Target: Italy: The Secret War Against Mussolini 1940-1943

Author(s): Roderick Bailey


Drawing on long-classified documents, Target: Italy is the official history of the war waged by Britain's Special Operations Executive on Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italy. It is the first full account of SOE's clandestine efforts to strike at Italy and sever its alliance with Nazi Germany, uncovering missions as remarkable as a plot to assassinate Mussolini and plans to arm the Mafia. It is also the first in-depth history of SOE's attempts at causing trouble inside an enemy country as opposed to an enemy-occupied one, issuing a sobering reminder of the terrible dangers that foreign agencies can encounter when trying to encourage resistance to powerful authoritarian regimes. This is a compelling tale of desperate daring and sacrifice, climaxing in one of the most extraordinary episodes of the war: the delicate and dramatic dealings between the Allies and the Italians that led to Italy's surrender in 1943.


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The unknown story of the cloak-and-dagger war fought by British secret agents against Mussolini's Italy in the Second World War.

Roderick Bailey is a historian at the University of Oxford and a specialist in the study of resistance and clandestine warfare. His first book, The Wildest Province, based on his PhD, was an acclaimed account of SOE exploits in the Axis-occupied Balkans. In 2012 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to write the official history of SOE's war on Fascist Italy. A graduate of Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities and former Alistair Horne Fellow at St Antony's College, Oxford, he has also served in Afghanistan with the British Army.

General Fields

  • : 9780571299195
  • : Faber & Faber
  • : Faber & Faber Non-Fiction
  • : March 2015
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : March 2015
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 945.091
  • : 945.091
  • : Roderick Bailey
  • : 464
  • : 464
  • : Paperback
  • : Paperback