OSS Undercover Girl: Elizabeth P. McIntosh, An Interview (The Operators Book 2)

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While this was not a common occurrence within the OSS, the agency did make use of women in covert operations.

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Before agents were sent into the field, they were required to undergo extensive training. Before the OSS became an official active agency Donovan spent four weeks at an SOE training facility learning as much as he could about clandestine warfare tactics. He, along with a few of his new recruits, attended a training camp by the SOE in a secret location outside of Toronto called Camp X.

They learned their cover stories, honed their skills of observation and concealment, practiced safecracking and unarmed combat, learned the art of bribery, how to recruit and handle enemy agents, as well as how to code and decode communications using ciphers. Also incorporated into their four-week course was physical strength training.

The agents used ropes for climbing, football tackle dummies for jiu-jitsu instruction, a wooden platform for jumping and tumbling to simulated what it felt like to land after parachuting from a plane, and shallow open pits full of sand for close-combat exercises that involved throwing opponents down into the excavation. After which many of the agents joined its successor organization, the CIA. Instead, many historians have overemphasized their aesthetic attributes.

The historiography has shown little change in focus since M. The focus on physical beauty as well as their suggestion that those women used their sex appeal as weapons against men, friend and foe, negated the impressive skill sets that allowed them to successfully perform their jobs. From the monographs that were available to the researcher, there are no existing works that included an analysis of women agents without mentioning their sexuality to one extent or another.

In order to write an historical narrative, Foot had been given exclusive access to the archives of the SOE by the British government. Throughout the book, Foot argued that the SOE, for all its failures, was primarily successful in its operations in France. It becomes clear that American women employed by the OSS were not trained in combat or covert maneuvers. Why would they not train women too? Was there a fear of political or social backlash? No information can be found to back up this theory; it is left unaddressed by the historiography.

As long as they were successful, these women were recognized after the war for their part in the OSS 27 11 had many failures. However, Foot concluded that the work of the agents, women included, ultimately justified their existence even when compared to the Air Force, Navy and Army forces, citing a statement by General F. Numerous historians and journalists in their own interpretations of women agents have cited the information contained in SOE in France.

Foot refrained from any suggestions that these women used their sexuality while working as agents to escape danger or that it had anything to do with why the 28 Foot, SOE in France, — Foot, M. Foot does however dedicate an appendix to the women agents that lists their names, operations and their status at the end of the war. Great Britain will not allow access to most personnel records until sometime after Even then, not all files will be declassified. Accessed November 17, Smith failed however to adequately assess the effectiveness of the agents or the agency.

Smith leads the reader to believe, by his word choices and the overall tone of the first few chapters, that the OSS was a failure. Yet, he cites numerous examples of the agents' successes. Many historians have used information obtained from Elizabeth McIntosh, Mary Bancroft or Mary Pidgeon to supplement their historiographical research. McIntosh and Bancroft supply many historians with first-hand an account of women in the OSS, yet Smith chose to exclude them from his bibliography and does not offer an explanation to his readers.

Other sources available have integrated women into the history of the OSS and the SOE and have established a narrative framework from which female agents may be studied. However, several common gendered themes were found in which the authors diminished the importance of women agents by focusing on their beauty, sexual behaviors, and romantic relationships. It is not to say that only women are capable of researching women agents, however for secondary sources the female perspective could add insights to the topic where male insights might be lacking.

In stark contrast, these histories fail to focus attention on the appearance or sexuality unless in direct reference to a woman of men in the paramilitary organizations. This double standard can be seen in the latest publications as readily as it was in the s.

The histories of Foot and Smith focused on the women agents and the jobs they did, the missions they were a part of and the success or failure of their missions. As stated before, Foot is the only author represented who most objectively handled the women agents. Smith also attempts to justify the use of American women as spies for the OSS but continually makes mention of their appearance. What caused Foot to deviate from his earlier objectivity? No other author makes this distinction or states that the women were hired strictly because they were attractive.

Nor does any other author imply that attractiveness was part of the job description or a requirement for employment with either agency. It would appear, by his virtual exclusion of them, that he purposely did not include women because Smith considered their role unimportant. Emily Yellin and Olga Gruhzit-Hoyt both address how women entering the military at the start of the war were treated based on their gender. They both argued that women were treated unfairly if they performed jobs other than those traditionally filled by women.

As long as women stayed behind the frontlines in noncombat roles, usually as nurses or secretaries and in the OSS, no one seemed to mind. However, if these women held any other position, they suffered incredible discrimination from men, their superiors, native people, and even from other women as the Charity Adams story recalled. Posters and pamphlets were distributed which depicted women as 39 Ibid.

Gruhzit-Hoyt, They Also Served, 64— Amy Thorpe Pack, according to Yellin, had conceived a child out of wedlock before becoming an OSS agent and her husband forced her to give up the child in order to spare himself the humiliation when it was born only five months after they were married. Army Intelligence officials asked Marbel to travel to Switzerland to reestablish contact with an old boyfriend who was harboring stolen Jewish goods for the Nazis.

To her surprise, they reconnected and fell in love again. Marble was forced to make a choice; the war effort won and she photographed the records the Army requested and fled. It is in these short paragraphs that Gruhzit-Hoyt reinforced the very gender stereotypes that the book purported to debunk. The actual stories about these women, the ones between the biographical information, are both fascinating and heroic at times. Yet Gruhzit-Hoyt intersperses dating and romance into them too.

