M. R. D. Foot
Foot in 2011
Michael Richard Daniell Foot
14 December 1919
|Died||18 February 2012 (aged 92)|
Michael Richard Daniell Foot, CBE, TD (14 December 1919 - 18 February 2012), known as M. R. D. Foot, was a British military historian and former British Army intelligence officer and special operations operative during the Second World War.
Foot joined the British Army on the outbreak of the Second World War and was commissioned into a Royal Engineers searchlight battalion. In 1941 searchlight units transferred to the Royal Artillery. By 1942, he was serving at Combined Operations Headquarters, but wanting to see action he joined the SAS as an intelligence officer and was parachuted into France after D-Day. He was for a time a prisoner of war, and was severely injured during one of his attempts to escape. For his service with the French Resistance he was twice mentioned in despatches and awarded the Croix de Guerre. He ended the war as a major. After the war he remained in the Territorial Army, transferring to the Intelligence Corps in 1950.
After the war Foot taught at Oxford University for eight years before becoming Professor of Modern History at Manchester University. His experiences during the war gave him a lifelong interest in the European resistance movements, intelligence matters and the experiences of prisoners of war. This led him to become the official historian of SOE, with privileged access to its records, allowing him to write some of the first, and still definitive, accounts of its wartime work, especially in France. Even so, SOE in France took four years to get clearance.
Foot was very distantly related to his namesake Michael Foot. He was at one time married to the British philosopher Philippa Foot (née Bosanquet), the granddaughter of U.S. President Grover Cleveland. Foot's second wife was Elizabeth King, with whom he had a son and a daughter, the historian Sarah Foot. In 1972 Foot married Mirjam Romme, who under her married name would become a distinguished historian of bookbinding.
|Order of the British Empire (CBE)||
|France and Germany Star|
|War Medal 1939-1945||
|Territorial Decoration (TD)||
|Order of Orange-Nassau||
|Legion of Honour||
|Croix de Guerre 1939-1945||
Books and monographs