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In this space on July 10 I suggested that Britain’s much-ballyhooed SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUTIVE was a propaganda outfit which posed no military threat to Germany, and was less of a morale-booster for British forces and population than the 1944 film Henry V directed by Laurence Olivier and filmed in neutral Ireland with the cooperation of Eamon de Valera and the Fianna Fail  government.

As a measure of the threat posed to Germany by the SOE, the British Army, Navy and Air Force plus various Governments and Armies in Exile combined, I recorded that Hitler and his generals turned their backs on Britain and launched a massive attack on the the Soviet Union, a more formidable  opponent ,in June 1941.

I ridiculed the conceit of British Cabinet Minister Hugh Dalton that the SOE could  in the 1940s be a force to rival the Sinn Fein movement of 1919. For Sinn Fein, with most of its candidates in British prisons, had won 73 of Ireland’s 105 Parliamentary seats in a General Election, established a Parliament and was setting up Courts, Government Departments, Commissions of enquiry into natural resources, and daily winning further public support.

But Hugh Dalton was a member of the British Labour Party which had been founded in 1900 and had never come within an ass’s roar of winning a majority in Parliament. Sinn Fein had been founded in 1905  and relaunched in 1917 and had been winning all before it since then.

Hugh Dalton hadn’t a clue about Sinn Fein and apparently had been briefed by a couple of “Intelligence Officers” who had  once served in Ireland but knew nothing of elections or democracy, and thought that with some greasepaint and rubber dinghies they would be guerilla heroes and that the spectre of SOE would disturb Hitler’s sleep..



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