Only her section on the OSS agents is different. Gruhzit-Hoyt, They Also Served, , It also devalues the work women did during and after the war to promote equality of the sexes. Biographies and autobiographies alike discuss every aspect of the war and the part women agents played in it.

However, there exists a striking similarity to the general histories in that the authors overemphasized the sexuality of the female agents and not that of the males. For their part, the monographs of female agents detail their experiences behind enemy lines but also describe the use of their own sexuality as a means to meet the demands of their positions. The authors often undermine personal agency, with regard to their sexuality, however. For example, Nancy Wake recounted a meeting with German soldiers and admitted to using her feminine wiles to avoid detection.

His references feed into the sexualizing of Wake and diminish the accomplishments she made during her time in the field. In looking at the texts, I will focus on the way in which the authors chose to write about the female agents with an emphasis on their sexuality and physical appearances and argue that by emphasizing those characteristics the literature draws attention away from the effectiveness of the women. By using sources deemed as secondary as primary sources the focus will be on the resulting historical contributions made by the literature and not necessarily on the women.

OSS in Action The Mediterranean and European Theaters

I argue that the existing histories of these women focus on the gendered binaries which existed at the time and place in which the women served as agents. The use of language that objectified women reflected the way in which women were treated by society during the s. This idea holds true even though most of the monographs referenced were published within the last twenty years. Angela K. Smith Manchester University Press, , However, neither of these negates the responsibility of the authors to accurately and fairly depict the male and female agents.

The emphasis on beauty extends only to those female agents who were seen as conventionally attractive but not to men or those women not seen in that way. Chapter Four compares the two agencies and their treatment of women working for them. This chapter will explore the discrepancies in pay as well as the positions available to the women in the US and Great Britain. There was also an element of deniability for the US in that it never explicitly used American women as clandestine workers. Each agency will be explored using both primary sources as well as the existing historiography.

These texts, for the most part, will serve as the primary sources. Their content supports the argument of the over-sexualization of female agents. The use of monographs on each agency is twofold. First, the information obtained from each source gives details and historical insights 21 into the subjects and secondly, and perhaps most importantly, these sources solidify the argument that the women agents were over sexualized leading to a diminished history about their true contributions. Citing specifically from the texts will give the reader a clear understanding of just how the word choices of the authors made the women subordinate to their male counterparts in almost every existing history, biography and even autobiographies of women agents working for the OSS and SOE during WWII.

Using a separate chapter for the comparison of the OSS and SOE will allow for a more comprehensive analysis of the similarities and differences between each agency concerning the women agents as well as identifying the language used in the current historiography that detracts from the heroic feats accomplished by the women in each agency. In the second chapter, which examines material related to the SOE, I will present evidence to refute claims made by historians that these women agents used their sexuality and beauty as a type of weapon against men.

Instead, this thesis will emphasize the mission-oriented accomplishments of these agents as opposed to highlighting their superficial physical features. Many female agents found themselves in the hands of German soldiers, tortured and imprisoned in concentration camps. These women, even under the most terrifying circumstances, refused to give their enemies information and many died as a result. In addition, the chapter will focus on the use of women as clandestine agents in Europe and the Far East. Special attention applied to where these women agents came from their socioeconomic backgrounds and educational levels and how and why they joined the OSS.

It will also explore the missions and 22 specific duties of agents in the field. Several agents will be discussed specifically in order to combat existing historiographical trends that focus on beauty instead of results. The loss of female agents in the field was a reality the agencies faced, but not on an equal level. Finally, this chapter will discuss the advancement of women in the armed forces because of the women who had worked with the SOE and the OSS.

The final chapter will stand as the platform for the major arguments against the literature available on female agents. Female representation in history remains unchanged for the majority of the last sixty years. Women have been continually portrayed as the weaker sex, frail, and of lower intelligence than men represented in the same book.

Regardless of the their focus, women in the represented literature become routinely sexualized by authors whose intentions are often stated as wanting to praise these female agents for all of their laudatory deeds during the war. Bravery, brilliance and quick-mindedness are attributes overshadowed by images of silver screen beauties flirting and using their feminine wiles to distract enemy soldiers at every turn.

It is the intention of this author to add to the existing historiography a view of the women employed by the OSS and the SOE that accentuates their exceptionally cunning and daring personas without distracting gendered references to their physical attributes. In addition, these women deserve 23 credit for the use of sexuality when they saw fit. These women had their agency diminished with every key stroke in existing monographs when instead the authors should have been highlighting their use of natural weapons against the enemy. Without these women and their quick thinking, the outcome of WWII would have likely taken a different turn.

Given the scope of this project, as well as the foundational information regarding the history of the SOE discussed in the Introduction of this work, adding many more details would alter or detract from the intended goals. This study instead demonstrates that the existing literature regarding the women of the SOE over-sexualized and ultimately undermined the accomplishments of the female agents. The Introduction described the conception and implementation of the agencies as well as the selection and training process of the agents and office personnel.

What follows is an account of five prominent female agents and their efforts in the fight against the Nazi regime. I personally interviewed nearly forty of them plus more than a dozen sons and widows, and I toured the two parks with several of the veterans. The OSS had used the parks as primarily as training camps. My research quickly revealed that not only was there no study of the OSS in the National Parks during the war and its legacy afterwards, but there was no scholarly study of either OSS training or its relationship to the missions of the OSS overseas and its contribution to victory.

