David Stafford

Stafford, David. Britain and European Resistance, 1940-1945: A Survey of the Special Operations Executive, with Documents. London: Macmillan, 1980. Oxford: St. Anthony's, 1980. Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1980. Toronto and Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1983. [pb]

Stafford, David. "Britain Looks at Europe, 1940: Some Origins of SOE." Canadian Journal of History 10, no. 2 (1975): 231-248. [Capet]


Stafford, David. Camp X: Canada's School for Secret Agents, 1941-45. Toronto: Lester and Oprey Dennys, 1986. Harmondsworth: Viking/Penguin, 1986. Camp X: SOE and the American Connection. New York: Dodd, Mead, 1986. New York: Pocket Books, 1988. [pb]

Clark comment: Stafford provides a scholarly account of this SOE training base on the Canadian side of Lake Ontario, which was used by the British in providing some initial training for OSS secret operatives. Charles, I&NS 15.2, finds Camp X to be a "well-researched account" of the secret training base. Stafford also "corrects much of the mythology surrounding British intelligence in the Americas promoted by Stevenson's A Man Called Intrepid." See also, Lynn-Philip Hodgson, Inside-Camp X (1999) and Daniel P. King, "Trip to Camp X," Intelligencer 19.2 and Intelligencer(Summer-Fall 2012): 27-30.

[Canada/WWII; UK/WWII/BSC; WWII/OSS/Topics/Training]

Stafford, David. Churchill and the Secret Service. London & New York: Overlook, 1998. London: Thistle Publishing, 2013. [pb]

Andrew, Telegraph (London), 18 Oct. 1997, comments that "Stafford is the first to pull ... together in a single, very readable volume" Churchill's lifelong involvement with intelligence. The book "also includes fascinating new material." Foot, Spectator, 8 Nov. 1997, says that Stafford "reassesses most of Churchill's major strategic decisions, and shows how secret intelligence dominated them; he provides material for a complete rethink of how the war was won, in a startlingly good book."

For Bennett, I&NS 13.4, Stafford's work is "remarkable" and "magnificent." The author has avoided "with trancendent skill" the pitfalls that accompany writing a near-biography of Churchill. Kirkus Reviews, 1 Dec. 1997, calls the work a "first-rate and, what is more remarkable, an original contribution to Churchilliana, of sure interest to students of Churchill, modern history, or military intelligence."

To Cohen, FA 77.3 (May-Jun. 1998), Stafford "examines, with an unillusioned but generally admiring eye, a statesman who knew how to read intelligence reports and exploit covert operations." Although there is "[n]othing very new ... recounted here," Stafford's stories "are well told and solidly grounded in archival and secondary sources." This assessment is shared by Krome, Library Journal, Jan. 1998, who finds "only a few new revelations here," but notes that "the book does offer an interesting overview of the subject."

Fontaine, History, 26.4, sees the book as providing "a gripping account of Churchill's involvement in intelligence." According to Booklist, 1 Jan. 1998, Stafford believes that Churchill's use of intelligence operations "was generally a plus for Britain and the West. Stafford's narrative is concise, easy to follow..., and often exciting." See also the reviews by Kruh, Cryptologia 22.2; Bates, NIPQ 14.4; Lefebvre, Journal of Military History, Oct. 1999; and Publisher's Weekly, 1 Dec. 1997.


Stafford, David. "The Detonator Concept: British Strategy, SOE and European Resistance after the Fall of France." Journal of Contemporary History 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1975): 185-217.


Stafford, David, ed. Flight from Reality: Rudolf Hess and His mission to Scotland, 1941. London: Pimlico, 2002.

[UK/WWII/Overviews; WWII/Eur/Germany]

Stafford, David.

1. "'Intrepid': Myth and Reality." Journal of Contemporary History 22, no. 2 (1987): 303-317.

2. "A Myth Called Intrepid." Saturday Night (Toronto), Oct.1989, 33-37.


Stafford, David. Mission Accomplished: SOE and Italy 1943–1945. London: Bodley Head, 2011.

