This research essay looks at the role of an intelligence group titled the Special Operations Executive and their role in the Allied victory during the Second World War. Specifically, it examines how SOE through their special operation and resistance groups managed to disrupt German actions and war aims during the Second World War, which aided in the Allied victory in Europe. Through supplying and organizing French resistance groups SOE created an effective resistance movement that was able to provide coordinated and extensive operations against Nazi occupation which aided the Allies during the invasion of Normandy. In addition, SOE’s special operations through the assassination of ranking Nazi generals and destruction of German industrial objectives successfully caused chaos and disruption to Nazi leadership and industry aiding the Allied war effort but often at the cost of reprisals against innocent civilians. Finally, despite effective German counterintelligence and early setbacks SOE was able to operate largely unhindered and extensively in occupied Europe which allowed them to aid Allied objectives in multiple occupied countries. Analysis of their role in the war effort comes from a variety of official histories as well as from official documents from the organization itself which show that SOE had a role in obtaining Allied victory in Europe. This research will show that SOE during the Second World War contributed to Allied war objectives in occupied countries, which caused SOE to contribute to the Allied victory in Europe.


Ng, Margaret




European History

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Nicholas Ryan