SAS Operation Bulbasket, Behind the Lines in Occupied France 1944, Paul McCue

SAS Operation Bulbasket, Behind the Lines in Occupied France 1944, Paul McCue

Although the SAS had built up an impressive reputation in North Africa and Italy, the D-Day planners initially struggled to find a use for the small elite force. Operation Bulbasket was one of the missions that the SAS was eventually called on to perform, and involved dropping a surprisingly large part of SAS men into occupied France, with orders to cut railway lines, delay German reinforcements and co-operate with the maquis.

After a successful period that lasted for several weeks the Bulbasket camp was attacked, and just over 30 of the SAS men were captured. In accordance with Hitler's 'Commando Order' they were later executed. This had an immediate short term impact, in the shape of a series of pin-point Mosquito attacks on the German units involved, and later in a war crimes trial and a number of convictions.

McCue follows all three strands of the story. The time on the ground in France fills three chapters and about a third of the text. The hunt for those responsible for the executions, their trial, and the hunt for a possible traitor in the camp take up about half that space, as does an account of the Mosquito raids.

The text is supported by some interesting appendices, including the commander's report on the operation, a daily summary of their activities and a list of RAF supply drops.

This is a well structured account of an interesting small-scale operation on the fringes of the great battle being waged in Normandy that was one of the last operations of the original war-time SAS.

1 - The Special Air Service
2 - The Royal Air Force
3 - Main Party
4 - Verrières
5 - Revenge from the Air
6 - Home
7 - A Grim Discovery
8 - Justice?
9 - Betrayal?
10 - Conclusions
11 - In Memoriam
Errata and Notes to 2009 Edition

Author: Paul McCue
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 232
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2009 edition of 1996 original

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