Following the French campaign of 1940, the Special Operations Executive, a {{Spinoff}} of {{MI6}} was organized on Winston Churchill's orders to help "Set Europe Ablaze".

Nicknamed, not inaccurately, the "Ministry of Ungentlemenly Warfare", the SOE conducted espionage and sabotage throughout WorldWarII, as well as smuggling supplies to LaResistance and providing British emissaries to the various [[RebelLeader rebel leaders]].

In a way the SOE's experience of WorldWarII was closer to the Film/JamesBond image than that of the rest of British intelligence, for they were expected to look for trouble more often and, it being wartime and all, they really did have a Licence to Kill. This shouldn't be surprising, since Creator/IanFleming was the Director of Naval Intelligence's liaison with SOE and got a lot of his ideas from his experience there; his cousin, Creator/ChristopherLee, was actually an operative. However very few, even of the SOE, would have had eighty women in the space of a two hour movie (given that a lot of them, the radio-operators in particular, ''were'' women, that would have been even more impressive). Nor did they engage in car chases that destroyed two dozen cars on a regular basis, and certainly not many would have worried about whether their drink was shaken or stirred. Sometimes RealLife can be boring. Then again, we are talking about the organisation that invented the [[RefugeInAudacity exploding rat and the cow-pat land mine]]. And they really did have knives stored in their shoes.

The SOE was headquartered in London at 64 Baker Street (leading to their being nicknamed the "[[SherlockHolmes Baker Street Irregulars]]") with dozens of training camps throughout the U.K. plus facilities in Singapore, Haifa, and Canada.

After WorldWarII the SOE was abolished and its resources were absorbed by the main body of MI6.

Every action of the SOE is classified and will remain as such until the last living member of the former SOE has died.

!!Appearances of SOE in fiction:
* [[TheLaundrySeries The Laundry]] is (in its universe) the only part of SOE that survived, which is only part of why relationships with [[SecretIntelligenceService MI6]] are strained at best.
* In a very similar but coincidentally unrelated vein, ''Literature/{{Declare}}'' by TimPowers focuses on the lone surviving section of the SOE into the 1960s. Like the Laundry, Operation Declare exists to liaise between Her Majesty's Government and the supernatural.

* ''Series/FoylesWar'': The BodyOfTheWeek of the "The French Drop" episode was an SOE agent that committed suicide using a grenade. Foyle is not convinced and starts investigating a SOE station at Lavenham. [[spoiler: Foyle figures out that the body is not the SOE agent, but a body of a local villager exhumed from the local churchyard. The real SOE agent had been killed in an operation in France after stepping on LandMine due to outdated intelligence. The SOE tried to cover up the agentís death by faking his suicide to stop the agent's father, a high ranking member of MI5, making trouble for the SOE.]]