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Schoolmaster's War: Harry Ree - A British Agent in the French Resistance

Jonathan Ree
Published 24/03/2020
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The wartime adventures of the legendary SOE agent Harry Ree, told in his own words A school teacher at the start of the war, Harry Ree renounced his former pacifism with the fall of France in 1940. He was deployed into a secret branch of the British army and parachuted into central France in April 1943. Harry showed a particular talent for winning the confidence of local resisters, and guided them in a series of dramatic sabotage operations, before getting into a hand-to-hand fight with an armed German officer, from which he was lucky to escape. This might seem like a romantic story of heroism and derring-do, but Harry Ree's own war writings, superbly edited and contextualized by his son, the philosopher Jonathan Ree, are far more nuanced, shot through with doubts, regrets, and grief.