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Ungentlemanly Warfare Giles Milton Discusses the Black Ops of WWII

Giles Milton, the author of Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, held the close attention of those attending the 35th International Churchill Conference as he spoke about the dramatic actions of Special Operations Executive (SOE) during the Second World War. “It’s not just the good boys who win wars,” Churchill observed in one of his lesser known quotations, “but the cheats and the stinkers as well.” With this, Milton introduced the story of a secret organization, which would not be fighting the war against the Nazis by the Marquess of Queensberry rules.

When Churchill visited the secret training centre in Scotland with army general Sir Edward Spears, the general was appalled by what he heard exclaiming, “This is monstrous….Remember, we are British!” To this Churchill replied, “Oh come on Teddy for Christ’s sake you’ve said enough. Come and have a drink.” As he left the room, the Prime Minister then turned to the training staff and said, “Good work. Keep it up.”

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