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1944 Operation Jedburgh

A Clandestine Operation whose operatives worked behind enemy lines under the motto 'Surprise, Kill, Vanish'

1944 Operation Jedburgh

A Jedburgh Team in France during the Second World War

In 1944, Operation Jedburgh was planned to go into action at the same time and after the allied invasion of France in June 1944. This was a combined allied operation of which teams of 3 were selected from S.O.E (British) OSS (American) and the Central Bureau of Intelligence (French).

These teams were sent into occupied France from the night of the 5/6 June onwards ahead of the allied invasion which was to commence on the same night. The first of these teams which were to arrive in France was codenamed ‘Hugh’ and they were parachuted into France near the town of Chateauroux on the night of the 5/6 June.

This continued, that is more teams were parachuted into France over the next three months in particular to support attacks on the enemy lines of communication and key infrastructure on the Germans so in order to divert resources away from the battlefront. In addition to this, the teams also had to gather intelligence on the German’s troop movements, organise local resistance groups, and arrange supply drops to these groups so they can carry out these attacks.

Unlike their S.O.E. counterparts, they wore their military uniforms so in the event of their capture by the Germans, it was believed that they would be treated as Prisoners of War and not been seen as spies which in the latter most if not all would have had a death sentence.

The Jedburgh teams would continue to operate until the allied forces overran their area of operations when the Jedburgh’s mission would cease.

The Jedburghs motto was Surprise, Kill, Vanish.

By Simon Davis

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