It also assesses the effectiveness of the training OSS agents received and how they utilized it in their dangerous and often heroic exploits overseas. It explores the legacies of the OSS, upon the parks themselves, upon the veterans, and upon the organizational heirs of the OSS. Understanding such origins and legacies as well as the seemingly paradoxical relationship, at least during World War Two, of the ordinarily peaceful sanctuaries of the National Parks and the murky, violent world of spies, saboteurs, and guerrillas is a major aim of this book. Because of the secrecy that enveloped the U.

Office of Strategic Services in World War II, it surprises most people, including nearby residents, to learn that spies were trained in some of the National Parks—not just spies but guerrilla leaders, saboteurs, clandestine radio operators and others who would be infiltrated behind enemy lines. Office of Strategic Services. Known by its initials, the OSS was a specially created wartime military agency that fought a largely invisible and covert war against the Axis powers between and Highly secret during the war and in many instances for years thereafter, that effort was designed to help undermine the conquests of Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and militaristic Japan.

Paddock, Jr. See, for example, the websites of the U. The OSS was a civilian wartime organization with many military personnel assigned to it. The actual number of men and women recruited and trained by the super secret organization may never be known.

Traditionally it was generally believed that the OSS had 13, members. OSSers worked in half a dozen different branches of the organization and in a variety of missions, some of which were highly dangerous. Some of these OSS agents and commandos also engaged in sabotage-- blowing up railroads, bridges, and tunnels as well as power plants, communications centers, and weapons and munitions depots.

Accompanying them were radio operators, members of the OSS Communications Branch, who kept the field operatives and headquarters informed through encoded messages via short-wave radios and temporarily strung antennas. In the field, they had to be on the move to avoid detection by enemy direction- finding and surveillance units. OSS Secret Intelligence operatives engaged in "cloak and. New York: Walker and Co. Of a total of 2, officers and 6, enlisted service personnel, 2, are Army officers and 5, Army enlisted men. William J. Preston Goodfellow], p. Star-Ledger, 15 August , A4.

Introduction 3. Among the many highly talented, ambitious and often well-connected members of the OSS, a number later achieved national prominence. Goldberg; Ambassador David Bruce and two dozen other U. Schlesinger, Jr. Douglas Dillon. The glamorous aura, independence and social standing of the OSS brought in representatives of some of the wealthiest families in America—DuPonts, Mellons, Morgans, and Vanderbilts—a fact that led some critics to suggest that the agency's initials, OSS, actually meant "Oh, So, Social! Most of them had never heard of OSS, and were selected mainly on merit. They did the bulk of the work in the new organization and did it well.

Little wonder that so many of the OSS members proved so successful in their postwar careers as well. Thousands of men and women served in the OSS, but it has been mainly those of the operational branches, especially those engaged clandestinely behind enemy lines, that have been the most heralded. Their work remained largely secret during the war, but almost immediately afterwards, through published accounts and fictionalized Hollywood films starring Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper, and James Cagney, they achieved a celebrated place in the public imagination.

Junius Morgan dispensed clandestine funds at the London office; Paul Mellon was an administrative officer in Special Operations Branch; his brother-in-law, David Bruce, also a millionaire, was chief of the London Office. Morgan headed the Censorship and Documents Branch. Smith, OSS, Working in the shadow of enormous, depersonalized armies, navies, and air forces, the solo OSS agents, fighting behind enemy lines, surviving through their courage and wit, seemed to exemplify a continuing role for the daring and able individual even in an age of industrialized mass warfare.

This resulted from the extensive declassification of OSS organizational records at the National Archives. Dagger Republic, ; O. Paramount, ; and 13 rue Madeleine 20th Century Fox, See also James I. Deutsch, "Representations of O. State Department's intelligence office had been opened for scholarly investigation. See Lawrence H. Chalou, ed. By , declassification by the CIA had brought to collection to some 7, cubic feet, with another cubic feet of records received from CIA in Interviews by the author in with John E.

Taylor and Lawrence H. As indicated above, in August , CIA declassification resulted in the release of another , documents. Introduction 5. Historical accounts or memoirs of the OSS generally ignore this or dispense with it in only a few paragraphs or a couple of pages. Consequently, there has been no adequate study of the recruitment and preparation of the men and women of the OSS for what were demanding and often dangerous activities. Brunner, OSS Weapons, 2nd ed. Williamstown, N. Nearly forty years later the typescript was declassified under the Freedom of Information Act and published as William L.

Although helpful as a guide, Cassidy's volume, based on a single source, is of limited value as a history of training in the Office of Strategic Services. Communications Branches but also including when relevant, the training of personnel of Secret Intelligence, Morale Operations, and the Maritime Unit.

The geographical focus is on three of the main OSS training facilities, the ones located in two forested areas of the National Park Service. In the following account of the OSS training in the two National Parks and subsequent service overseas, this historical study addresses a number of questions. Did they change over time? Who ran the camps, and who was trained there? What were typical experiences at the camps and in OSS overseas missions How effective was the training? How did military leasing and use affect the parks, their operation, and their relationship with their surrounding areas during and after the war?

After the end of the war, how did the military and the National Park Service handle the return of the parks to civilian control and use? Chapter 1. That summer German dictator Adolf Hitler launched a massive air offensive against Great Britain, and many believed that England would be the next to fall. Roosevelt committed the United States to their aid, and then, when Britain was left standing alone against Germany, to all-out assistance—short of war—to the British under their new prime minister, Winston Churchill.

