After a career including twelve years as an infantry officer with the Grenadier Guards and a long and enjoyable stint in international advertising and public relations, Alan Ogden decided to change direction and write about the history and culture of Eastern Europe. His books include Romania Revisited, Fortresses of Faith, Revelations of Byzantium and Moons and Aurochs. In 2010, Through Hitler’s Back Door, his well-received study of SOE in Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania, broke new ground. The follow-ups to A Spur Called Courage – Sons of Odysseus and Tigers Burning Bright – continue his coverage of the courage and heroism of SOE operatives.
A SPUR CALLED COURAGE
SOE Heroes in Italy
A vivid recount of the little known exploits of 17 courageous Special Operations Executive (SOE) officers in Italy during World War II. In this inspiring new study of the SOE and Italian Resistance, 17 extraordinary stories of individual SOE officers illustrate the many and varied tasks of SOE missions throughout the different regions of Italy from 1943-1945. Through their gallantry, ingenuity, and determination, a small handful of SOE missions were able to arm and inspire thousands of Italians to fight the occupying German army after 1943 and in the process give invaluable support to the advancing Allied armies as they pushed north towards Austria.
A Spur Called Courage is a well-written, meticulously-researched and highly-inspirational book about a courageous group of Second World War heroes. I congratulate Alan Ogden on using a magnificent series of profiles to provide such a fascinating insight into the achievements of British and Commonwealth SOE officers in Italy from 1942-5. His splendid book is a welcome contribution to the greater understanding of a largely unsung group of men whose dangerous and secretive work is only now, quite rightly, being more widely acclaimed.”
Lord Ashcroft, KCMG