For Peake, Studies 55.4 (Dec. 2011) and Intelligencer 19.1 (Winter-Spring 2012), "Mission Accomplished is a fine history that finally documents the SOE contribution in that part of Europe."

[UK/WWII/Services/SOE; WWII/Eur/Italy]

Stafford, David. "Revealed: The FBI File on Churchill." Times (London), 6 Sep. 1999. [http://www.the-times.co.uk]

"J. Edgar Hoover inaugurated a file on Winston Churchill, including agent reports and internal memos, which shows that several death threats were made against him. Includes sidebar story, "'Affable but drinks excessive amounts.'"


Stafford, David. Roosevelt and Churchill: Men of Secrets. Woodstock, NY: Overlook, 2000.

For Schwab, IJI&C 15.1, the author's "chief contributions are to illustrate the fascination of both leaders with intelligence, and to analyze how this secret dimension both strengthened and complicated their personal relationship.... He contends convincingly that, in spite of occasional disagreements and conflicting long-term objectives, Churchill and Roosevelt built a durable intelligence alliance." However, the work "is often more episodic and anecdotal than comprehensively analytical."

[UK/WWII/Overviews; WWII/Gen]

Stafford, David. "Roosevelt, Churchill and Anglo-American Intelligence: The Strange Case of Juan March." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 36-48.

Abstract: "Roosevelt and Churchill ... personally made possible a major intelligence operation involving large-scale bribery to keep [Franco's] Spain neutral."


Stafford, David. Secret Agent: The True Story of the Special Operations Executive. London: Overlook, 2001. London: BBC, 2002. [pb]

This work accompanied a BBC television series of the same name.


Stafford, David. "Secret Operations versus Secret Intelligence in World War II: The British Experience." In Men at War: Politics, Technology and Innovation in the Twentieth Century, eds. Timothy Travers and Christon Archer, 119-136. New Brunswick: Transaction, 1982. [Capet]


Stafford, David. The Silent Game: The Real World of Imaginary Spies. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys Ltd., 1988. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press, 1991.

The subject is British spy fiction. See review by Hiley, I&NS 4.3.


Stafford, David. "SOE and British Involvement in the Belgrade Coup d'Etat of March 1941." Slavic Review 36, no. 3 (1977): 399-419.

[UK/WWII/Services/SOE; WWII/OSS/Balkans/Yugo]

Stafford, David. Spies Beneath Berlin. London: Murray, 2002.

Clark comment: This is a scholarly account, supplementing and even extending Murphy/Kondrashev/Bailey's Battleground Berlin (1997).

For Peake, Studies 47.1 (2003), Spies Beneath Berlin presents "the most complete story of this amazing operation," adding new details and putting down some of the myths. The author "does a good job of explaining why the tunnel operation was indeed a success even though the KGB knew about it." Bath, NIPQ 9.1/2, notes that the author "sees no sign that the Soviets used their knowledge of the tunnel to plant disinformation." This is "[a]n interesting story, well told." Going even further, Cain, JIH 3.2, concludes that "Stafford's book will stand as the last word on this subject and in this manner it recommends itself to all intelligence historians."


Stafford, David. Ten Days to D-Day: Countdown to the Liberation of Europe. London: Little, Brown, 2003. London: Abacus, 2004. [pb]

From publisher: The author's "narrative, climaxing on the eve of D-Day, gives a day-by-day account" of the "human story behind this momentous event from both the Allied and Nazi perspectives. Stafford focuses on twelve very different human narratives -- ... an American paratrooper; a Canadian infantryman; a French Jew in hiding,... and SOE agents fighting to keep their identity secret."


Stafford, David, and Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, eds.

1. "Special Issue on American-British-Canadian Intelligence Relations 1939-2000." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000): Entire issue.

Click for Table of Contents.

2. American-British-Canadian Intelligence Relations 1939-2000. London and Portland, OR: Frank Cass, 2000.

Clark comment: This book consists of articles originally published in Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000) (see above).


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