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There were Nazi sympathizers and spies, but their role was minimal in the German military victories. There is no consensus on the origin of the nickname "Wild Bill," with suggestions ranging from the football field to the battlefield. He was a rather stocky, silver-gray haired, highly successful senior partner in a Wall Street law firm. Despite his social position and his somewhat reserved, soft-spoken, fatherly manner, however, there was, in fact, an adventurous, daring, driving, and inspiring side to the man.

His intellectual ability, steady determination and fertile imagination had led him from a tough, working-class neighborhood in Buffalo to Niagara University and then via scholarship to Columbia College and Columbia Law School. Ultimately, he became part of the nation's economic, political, and foreign policy elite. Donovan was a fine athlete.

He participated in boxing, rowing, and track, and a football and was a quarterback while an undergraduate at Columbia. With his law degree, Donovan returned to his home town in upstate New York and became a practicing attorney there in The handsome, blue-eyed, Irish Catholic with a quick wit and winning smile, who neither smoked nor drank, remained a bachelor until when, at the age of thirty-one, he married Ruth Rumsey, daughter of one of the leading and wealthiest families in Buffalo.

She was a Protestant; he a Roman Catholic, but they both were Republicans. As a year-old major and then lieutenant colonel in New York City's legendary Irish-American, National Guard Regiment, the "Fighting 69th," Donovan bravely directed his outnumbered battalion, despite being wounded, in attacking and overcoming a superior German force during the Second Battle of the Marne in France in July Afterwards, in October during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, when the units he led forward to attack the Hindenberg Line became dispirited and faltered under heavy machine-gun and artillery fire, Donovan rallied and regrouped them, waving his pistol overhead and urging his men to a more advantageous position.

He continued to lead them even when he received a severe wound in his right leg and had to be carried. He refused to be evacuated and instead continued in command for five hours although in pain from a smashed knee and tibia and dizzy from loss of blood, until he and his men had halted a German counterattack. For his heroism, coolness under fire, and efficient leadership, Donovan was awarded the French croix de guerre, a bronze oak leaf cluster to his Distinguished Service Medal, and the Medal of Honor, the highest award in the U.

See seacjs aol. Deuel, a journalist who prepared a series of postwar articles on Donovan, located in Wallace R. Chapter 1 Origins of the OSS 9. He also received another Purple Heart he had been wounded three times , and by the end of the war, had been promoted to full colonel and was a national hero. Attorney in western New York and subsequently Assistant U. Returning to private practice, he moved his firm from Buffalo to Wall Street, and soon had a list of corporate clients that was longer than before.

He supported Herbert Hoover in , but failed to receive an appointment as Attorney General of the United States as he had hoped. Donovan supported the Republican Party's unsuccessful candidates against Democrat Franklin Roosevelt in the Presidential elections of and Concomitant with his connections with Republican political, legal and financial figures, Donovan ran his Wall Street law firm and also continued an active interest in the military and in world affairs.

He obtained overseas clients, including some of the London banks and some British politicians, including Winston Churchill. He traveled overseas frequently and obtained contacts around the world. Subsequently, in the Spanish Civil War, he studied the new modern weaponry and tactics being used by both sides. He reported his findings back to President Roosevelt. In the foreign policy debate in the United States between isolationists and interventionists in the late s and early s, Donovan was an active interventionist.

In , after the fall of France, he joined the Fight for Freedom organization, one of the new foreign policy pressure groups created to counter isolationists and to build support for vigorous assistance to Britain and other allies against Hitler. Stephen L. But although Hoover was elected, he did not appoint Donovan, who was bitterly disappointed. Diary entry of 23 December in Harold L.

Ickes 3 vols. New York: Simon and Schuster, , 3: Knox encouraged the President to draw upon the international lawyer and war hero. Roosevelt would do so throughout the war, but although Donovan had personal access to the President, he was never a member of Roosevelt's inner circle. At a meeting at the St. Regis Hotel, Stephenson invited his old acquaintance, Donovan, to visit Britain and personally evaluate its military and intelligence capabilities and assess its chances for surviving the German attack. Churchill understood the importance of Donovan's mission and sought to use it to persuade American leaders that Britain would not fall and that they should increase their aid for the island bastion against Hitler.

To reinforce his position, he provided Donovan with extraordinary access to British military and intelligence secrets. Godfrey was especially attentive to Donovan, a kindred spirit. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Brown, The Last Hero, 78, Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors: O. New Haven, Conn. See also Elliott Roosevelt, ed. New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, , vol. Ickes, 3: Chapter 1 Origins of the OSS Donovan also gathered information about the role of propaganda and subversion in countries that had been conquered by the Wehrmacht. After the British Army was driven off the continent at Dunkirk, Churchill needed to demonstrate that Britain could still lash back at Germany.

Through subversion, sabotage, and the direction of local guerrilla forces, these SOE British agent teams had the mission of keeping the Germans off balance and impeding their military efforts, using primarily groups of young local men and women, like those of the French maquis, who actively resisted the German occupation of their country. It was optimistically hoped at the time that these efforts alone might help the conquered peoples of Europe overthrow the Nazi occupiers. Later, a more realistic appraisal redefined the mission to harassment designed to impede the effectiveness of occupiers and the Wehrmacht.

Donovan, 28 July , in William J. Donovan Papers, Box 81B, Vol. What became known as the Special Operations Executive SOE was established 16 July , its recruits were drawn from civilian society as well as the military. Back in the United States, Donovan asserted publicly both the desirability of American aid for Britain and the need for a new, centralized American strategic intelligence agency to be prepared to wage unconventional warfare against the German challenge.

