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Michael Foot was a world authority on SOE and wrote several books about their organisation and operations. He spoke with authority because he was an Intelligence Officer in the SAS Brigade and in 1944 he parachuted into France where he was soon captured and very nearly lost his life.
He passed away on the 18th of February, 2012 and this obituary does him better service than I can: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/feb/21/mrd-foot