Canadians Behind Enemy Lines, 1939-1945
352 pages, 6 x 9
37 b&w illustrations, 3 maps
Release Date:21 Apr 2004
Release Date:01 Oct 2007

Canadians Behind Enemy Lines, 1939-1945

UBC Press

During the Second World War, Canadians found themselves behind enemy lines in Europe and Asia. Not all were ill-fated airmen, shot down in the fury of battle. Some were there by design, as volunteers who risked their lives in extremely hazardous assignments.

Almost one hundred Canadians served the Allied forces by passing as locals in occupied countries. At the behest of two British secret services, these men made language and custom their costumes and wove themselves into the social fabric of France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Burma, Malaya, and Sarawak. They risked their lives assisting resistance groups in sabotage and ambush missions or in smuggling Allied airmen out of occupied territories. Quiet heroes of the war, these bold Canadians helped to make the brutal and unrelenting warfare of the underground a potent weapon in the Allied arsenal.

Out of print for more than two decades, this bestselling book recognizes the unique contribution of these individuals to the underground war effort. It is also a study of unstinting personal courage in the face of overwhelming odds.

A rattling adventure yarn. Vancouver Sun
Documents yet another stage in Canada’s reluctant coming of age. The Globe and Mail
An intensely interesting account of an unusual and little-known aspect of Canada’s fighting men overseas. Canadian Historical Review
This softbound tome provides an insight on an often overlooked areas of World War II history. It has intrigue, danger, suspense, and a bit of humor. Anyone wishing to learn more of the behind the scenes stories of World War II will find it interesting. Larry S. Sterett, Contributing Editor, Gun Week
The Honourable Roy MacLaren, a graduate of the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, and Cambridge, was a diplomat, businessman, and Member of Parliament. He was Minister of State (Finance), Minister of National Revenue, Minister of International Trade, and High Commissioner for Canada in the United Kingdom. He is a director of several corporations as well as non-profit organizations in both Britain and Canada. He is the author of four other books on Canadian military and political subjects.


Preface to the 2004 Edition

Preface to the 1981 Edition

Part One: Two Clandestine Organizations

1 The Beginnings

2 Recruitment of Canadians

Part Two: Special Operations Executive

3 The First Canadian Agents into France

4 Victims

5 Playing the Radio Game

6 The Executions

7 Survivors

8 The Triumph of the Aged and Redundant

9 D-Day

10 Assignments from Algiers

11 Yugoslavia

12 The Balkans and Italy

13 Asia

14 Sarawak

15 Burma

16 Malaya Part Three: M.I.9

17 Escape and Evasion

18 Dieppe and Beyond

19 The Cross-Channel Ferry

20 The Mediterranean and Asia


Appendix: Frogmen in Burma




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