Operation Blunderhead -

Operation Blunderhead

The Incredible Adventures of a Double Agent in Nazi-Occupied Europe



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A meticulously-researched story of a champagne spy who engineered his own failed SOE mission in Estonia and went on to fool both the British and German secret services. A compelling and original story of World War II. Operation Blunderhead was a unique SOE project to parachute an agent into occupied Estonia in 1942. The central character was an unlikely hero, and his survival owed more to his ability to spin a tale than to any daring qualities. Blunderhead was the only SOE operation in a country that had been incorporated into the Soviet Union in 1940 but it involved no cooperation with Moscow (although SOE sought permission for the go-ahead). Uniquely, the operation was not initiated by SOE, but was rather the brainchild of Ronald Sydney Seth (after the war he reinvented himself as Dr Chartham, a pioneering sexologist). Seth left entertaining accounts of his training and these throw light on his extraordinary character and the ways in which SOE sought to prepare its agents. His mission was a failure: Seth was captured, interrogated by the Germans and imprisoned. He claimed that he was saved from a public hanging by the failure to open at the last minute of the trapdoor on the scaffold. From Tallinn he was transferred to a succession of prisons in the Baltic and Germany and ended up in Paris with a mistress where he trained to be a German secret agent. In the war's final months he was taken to Berlin and entrusted with a mission to Britain sanctioned by Himmler. Was he a prisoner who agreed to work for the Germans, or was he a double agent? AUTHOR: David Gordon Kirby is a former professor of modern European history at University College London. His publications include a two-volume history of the Baltic world, published by Longman and translated into various languages, a history of Finland published by CUP and a history of the Baltic and North Seas, published by Routledge. He is an active participant in international conferences and workshops and a regular contributor to websites and magazines. SELLING POINTS: Sabotage missions side by side with luxury jaunts and prison stays A brilliant blend of fact and fiction contrasting material on Seth in the files of SOE with his own account, published as A Spy has no Friends (Andre Deutsch, 1952). 8pp b/w images

Product code: 9780750964814

ISBN 9780750964814
No. Of Pages 224
Publisher The History Press Ltd
Dimensions (HxWxD in mm) H234xW156
In the autumn of 1942, British Special Operations Executive agent Ronald Sydney Seth was parachuted into German occupied Estonia, supposedly to carry out acts of sabotage against the Nazis in a plan code-named Operation Blunderhead.