Mark Seaman


Seaman, Mark. The Bravest of the Brave: The True Story of Wing Commander "Tommy" Yeo-Thomas, SOE, Secret Agent, Codename "White Rabbit." London: O'Mara Books, 1997.

Clark comment: This is a biography of F.F.E. Yeo-Thomas who was captured by the Nazis on his third mission for SOE into occupied France. He survived, indeed escaped from, Buchenwald. He was the subject of an earlier biography -- Marshall, The White Rabbit (1952) -- but Seaman has had access to additional sources. Foot, I&NS 13.2, is pleased that Yeo-Thomas "has now found a less sermonizing and more powerful biographer.... The strength and the humanity of one of the century's leading secret agents are well described in this book, which enhances knowledge of what is now called covert action." See also, Richard Norton-Taylor, "Forgotten Spy and Escape Artist Extraordinaire Comes in from the Cold," The Guardian, 31 Mar. 2010.


Seaman, Mark. "Founding Father? Sir Colin Gubbins and the Origins of SOE." Intelligence & National Security 11 (1996): 360-363.


Seaman, Mark. "A Glass Half Full -- Some Thoughts on the Evolution of the Study of the Special Operations Executive." Intelligence and National Security 20, no 1 (Mar. 2005): 27-43. And in The Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946, ed. Neville Wylie, 27-41. London : Routledge, 2007.

Serious students of SOE must "ply a difficult course through a sea of patchy paperwork and a host of personal accounts of uncertain accuracy." The author comments on "official" histories and records releases.

[RefMats/Release/UK; UK/WWII/Services/SOE/I&NS]

Seaman, Mark. "Good Thrillers, but Bad History: A Review of Published Works on the Special Operations Executive's Work in France during the Second World War." In War, Resistance and Intelligence: Essays in Honour of M.R.D. Foot, ed. Kenneth G. Robertson, 119-133. Barnsley, UK: Leo Cooper, 1999.


Seaman, Mark. "'A New Instrument of War': The Origins of the Special Operations Executive." In Special Operations Executive: A New Instrument of War, ed. Mark Seaman, 7-21. London: Routledge, 2005.


Seaman, Mark, ed. Secret Agent's Handbook of Special Devices. London : PRO, 2000. The Secret Agent's Handbook of Special Devices, World War II. Guildford,CT: Lyons, 2001.

Kruh, Cryptologia 25.2, identifies this as a large hardbound volume with "the main pages from the 1940's SOE Descriptive Catalogue of Special Devices and Supplies in their original format." Seaman's 30-page introduction "places the catalogue in its historical context and describes how many of the items were used on actual missions.... It is a fascinating collection."


Seaman, Mark, ed. Special Operations Executive: A New Instrument of War. London: Routledge, 2005.

According to Tillotson, Times (London), 14 Jan. 2006, this book "brings together work by those who gave papers at the first international conference on SOE at the Imperial War Museum in 1998. The papers have now been extended using previously classified material, including accounts of the impact on events of key personalities.... [T]his publication is an essential bank of information on the SOE, as well as providing pointers to many other sources."

Herrington, I&NS 21.6 (Dec. 2006), calls this "an important contribution to the growing body of scholarly work on SOE." Although "a lot of the material is not new or revelatory,... this book contains several interesting and illuminating contributions."


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