Donovan warned that Hitler's shocking military successes were not due solely to the German Army but to new forms of warfare exploited by the Nazis: systematic propaganda to undermine civilian and military morale and active treachery by "fifth columnists" including espionage and sabotage. In the colonial period, Europeans had imported to America their own tradition of using spies and other secret agents.

A New England frontiersman, Robert Rogers, organized and led "Rogers' Rangers" in a series of dangerous expeditions behind enemy lines, employing ambushes and other surreptitious, Indian-style warfare rather than European open-field battle in which lined-up ranks of infantrymen directly confronted each other. Mosby organized a similar group, "Mosby's Partisan Rangers. The Continental Congress established a Committee of Secret Correspondence to establish direct and clandestine connections with American sympathizers in a number of European countries-- including Great Britain.

Buhite and David W. Levy, eds. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, , Naftali, "Counterintelligence," ; Mark M. Those purposes were especially for espionage, and by , during the growing crisis with Revolutionary France, the secret funds had grown to 12 per cent of the federal government's budget.

Presidents authorized covert operations, from rescuing Americans held by the Barbary states of North Africa in the s and s to providing additional secret missions for military officers such as John Charles Fremont, who helped Americans settlers in California rebel successfully against Mexican rule in During the nineteenth century, the United States largely forsook foreign espionage, except during wartime. In the Civil War, both North and South employed numerous spies, women as well as men. Allan Pinkerton, detective and northern spy master, quickly established a network of Union agents behind Confederate lines.

In , he and attorney and Union Army officer George Henry Sharpe helped create a temporary Bureau of Military Information to centralize intelligence for the general in command of the Army of the Potomac. Not until the late nineteenth century, did the U. There was little U. Army employed both in the long, counter-insurgency effort to suppress the Philippine Insurrection, In the period of American neutrality, , both Britain and Germany established extensive espionage and propaganda operations in the United States to aid their cause and hinder their enemy's.

The British scored a major coup in early by decoding and revealing the infamous January telegram by German Foreign Minister Arthur Zimmermann seeking an alliance with Mexico against the United States. During American intervention in the war, , the United States expanded its own intelligence operations, at least temporarily. The Military Intelligence Division, for example, expanded from four to1, persons. That marked the beginning of U. Fearing German subversion, espionage and sabotage within the United States, the Army and Navy, for the first time, created domestic counterintelligence bureaus.

In addition, the Justice Department established a General Intelligence Division headed by an ambitious, young lawyer, J. This Secret Service fund could be spent without detailed accounting, and sometimes it was used for covert operations. Ameringer, U. Edgar Hoover, in its Bureau of Investigation which had been created in The State Department sought temporarily to centralize intelligence from its various geographical area desks in a unit known only as "U-1" because it was located in the office of the Undersecretary of State.

But it consisted of only a few analysts. In another major departure, the United States began joint intelligence cooperation with Great Britain. Edgar Hoover. State established a central department to coordinate secret information obtained by its staff around the world. Its chief continued to be the idiosyncratic Herbert O. Yardley, a former telegrapher, code clerk, and brilliant, self- taught cryptologist. In , Yardley, working under a professional cryptographer Ralph Van Deman, broke the main Japanese diplomatic code.

This coup enabled U. Stimson, closed down Yardley's "Black Chamber. Powe and Edward E. Norton, Embittered, Yardley afterwards wrote a book revealing the operations of the "Black Chamber," an action that caused the Japan and other powers to change and increase the security of their ciphers, and the U. Herbert O.

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Office of Naval Intelligence, the State Department's various geographic area divisions, and the Justice Department's Federal Bureau of Investigation, but there were a number of others. Inter-service rivalry hampered effective cooperation between the intelligence officers of the Army and Navy.

Yet the armed forces did achieve major successes in signals intelligence. Despite its limited, peacetime size and budget, the Army's code-breaking team in the Signal Intelligence Service finally broke the Japanese "Purple" cipher, Tokyo's main new diplomatic code, in September Under a joint agreement, the two services had worked on breaking the Japanese diplomatic code. But once the Army had made the breakthrough, their rivalry prevented them from cooperatively exploiting it.

The greatest American intelligence and command failure was, of course, the inadequate preparation for a possible attacks that occurred against U. American civilian and military leaders correctly viewed the Japanese invasion force as aimed at Malaya and the Dutch East Indies now Indonesia , but they underestimated Japanese boldness and technological innovations that made possible the successful aerial attacks on the two American bases.

In contrast, the U. Navy's greatest intelligence coup came a few months later in April , when the Navy radio intelligence unit at Pearl Harbor broke the main Japanese naval operational code labeled JN , in time to defeat decisively the numerically superior Imperial Fleet at the Battle of Midway in June Roosevelt had sent Donovan to Britain in July to provide an alternative source of information. In December , a month after Roosevelt had been elected to an unprecedented third term, the President sent Donovan across the Atlantic again, this time on a much broader inspection tour.

As he wrote to Secretary of the Navy Knox a month after his return from the Mediterranean: "Modern war operates on more fronts than battle fronts. Each combatant seeks to dominate the whole field of communications. No defense system is effective unless it recognizes and deals with this fact. I mean these things especially: the interception and inspection commonly and erroneously called censorship of mail and cables; the interception of radio communication; the use of propaganda to penetrate behind enemy lines; the direction of active subversive operations in enemy countries.

