JF Ptak Science Books (Image Post)
I had intended to write a full post on this schematic of Churchill's war-time bunker--about a possible future that never came to be--but it has escaped me, though, the I just couldn't let go of the date--(June 14) now late--for the formation of the second part of the title of this short post. (I guess it will become an entry later on in a life-in-the-ground series.) But I thought at least to publish the images of where--the war was fought--and especially, where the Battle of Britain was waged in the middle and later months of 1940--rather than about the other underground war (or warriors) were getting ready to fight an entirely different sort of war. I'm referring to the Auxilliers, the "Scallywags", fighters in the league of "ungentlemanly warfare", the 6,000 or so guerrilla fighters who were being readied to fight the Nazis for the Battle of Britain on British soil by a means other than direct military engagement. Major Colin McVean Gubbins was in charge of this operation (the Special Operations Executive), and he sought people "who knew the forests, the woods, the mines, the old dosed shafts, the hills, the moors, the glens--people who know their local stuff", people who wouldn't be found, in order to produce a devastating and terminal underground fighting force. Interestingly the headquarters for the SOE was moved by September 1940 to 64 Baker Street, thus giving the folks there the nickname of the "Baker Street Irregulars".
I should point out that the SOE was very active in different theatres for the vast part of the war--I'm just concentrating now on what could've been their operations in the U.K.
These were the fighters who led calm lives during the day who would hen turn into fighters by night who would do absolutely anything to fight the Nazi invading force. But that's another story (and ably told by John Warwicker in Churchill's Underground Army). I've bumped into other stories of what the British were planning to do in the face of Nazi invasion and occupation--there was of course stockpiling of materiel and intelligence in removed locations, digging bunkers, readying boobytraps, and so on, but also aggressive scorched earth plans that involved flooding, sinking part of the Navy, destroying munitions, and so forth: desperate things, heroic measures, to fight to the last. And I absolutely believe that Brits would've done every bit of that, fought to the very last possible end and effort, every person doing what was expected of them.