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Thread: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

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    Default War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    I have created a new thread to carry over information that originally started here, the subject has grown and its now more relevant to this section of the forum.

    I have over the last few years been researching the sites and work of the SOE (special Operations Executive), Currently I have located and logged over 200 sites in the UK alone and have notes on probably the same again that need following up and finding evidence for, these range from testing sites, social meeting points, arms dumps, airfields to manufacturer bases and of course the SOE stations, training schools and other key facilities.

    As new information comes up it will be added to my SOE site (www.clandestinearmy.com) and here, especially information that is aviation related.

    Currently any information on the following sites would be helpful,

    SOE operations at RAF Tangmere. Especially in relation to used buildings on the airfield.

    Any information about RAF Tempsford. Especially the use of local buildings for SOE staff and agent ops.


    If anyone can help with station maps of any SOE site (airfield or other) they would be really helpful.

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    84OTU Chris Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Jenna

    At some point are you going to incude all the OSS sites as well although thats a lot of research?

    Chris

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Hi Chris,

    I have started to log some OS and SOE/SO sites that have come up in SOE research already but that's just coincidental.

    It's all a question of time, atm I want to concentrate on the early sites which obviously are all SIS/RM and SOE to build the frame work of how the organisation was established however the documentation is fragmented and so shot full of holes its hard work.

    I know there are quite a few experts out there on the OSS side, and I know the guys at Harrington are expert in the later Jedbergh teams so hopefully at some time in the future they may wish to add info as they wish.


    Today I have spent 8 hours solid trying to trace about 5 minutes of footage of site taken in 1989, lol remind me why I started this?

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    84OTU Chris Lowe's Avatar
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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    I know what you mean about the time spent Jenna, the guys at Harrington told me the station opening ceremony was filmed for newsreel & I'm still trying to find it as it supposedly shows Desborough Wellingtons doing a flypast.

    Still trying to chase up your SOE reference to Desborough as well.

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Thanks Chris,

    Last night I thought I would try and nail down the exact location of the SOE site(s) in India, the documentation gave a lot of clue but nothing exact. Most the sources state that the Aston House (former sis and later SOE) station12 was replicated in India under the control of its former CO. I have many references to it being 'at' Poona, but nothing specific. Some of the archives also call the station different names (one even station 103, which it defiantly wasn't!) some the India Mission and some the Combined Training Centre...

    one useful reference describes the site as being on a wind swept hill and another on the shore of Lake Kharakvasla, and a 3rd states it was at Kedagaon which although that's on the outskirts of Poona (now renamed Pune) its still a big area to research...grrr

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    I should of added this earlier the map of all the sites identified so far is here....

    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ms...1005,33.815918

    I will start lifting across individual location information sections so everyone can read, comment etc etc.... there are over 250 (excluding sites abroad) now so it may take a little time though!

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna View Post
    I should of added this earlier the map of all the sites identified so far is here....

    https://maps.google.co.uk/maps/ms?ms...1005,33.815918

    I will start lifting across individual location information sections so everyone can read, comment etc etc.... there are over 250 (excluding sites abroad) now so it may take a little time though!
    Was "Port X Keose" SOE, I thought it was RN and Port D?

    http://www.hebrideanconnections.com/

    http://www.hebrideanconnections.com/...A6&caller=8974

    I don't think Inverailort was SOE, the original use predated SOE - it is really the origin of all irregular and Special Forces. It became a Combined Operations whilst the SOE were over at Arisaig House. It is said that the two places operated completely independently and each had no knowledge of the other.

    I think I recommended reading Commando Country as it puts the whole of Combined Operations, SOE, Commando etc into context. There is also a booklet about the SOE locations around Arisaig and this has the most authoritative version of the story of Inverlair House/Lodge though there are still some mysteries about it!

    MB

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Hi MB, there are a lot of locations that cross over between the organisations and its hard as to know where to put the main onus on, as most of my research is SOE based these cross overs have come to my attention as SOE sites first and thats why they have been in many cases designated SOE although they may well have been under control or operated by a different organisation... a good example of this the Helford River units. They were RN staffed, With RN and civilian acquired boats, but the operations they ran were either SOE, RM or even OSS on occasion, plus the units were housed in SOE run facilities. If you think any are classified to far off then let me know and I will happily re-asses them as I'm no expert on the subject.

    Some interesting links thank you.

    Inverailort was indeed primarily a RM site, however it definatly was used by the SOE whilst Arisaig was either being prepared or out of use for a yet unknown reason, in the early SOE days the many trainers from the RM were used by SOE and some courses were at Inverailort. From memory there is something about this in the official SOE history by MRD Foot.

    Commando Country is on my must read list but I'm still getting through the SOE books, thanks for the recommendation, it may get moved up the list!

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    The book is well worth reading as covers the subject well and makes sense of a range of subjects.

    Both Inverailort and Arisaig Houses were requisitioned in the days of MI(R) but went their separate ways when SOE was founded. Some people like Fairburn and Sykes might be familiar with both but to most there would just be a knowledge that there was some sort of training taking place. SOE used Commando training as a cover because people were familiar with the Commando.

    I am sure Inverailort was Combined Operations and run by the RN, Combined Operations was included all services and of course the Commando were not exclusively RM.

    MB

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    Default Re: War Office HQs, SOE, SIS, OSS and other Special Forces sites.

    Not quite SOE but this report has some good stuff on Combined Operations, Commando etc

    Report on staff officers' courses held at Combined Training Centre, Largs : 30 Jul 43-18 Mar 44

    There are other reports and papers on the site that mention SOE.

    Commando Country has a passing reference to a German raid on a British radar station in WWII. It quotes a RUSI report by Laycock, he is a person most likely to have been involved in any investigation into the raid. I have seen suggestions that it was probably a site on the Isle of Wight and some British might have been killed but nevr seen a full report.

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