73 Years In The Secrecy For The Service To The Nation

Comment on the
BBC NewsChurchill’s Secret Army Against Nazi Invasion



Some Heroes are brought to the light the very day of their deeds. They act in the full focus of the cameras. Their gestures will become the mainframe of the general storytelling merely because they achieved the visible part of the task.

Some other heroes will wait… 73 years if not eternity to cast just a little bit of a shy lighting over their deeds. And, for these ones, recognition or reprobation will stamp their life very late, if not never. They have been the non-visible share of a larger strategic scheme in which their ghostly presence, in potential, was as crucial for the final outcome of the global action as was the one of those who actually took part to the visible events.


That suddenly, in 2013, for the celebrations of the end of another World War, 73 years after the facts, the existence of an unknown or, rather, kept secret whole category of actors of WWII is unveiled and publicized by the most official mass media may raise some curiosity and feed some astonished questioning from the side of the public opinion. At least, it deserves a careful scrutiny for what it can make obvious, since, again and again, that the secrecy to be lifted after decades, can’t be considered as a non-significant detail.

Auxiliary Units on ‘The Secrets of Underground Britain’ DVD
(source : Stay Behinds)

From being presented as an isolated un-rooted event, Word War II is now described by the historians as one of the two major episodes of a single, larger, “mid term” (50 years) historical cycle called the “European Civil War” which is included more or less between the years 1905 and 1950, In a much more precise and detailed way, Zbigniew Brzezinski in his article “An Agenda for NATO” published in Foreign Affairs (Sept.-Oct. 2009)  specifies that the rivalry turning into a contest of the leadership between the Central European Empires and the London-centred Oceanic Empires can be designated as “The Civil War in the West for the control over Europe and Transoceanic communications”. The notion of civil war is decisive here. Enzo Traverso pointed that, in this kind of conflict much more than in an international war, the legality of each military action is in a greater danger.

The necessity of a critical distance

The recent very resounding case of Julian Assange with the closing of his quite popular website WikiLeaks then, in 2013, the one of Edward Snowden with his complicated escape to Russia widely publicized for a while a very old notion to which Hannah Arendt, 40 years ago or so, already gave her answer in her book The Lying In Politics : the secrecy is a necessary tool in the political arsenal.

The words “News” and “Information“, through the meaning they receive in their Mother-Industry, the Communication are quite amazing. It is not easy, as a youngster, to get beyond the intuitive suspicion that this word could be a make up. To desperately try to argue without a good experience does not lead to convenient nor convincing results and only time can bring some light to the relevance of this disbelief.

Since our childhood, we are trained to see the social life between human beings through the framing filter of strategic thinking. It does not happen to us immediately but after the primary and semi-fusional experiences of the transitional space between the baby and her/his mother, as described and theorized by Donald Winnicott during the 1960’s, comes the age of competition and — as a compulsory corollary defined since centuries — of the acceptance of a division between a winner and a looser, given the fact that, what the XXth century axiomatized as “zero-sum games” are the most common species. Though, many among us are not gifted nor talented not goodwilling to do so. The great tradition of games, as they have been oriented in their so-called “educative” qualities, plays its modelling role, as Roger Caillois so brilliantly demonstrated it.

If the quality of the human beings is measured in terms of strategic thinking, therefore many, a non-negligeable rate, may consider for certain that they are not insiders in the sense that they have much less access to the relevant information than the persons who are fashioning the game. I am, my-self, certainly here someone to blame since my strategic thinking has always  shown poor, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

In an attempt of a scientific knowledge, we can refine a system of structured positions. In this attempt, the word “Information”, in the sense of the mass media, can be defined as the data that the mass outsiders are allowed to react to. This dates are widely made available and fill up a “market”. But, by defining a field of information in the sense of broadly shared datas, we create an other field whose properties are opposed. This is the secrecy. Secrecy, in the sense of a necessary political tool, can be defined, by opposition, as the data that the mass outsiders are not allowed to react to. But once this couple of notions is stated, it clearly set a structure in which the category of stake to which the wider public is granted to react is very intentionally pre-defined and oriented by some masters of the game.

It is therefore possible to write and publish a huge collection of History books in which only the authorized layer of “information” will give the scenery and the frame to a general explanation of the human History which does not include, of course, the most important layer of the game : the secret zone where the stake is too high to be shared in the common knowledge.

In a similar questioning, I don’t understand the substance we capture of WWII if we only focus on actual battles and in the same time, completely neglect the notion of Spain’s neutrality during the years of war and the only recently disclosed fact that the British gouvernement, under Winston Churchill, bribed Franco’s high ranking officers is of a prime importance as it was exposed in this programme of the BBC.

Auxiliary Units, Operational Base, emergency exit, Wivelsfield
(source : By Gaius Cornelius (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

The title “Churchill’s Secret Army” is a good sample of journalistic language : Churchill, officially, left the power in 1945. In other words, the men and (who knows) women who took part in this military plan endorsed by Churchill, kept the secrecy over a period of 68 years after Churchill’s departure from his role as Prime Minister. So to say : they obeyed to a very disciplined rule during a longer period for a non-churchillan administration than they did under the direct administration of Churchill. To comply to such a rule which deprives them from receiving the high honours of their country, of their Nation-Empire is a very meaningful act of acceptance. It shows how much these persons still remained, by their stainless discipline, the discreet but mobilized members of a structured body, a shadow institution.

BBC South East – Kent Auxiliary Units Story on 22/10/2013
(source : Stay Behinds)

It’s interesting to notice that this information is released in the year 2013, once it has lost any political stake, once, from actuality, it has been requalified as history, a domain on which no right can be claimed. The sole mention that the members of this 3.500 men of an elite army (Auxiliary Units) used the uniforms of a military corps they were not affiliated to explains the secrecy : these heroes were silenced by a shared condition. They all practiced, under order, an identifiable violation of the Geneva Convention on War. In other words, the secrecy was, for all, a necessary operational cover up for their action. During these 68 years of post-war period, they simply strictly followed what was the most appropriate behaviour, even under the status of Winners.

In the abstract of his book The Wehrmacht War Crimes Bureau, 1939-1945,  the American diplomat Alfred Maurice De Zayas demonstrates that many actions committed by the Allied forces were far from respecting the higher standards in terms of International Laws.

The visible part of a task is no more determining on strategic terms than all the invisible tasks. To play without the ball. In the end, to work with a resource in store just give you a comfort.

Example of a German landing boat containing an armoured vehicle in Russia
(source : Bundesarchiv, Bild 101II-MN-2781-19 / Peter / CC-BY-SA 3.0 [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons)

The British accepted the idea of the worst scenario, the invasion, and a counter-measure. The French did not consider the worst scenario, despite the 9 months they had between September 1939 and June 1940 and this is why they did not have a contingency plan for a war of partisan.

Cover picture : map for the German Operation Sea Lion (1940)
Source : By User:Wereon (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

One thought on “73 Years In The Secrecy For The Service To The Nation

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