London - Baker Street


In July 1940, the cabinet approved the founding of an organization called the Special Operations Executive, SOE. This was an organisation whose main task was to carry out and carry out espionage, intelligence, sabotage and attacks in areas controlled by Nazi Germany or their allies. Something that for the agents was associated with a direct danger to life in case they were revealed or captured. SOE also had close cooperation and contacts with resistance movements in the occupied countries, except for the Soviet Union. The agents were placed in their respective operational areas via the air, sea or land where they then made contact with other agents or local contact persons. SOE was headquartered at Baker Street 64 in London and it was there that the operations were developed and planned.

To outsiders, few people knew or had any real idea of what was going on at the address. SOE trained and trained not only British agents but also, for example, Polish, norwegian and Czech agents for assignments in each country. In total, about 13,000 people served in one way or another. However, not all were agents in ”field” but a majority had service ”from home”. Known operations carried out and planned by SOE included the assassination of Himmler’s deputy, SS Gruppenfuehrer Reinhard Heydrich, who was assassinated by Czech agents in Prague in May 1942. British and Norwegian agents attempted to sink the German battleship Tirpitz when it was anchored in Fattenfjord outside Trondheim, Norway. In February 1943, Norwegian agents carried out a sabotage against the Germans’ heavy water production facility in Rjukan, Norway. SOE was disbanded in January 1946.

Current status: Preserved with memorial tablet (2014).

Address: Baker Street 64, Marylebone, London W1U7.

Get there: Metro to Baker Street station.

My comment:

SOE discussed, planned and implemented many spectacular plans but one of the most spectacular and ambitious was Operation Foxely. An operation that certainly went no further than the discussion plane but which was to assassinate Hitler in 1944. However, the plan was abandoned for several reasons. Bl. SOE could not solve how to place an agent in Hitler’s vicinity who could carry out the murder and that there was a perception that Germany without Hitler could be a purely military one more dangerous Germany.

Follow up in books: Mackenzie, W.J.M.: The Secret History of SOE: The Special Operations Executive 1940 – 1945 (2002).