John McCaffery's book 'No Pipes or Drums' at IWM - copy request for pgs 68-70

Discussion in 'SOE & OSS' started by Varasc, May 1, 2024.

  1. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear All, good evening,
    I'm asking your kind help regarding an unpublished book, written by the SOE chief in Switzerland, John McCaffery.
    This book is titled "No Pipes or Drums" and it should be held at the Imperial War Museum in London. I have a reference in this regard, Private papers of J McCaffery OBE, IWM, Documents, 1409305/77/1.
    I would be really interested above all in having a copy of pages 69-70, where the book should describe McCaffery's work with the main subject of my interest, Captain Julian Henry Hall, 100107, Intelligence Corp. and SOE.
    The main post about Sir Hall is here:
    Captain Julian Henry Hall, 100107, Intelligence Corps

    Second point, there is another source directly written by McCaffery, a report on his activities during the war, held at Kew and dated Sept. 6th, 1945. I only have a reference, HS 7/199. I'm not sure that this report actually mentions Sir Hall, anyway.

    I wrote to the IWM and I already purchased a page check on McCaffery’s report (HS 7/199), but so far, no news on both the fronts.
    Should you have these records or help me in any possible way, I'd be absolutely grateful.
    With my best regards from rainy Northern Italy,
    JimHerriot likes this.
  2. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron


    Have you seen 'War in Italy: 1943-1945 A Brutal Story' by Richard Lam, pub. 1993 and then 2017? The later edition is available in full via (free to register). He cites McCaffrey's book courtesy of his widow.
    Varasc likes this.
  3. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear David, thank you indeed, I was not aware of thiw book and of the citation. I will look for Richard Lam's book.

    Just an update on my research: thanks to a very kind user, I received file HS 7/199.
    So, now I am looking only for "No Pipes or Drums", pp. 69-70, if available.

    Thank you David and thank you all,
    JimHerriot, Chris C and davidbfpo like this.
  4. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear All, I'm still waiting for a reply from the IWM. Should anyone pass there by chance, I'm willing to cover the expenses to have a scan copy of these pages (68-70), please.
    Thank you!
    JimHerriot likes this.
  5. JimHerriot

    JimHerriot Ready for Anything

    Hello Marco, have you seen this before?

    "46 John McCafferey was in charge of the SOE in Switzerland and had the occasion to meet Italian leaders like Ferruccio Parri and Alfredo Pizzoni. After a letter wrote by Pizzoni to him on the 24 July 1944, McCaffrey wrote to Parri what has been for a long time identified, especially by left-wing scholars, as a harsh letter in which he criticised the choice of building up a large partisan army and warned Parri of the fact that he had ‘friends’ and should do his best ‘not to lose them’. The letter was written in a context where the SOE was under pressure, in the framework of its never-ending conflict with the Foreign Office and was influenced by the events of the summer of 1944 when the mirage of a quick victory in Italy seemed realistic. As such, it should be seen simply as a surly but still friendly critique to the Resistance leadership and its requests, rather than an expression of the British will to control the Italian partisans with mafia-like menaces about lost friends or, even worst, put them back in their place. On the Communist interpretation of McCafferey’s letter see: Secchia and Frassati, La Resistenza, pp. 99-100. For a revision of such interpretation in a wider context see: Gian Enrico Rusconi, Resistenza e postfascismo (Bologna: il Mulino, 1995), pp.74-75."

    It is a footnote from page 27 within this work: "Working with the enemy: relations between Italian partisans and the British forces (1943-1945) Nicola Cacciatore PhD Student University of Strathclyde, Glasgow May 2019". Nicola has also published an academic volume (but it has a hefty price tag!); "Italian Partisans and British Forces in the Second World War: Working with the Enemy".

    McCaffrey's name comes up again within Nicola Cacciatore's work (full pdf of same, which is available in the public domain, attached below).

    Have you had contact with Nicola Cacciatore? He may be a chap worth contacting. He may be able to help you - maybe. He has a "LinkedIn" profile (for contact purposes?).

    Good luck with your search.

    Kind regards, always,


    Attached Files:

    4jonboy, dbf and Varasc like this.
  6. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Jim,
    Thank you indeed, I will follow your kind advice!
  7. Varasc

    Varasc Senior Member

    Dear Jim, I just contacted Dr. Cacciatore. Worth trying. Thanks again.
    4jonboy likes this.

Share This Page