The best primary source on Donovan's tour is the diary of his official guide, Lt. Alex Danchev London: Brassey's, For a discussion of the memorandum, see ibid. George C. Marshal: "In all confidence ONI tells me that there is considerable reason to believe that there is a movement on foot, fostered by Col[onel] Donovan, to establish a super agency controlling all intelligence.

From the point of view of the War Department, such a move would appear to be very disadvantageous, if not calamitous. Equally hostile was J. Story New York: Random House, , The agencies resisted, and Roosevelt became increasingly irritated at being forced to arbitrate their bureaucratic squabbles. He also strongly advised the intelligence agencies to take a broad strategic perspective rather than their narrow parochial views of the growing international challenges facing the nation.

Roosevelt and Churchill, despite their distaste for Joseph Stalin's brutal communist regime, agreed to aid the Soviet empire, because it now bore the brunt of the fighting against Germany. Eventually the U. Priority was given to the defeat of Nazi Germany, seen as a greater threat because of its domination of the resources of Europe. The Allied offensive plan envisioned obtaining naval control of the sea lanes, conducting strategic air bombardment of enemy industry, encouraging resistance movements to undermine the enemy's control in occupied countries, and finally launching massive ground campaigns to defeat the enemy armies.

Robert Dallek, Franklin D. The groundwork had been laid over the past year, but in the spring or early summer of , the President had asked a Cabinet committee consisting of Secretary of War Stimson, Secretary of the Navy Knox, and Attorney General Robert Jackson, who oversaw the FBI, to make a recommendation. According to Donovan his meeting with the committee led it to recommend his idea to the President. There had been a flurry of activity before the final decision was reached. Donovan had submitted his first formal proposal to the President at the end of May A number of people, with whom Donovan discussed the idea, endorsed it.

Consequently, they joined in encouraging a centralized American intelligence agency. Godfrey met Donovan in New York and then journeyed to Washington, where the British admiral found the chiefs of the various. Facey-Crowther, eds. Martin's Press, Although this was also Donovan's explanation to military officials in September and November of what had happened, Troy, Donovan and the CIA, , does not see it as quite so simple. For Donovan's wartime explanations, see William J.

Donovan to Maj.

May 2011, Issue #145

In desperation, Godfrey obtained an appointment with the President and on 10 June urged Roosevelt to create a centralized intelligence service. The President was typically loquacious, but Godfrey persevered, recalling, "At last I got a word in edgeways. I said it a second time, and a third time -- one intelligence security boss, not three or four. He had added two new paragraphs: one on the desirability of common, accurate economic information, and the other emphasizing the need for accurate foreign information in order to use radio most effectively as a weapon to demoralize the enemy.

The President made his decision on 18 June At p. It was a lengthy meeting and no minutes were taken, but it is clear afterward that Roosevelt had agreed to a new intelligence organization, and he had chosen Donovan to head it. According to the Stephenson, Donovan said he had accepted. John H. Godfrey, "Naval Memoirs," pp. Martin's, , Blandford, Jr.

Since the agency was initially a civilian one, the term "Military" presumably referred to a promise Roosevelt apparently made to give Donovan a military rank, presumably a promotion from colonel to brigadier or major general. Donovan had extracted an agreement from Roosevelt that his agency would report directly to the President. He said the new agency would coordinate intelligence and would also conduct offensive special operations; Donovan would report directly to the President and would have the rank of major general.

But it was clear that the President had taken an historic step in establishing a central, national intelligence agency and, at least indirectly, authorizing it to use clandestine funds as well as covert methods. He would include both gathering and analysis of intelligence as well as acting upon that information through special covert operations. John Godfrey's influence.

In contrast, another school of interpretation, composed predominantly American historians of the OSS and biographers of Donovan, tends to reject such claims as exaggerated. The Americans generally portray Donovan as too robust to be the malleable character depicted by the British and Canadians, and they emphasize the importance of U. The President simultaneously appointed Donovan to head it. The agency would be entirely civilian until the inclusion of military personnel after became the Office of Strategic Services OSS in June Donovan will collect and assemble information and data bearing on national security from the various departments and agencies of the Government and will analyze and collate such materials for the use of the President and such other officials as the President may designate.

See, for example, Lyman B. Roosevelt Papers, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, N. Roosevelt Papers, Hyde Park, N. Millard P. Goodfellow], p. Roosevelt, ed. Samuel I. Rosenman, 13 vols. Smith, is attached to Harold D. Steve Early did not explain, however, was that the authority under the executive order itself was broad enough to allow Donovan not just to collect information but to engage in all sorts of actions to obtain and act upon information vital to national security. Donovan would ultimately make the most of the executive order and include what he and the British had envisioned: offensive action, including psychological warfare, political warfare, subversive operations, guerrilla warfare, espionage, and sabotage.

These rivals derided the Wall Street lawyer and most of the civilian associates he recruited to run the COI and later the OSS as rank amateurs in the fields of intelligence, counter-intelligence, and military operations. Rumors were. Even six months later, Roosevelt was still trying to explain to the press that such rumors were totally false.

Edgar Hoover had fought vigorously against the COI, and its creation represented one of the major bureaucratic defeats of his long career. Without any of the usual fanfare accompanying a new agency, Donovan began to set up shop. In the space-tight capital, he obtained a few rooms and telephones, and with half a dozen assistants began to recruit an organization. After several moves, each into larger quarters, Donovan, in September , consolidated into what would be his.

