Britain’s secret Cold War offensive
Ministers, subversion and special operations, 1948–51
in Intelligence, security and the Attlee governments, 1945–51
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Chapter Four considers Ministerial attitudes towards special operations and the development of covert warfare against the Eastern Bloc. By looking at the example of Operation Valuable, SIS’s abortive scheme to detach Albania from the Soviet Orbit, it explores why Bevin, initially opposed to any activities beyond propaganda, endorsed offensive measures. The chapter also examines the development of Britain’s Cold War machinery by looking at the formation and early discussions of the Committee on Communism (Overseas), formed in 1949. It shows that by late 1951 Ministers had endorsed proposals for subversion inside the Soviet Bloc with the aim of undermining Soviet rule. The chapter also details Ministerial discussions on the development of stay behind networks in Europe.

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