Station 12 Aston House: SOE's Secret Centre
Sutton Publishing

Station 12 Aston House: SOE's Secret Centre

  • Publish Date: 2006-03-29
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Des Turner

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The full story of Aston House in the Second World War has never been told before. Its activities were top secret and as important to the war effort as Bletchley Park, but in a different way. Situated near Stevenage, Aston House was one of many British country houses requisitioned during the Second World War by the Special Operations Executive (SOE). Known as Station 12, its task was to design and supply special weapons and explosive devices for sabotage operations against the enemy. The scientific and military personnel at Station 12 invented, made and supplied 'toys' such as plastic explosives, limpet mines, pressure switches, tree spigots, incendiary bombs, incendiary liquids and arrows, and a variety of time fuses for the Resistance, Commandos, Special Boat Service and SAS. In the grounds of Aston House were magazines for the explosives and sheds in which to handle them, large storehouses for incendiaries and all the rest of the 'toys', and workshops for experimentation and manufacture. Station 12 designed and made up special explosive charges tailored for specific tasks or operations, including such famous special operations as the Bruneval and St-Nazaire raids, the assassination of SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich, and the attack on the Telemark heavy water plant in Norway.

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