Buckmaster, Maurice James (Oral history)

Catalogue number
  • 9452
Production date
Subject period
  • whole: Duration 60, Number Of Items 2
Alternative names
  • object name: Oral history
  • object category: IWM interview


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Object description

British officer served with Intelligence Corps, 50th Division in France, 1939-1940; served as Head of French Section, Special Operations Executive in GB, 1941-1945

Content description

REEL 1 Background in Rugeley, GB, 1902-1939: family; education; employment as tutor in France; knowledge of French culture and language; employment with Schroder and Company bank in London; appointment with Ford Motor Car Company in France and GB, 1929-1932. Aspects of period as officer with Intelligence Corps, 50th Division in France, 11/1939-6/1940: pattern of service; evacuation from France, 6/1940. Recollections of period as Head of French Section, Special Operations Executive in GB, 1941-1945: recruitment; story of arranging Harry Ree’s sabotage of Peugeot Factory; Air Marshal Arthur Harris’s request for proof of success of sabotage; importance of pre-war contacts; relations with RAF; War Office’s attitude towards Special Operations Executive; sending agents for reconnaissance of potential resistance in France; recruitment and training of agents; relations with Gaullists; memories of Charles de Gaulle. REEL 2 Continues: opinion of Charles de Gaulle; vetting of potential agents; recruitment of agents; relations with agents; brief transfer to Belgian Section, 7/1941; memories of Henri Dericourt; effects of double agents; question of Special Operations Executive casualties in France; escape route post-box system from Paris to Spain; pressure of work; attitude to work with Special Operations Executive; opinion of achievements of Special Operations Executive in France including attacks on German armoured divisions approaching Normandy, 6/1944; opinion of historical interpretations of Special Operations Executive.

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