Edgar Hoover Beverly Hills, Calif. It was a acre, six-building complex at the far western end of E Street between that and Constitution Avenue, which ran parallel to E street, and bordered by 23rd Street to the east and 25th Street to the west. As the organization expanded during the war, OSS established additional administrative and storage facilities in a nearby former public skating rink and warehouses down the hill. Motorists driving along the then Rock Creek Park Drive generally paid no attention to the anonymous looking governmental structures scattered around a generally, rather disreputable industrial area.

Because he saw members of his agency as learning their way in new forms of warfare, he was more interested in initiative, innovation, and results than abidance by the rules and being held to strict accountability. He told subordinates that he would rather have them use their imagination, try new things, and take risks, even if it meant that they would make mistakes and sometimes fail, rather than simply to stick cautiously to traditional ways of doing things.

Donovan was not interested in military expertise as much as people who could think quickly and clearly and find innovative solutions to difficult situations. He asked for bold, new thinking and action, and, to a surprising extent, he got them. He was an inspiring leader: visionary, bright, brave, quick to make decisions, open and fair. He was adventuresome. He was not a conventional figure. They felt a sense of uniqueness, of special quality, of membership in an elite group. No wonder that the OSS selected for its emblem, its shoulder patch, a golden spear point. A list of OSS buildings and personnel there in the District of Columbia and neighboring area in , showed that, OSS occupied , square feet and had 3, personnel in the District.

With a free hand in hiring, Donovan began by enlisted a number of his able associates and then began recruiting Americans who had traveled abroad or were otherwise well versed in world affairs. Donovan relied upon his personal contacts with people he or his subordinates trusted, and he drew most of his top aides from prestigious colleges and universities, businesses, and law firms, including his own.

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In that rush to service, Donovan's COI and its successor, the OSS, drew such a disproportionate number of socially prominent men and women that some wags claimed the initials of O. As early as June , Donovan had obtained the support of the Librarian of Congress, poet Archibald MacLeish, to allow the prospective organization to use the library's extensive materials in analyzing the Axis' strengths and weaknesses. Baxter and Donovan quickly recruited noted scholars in various disciplines from prestigious colleges and universities and put them to work in the Library of Congress Among the early recruits were Harvard historian William L.

McConnaughy, President of Wesleyan University, and many others. Sherwood, noted playwright, pacifist turned interventionist and a speech writer for the President, enthusiastically endorsed the idea of undermining enemy morale and bolstering resistance via short-wave radio broadcasts and other media aimed at Nazi Germany and German-occupied countries, and Donovan quickly chose him to head. Quartermaster Corps to design an OSS insignia. On 16 June , he approved the Quartermaster Corps' gold and black design and initiated a process for acquiring shoulder patches and collar devices, but the Joint Chiefs of Staff rejected his proposal, leaving the OSS with cloth shoulder sleeve insignia patches and metal collar devices with the proposed design that it no authority to use.

Consequently, the insignia were not distributed and apparently not worn by OSS personnel. Within a few months, Donovan added a Visual Presentation Branch, which would include Hollywood directors John Ford, famous for his westerns and other epics, and Merian C. At the same time, Donovan warned that additional funds for the secret operations would be needed later. The Budget planners certainly underestimated Donovan. On December 8, , the day after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Congress granted these to the President and a few other designated officials to spend solely on their personal responsibility. They did not have to disclose the specific purpose for which the funds were used, and these secret expenditures were not subject to detailed audit. In practice, Donovan had only to sign a note certifying that the funds had been used properly for national security purposes.

This fiscal authority, augmented by the espionage authority that Donovan received from the armed forces, allowed him to conduct a wide variety of secret activities, from hiring foreign spies, to sending American agents behind enemy lines with bags full of currency, gold or silver coins, or other inducements for recruiting. As a CIA historian later put it, unvouchered funds were "the lifeblood of clandestine operations.

Neither the names of the OSS personnel in the field who made the secret payments, nor the identity of those who received them was revealed for the record. There was no detailed accounting of that kind of disbursement. Lovell, chief of Research and Development. Morgan of J. Lane Rehm, financial genius of one of the largest investment trusts in the United States.

Together they performed the delicate task of approving or denying requests for use of unvouchered funds and assessing reports on their expenditure in secret activities. When the COI was established in July , Donovan focused first on building an administrative staff and then on recruiting college faculty, who were area experts, for research and analysis of available information, and setting up a propaganda system. But even before the U. One was David K.

Bruce, a diplomat married to one of the Pittsburgh Mellons, who was allegedly the wealthiest woman in America. Donovan, already wealthy, forsook any salary from the government. Troy, Donovan and the CIA, The other man was M. Preston Goodfellow, a Brooklyn newspaper publisher, who in would head the Special Operations Branch, and would play an important role in the creation of the training camps in the National Parks.

As befitting his last name, Preston Goodfellow was a jolly, good-natured man, an executive with ability to charm and even to ingratiate himself to diverse people while, keeping his eye on the main chance. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he spent a career in New York newspapers. After the war, Goodfellow rejoined the Brooklyn Eagle but this time on the business rather than the editorial side. Six years later, he formed his own business, which he ran until July when he was recalled by the Army to active duty.

Consequently beginning in September , Goodfellow, by then a lieutenant colonel, was assigned by G-2 to work informally as liaison between Army Intelligence and the new Coordinator of Information. Goodfellow served as acting chief while Solberg was away and succeeded him in January when Solberg returned and proposed a plan to replicate British SOE that Donovan rejected. Intelligence in , when he and their two dozen foreign agents were transferred to COI. Donovan asked him to prepare a plan for undercover intelligence activities, but he and Donovan had a falling out. Donovan fired him and replaced him with David Bruce.

