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Maurice James Buckmaster

(1902—1992) intelligence officer and businessman


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(1902–92), public relations expert, intelligence officer with the British Expeditionary Force in France, 1939–40, and on the Dakar expedition, head of SOE's F (independent French) section, 1941–4. Tall, with a buoyant personality and outgoing manners, he encouraged many successful agents, whose spirits he did much to keep up. About 470 were sent—the exact number has never been settled—and almost one in four of them, instead of the expected one in two, were lost. He was occasionally outwitted by the Gestapo. Forbidden to go on operations himself, he conducted a triumphal tour of France in the autumn of 1944, rewarding loyal assistants after the liberation, and made sure his section was not forgotten when decorations were distributed.

From The Oxford Companion to World War II in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Second World War.


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