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"Mind Britain's business": fascist splinter groups, British officers and resistance to war against Germany, 1937-1941

Searle, DA 2016, '"Mind Britain's business": fascist splinter groups, British officers and resistance to war against Germany, 1937-1941' , in: Geheime Netwerke im Militär 1700-1945 , Krieg in der Geschichte (80) , Schoeningh, Paderborn, pp. 184-203.

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In considering the history of 'secret military networks', the activities of radical right-wing splinter groups in Britain in the period 1937-41 presents an opportunity to explore questions which might at first appear more relevant to previous centuries. The secrecy which surrounded anti-war and pro-war German groups suggests a number of recurring issues in relation to secret military networks: how officers communicated, their motivations and how individual groups tended to operate. Although the activities of these groups have been studied before, no attempt has been made to consider the specific role of military officers. In fact, officers from all three armed services were present in these organisations and played an important part due to their knowledge of the methods of the intelligence services which had placed these groups under surveillance. While the presence of modern, well-organised intelligence services had made conspiracy much more difficult, the maintenance of a body of political beliefs not accepted in British society at the time was just one of several elements displayed by the splinter groups which had first been identified by Georg Simmel in his seminal article 'The Sociology of Secrecy' (1906) as characteristics of a 'secret society'.

Item Type: Book Section
Editors: Gahlen, G, Segesser, DM and Winkel, C
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Publisher: Schoeningh
Refereed: Yes
Series Name: Krieg in der Geschichte
ISBN: 9783506777812
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor DA Searle
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2015 16:57
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2016 10:51

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