The Special Operations Executive (SOE), also known as 'Churchill's Secret Army' or the 'Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare', was born from Churchill's vision 'to set Europe ablaze'.
It was formed to conduct espionage and sabotage in enemy-occupied territory as well as aid local resistance groups in their own irregular warfare. After D-Day, it played a crucial role in the liberation of Europe.
However, Tom Keene's book reveals for the first time how close it came to never existing at all.
Many saw SOE as a threat to the existence of MI5 and other intelligence agencies, and some in the armed forces refused to work with the new agency, fearing its broad remit and lack of experienced operatives..
SOE, in turn, became ever more secretive, hiding detail's of their operations from anyone outside the agency. This backstabbing climate of rivalry, confusion and secrecy within the higher echelons of government not only nearly destroyed SOE, but also had tragic repercussions for the daring Commandos who took part in the legendary 'Cockleshell Raid'.
Cloak of Enemies exposes the secret war in the shadows and backrooms of Whitehall during the Second World War and its far-reaching consequences.