SOE and transnational resistance
in Fighters across frontiers
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This chapter examines links between the British special agents, who were often British in name only, and resisters on the ground in occupied France, Albania and Greece. Those recruited to be dropped as agents, who had to be able to collaborate with local resisters often prickly about their interests and identity, were often themselves national hybrids, binationals, with an international educational background or having worked abroad. Some were Jewish refugees from Central Europe who adopted a new British identity. In the occupied countries, they often worked with resisters who were not nationals but, for example, Spanish republicans in southern France or escaped German or Italian POWs in Albania. In Greece, Polish officers working for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) clearly got on well with former Polish POWs and Spanish internees who were outsiders in the Balkans. On the other hand, relations were very difficult with the indigenous Greek communist resistance movement, which defended the Polish government-in-waiting in Moscow, while the Polish POWs supported the Home Army and Polish government in London.

Fighters across frontiers

Transnational resistance in Europe, 1936–48

Editors: Robert Gildea and Ismee Tames

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