Tempus, Stroud, 1st ed., 1999. Xxii + 338 pp., numerous photo-ills. D.j., 25 x 19cm. FINE. In the summer of 1940, SIS approached the Air Ministry and suggested that experiments might be undertaken to investigate the feasibility of landing aircraft and parachuting agents into enemy territory. Thus, the Special Duty squadrons were born but throughout the war, clandestine operations were largely considered an unusual and peripheral aspect of the RAF's work. The subsequent hostile environment in which the squadrons had to work, while at the same time having quickly and often painfully to learn specialised aviation techniques, makes their achievement all the more commendable. Thus, analysis is based primarily upon the squadrons' records in the Public Record Office, coupled with the author's own insight as a wartime Special Duty pilot with No. 138 Squadron. The research, which includes an account of the tragic Englandspiel during which the German counterintelligence services devastated British and Dutch clandestine operations in the Netherlands, reveals a litany of RAF losses on these compromised operations.