Britain’s Special Operations Executive (SOE), which conducted sabotage campaigns and supported resistance movements in Axis-occupied Europe and in Asia, is often described as Winston Churchill’s brainchild. But as A. R. B. Linderman reveals in this engrossing history, the real genius behind Britain’s clandestine warriors was Colin Gubbins, a British officer who forged the SOE by drawing on lessons learned in irregular conflicts around the world. Following Gubbins through operations he studied and participated in, Linderman maps the evolution of the SOE from its origins to its doctrine to its becoming a critical institution. Part biography, part intellectual and organizational history, Rediscovering Irregular Warfare is the first book to explore the origins of a substantial force in the Allies’ victory in World War II.
Although popular history holds that Britain entered World War II with no prior knowledge of or experience with underground warfare, Rediscovering Irregular Warfare tells us otherwise. Linderman finds ample precedent in the clearly documented work of Gubbins and his fellow clandestine organizers.