage operations.

Dr Tony Insall worked for more than 30 years in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, serving in Nigeria, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia before spending five years in Norway. He was also an Associate Editor, Foreign and Commonwealth Historians, and has published several books and a series of articles mainly on Norwegian and Scandinavian history.

Copies of his book Secret Alliances will be available to purchase after the talk.

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