Joseph E. He subsequently may have done espionage work for the British while acting as an international businessman in the interwar period. Early in , the U. In October , when Donovan had sent Solberg to Britain to study the organization, training, and effectiveness of the British Special Operations, the Coordinator of Information did not believe that it was either wise or practical for the Office of COI, being a civilian agency, to seek formal authorization for commandos or guerrilla units when the United States was not officially at war.

Consequently, special operations planning in the Office of the COI had not gone beyond rudimentary ideas and an informal title by November Preston Goodfellow Papers, Stanford, Calif.

Goodfellow to Lt. Ralph C. Smith, 10 October , subject: Lt. Robert A. On a clear and brisk afternoon on Sunday, December 7, , William J. He soon learned that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor and that the President wanted him right away. He took the next train to Washington. Roosevelt, comp. The Joint Chiefs of Staff, composed of the heads of the armed services, had been created in February to coordinate the American armed forces and to expedite cooperation with the British chiefs of staff.

Previously, the American armed forces forces had largely ignored such unconventional warfare. I know Bill Donovan does not agree with this, but the rest of the C. Marshall, U. Army; Admiral Ernest J. King, U. Navy; and General H. Raymond E. Lee, chief of Army G-2, Intelligence], n. Eisenhower, The Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower: The War Years, ed.

Alfred D. Chandler Baltimore, Md. Chapter 2 Wartime Organization Marshall forged a compromise that limited overt interference with the OSS. The Army recognized Donovan as an active duty colonel, but General Marshall resisted promoting him to flag rank until March when Donovan became a brigadier general and November , when he received his second star as a major general. That is to take in as part of their organization a civilian unit. There had been great neglect of the new elements in modern warfare and we have succeeded in getting them set up and all under one tent, including special intelligence, special operations, and psychological warfare.

Thomas F. Troy Frederick, Md. Donovan to Gen. Of those, 8, were in the Army, 2, of them officers. Most of these college-educated women served in the United States, the majority working in Washington, but women went overseas, and a few served behind enemy lines. Most of them continued to do much of the kind of paper, communications, and linguistic work they had done in Washington.

That apparently was the number of personnel at its peak. Brett J. Chalou Washington, D. The women in X-2 [counter-espionage], for example, were as well educated as the men, they spoke the same number of foreign languages, on average were the same age early thirties , and most had traveled abroad. But in X-2 they were generally secretaries, filing clerks, or translators.

There was one decoder; two were listed as associate head and administrative assistant. None achieved executive positions in X Special Operations had the same number and percentage at that time. Technical operations, which included a variety of support services from Communications Branch to Research and Development and the like, amounted to just over 2,, representing 18 percent of the OSS in October , and Administrative Services had the same numbers and percentage.

That percentage remained relatively constant, but the theater distribution changed. The initial buildup was for the Mediterranean Theater and then the European Theater, especially for the invasion of France in It remained at that level until the war ended in September Most of the glory was won by the operational branches, especially the bold and daring agents of the Secret Intelligence and Special Operations Branches and the commando-style military units of the Operational Groups. Most mysterious were the. She had no knowledge of the Communications Branch radio operation school at Area C.

Intelligence gathering an analysis was a major function of OSS. SI played its first important role in helping ensure the success of the American invasion of Vichy French North Africa in November On the other side of the world, in China, SI networks behind Japanese lines provided information on bombing targets for U.

Army Air Forces and on Japanese shipping for the U. The majority of SI personnel worked in Allied or neutral countries, from which they made contacts with informants or, more frequently, sent foreign speaking Americans or indigenous agents, into enemy areas by night parachute drops or submarine landings to carry out their missions of obtaining information directly or through paid or unpaid informants about military, economic, political, and morale conditions.

Among SI station chiefs, none was more successful than Allen Dulles, whose headquarters was in Bern in neutral Switzerland.

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This scion of a family of international lawyers and diplomats, Dulles had served as an intelligence agent in Switzerland in the First World War, returning in , he built a ring of more than one hundred agents in Germany, including lawyers, businessmen, labor leaders and socialists, and learned about the development sites for V- 1 and V-2 weapons, the organization of opposition to Hitler within the German officer. David K. Shepardson, international lawyer and business executive, who headed SI until the end of the war.

See David K. Bruce, ed. Dulles also became the contact for the most valuable single human intelligence source of the war, Fritz Kolbe, an anti-Nazi bureaucrat in the German Foreign Office with liaison to the German General Staff. British intelligence rejected him, but Dulles trusted him, and from to , Kolbe smuggled to the OSS station chief in Switzerland some 1, valuable military and foreign policy documents providing important insights into military, economic, and political conditions in wartime Germany.

Donovan included summaries of that information in the intelligence reports he gave regularly to President Roosevelt. Headed by James Murphy in London and with station chiefs like the brilliant but ultimately controversial James Jesus Angleton in Rome Angleton had taken his OSS basic training course at Area B at Catoctin before his more specialized training at SI and X-2 schools in Maryland and Virginia , the Counter-Intelligence Branch X-2 was the most secretive of the OSS branches because of its access to some of the Ultra intercepts; it was also one of the most powerful, as its access enabled it to cancel SI or SO operations without explanation.

Dulles Papers, , some of it heavily redacted. On Angleton, see David C. In addition to coding and decoding, he mission was to counter-espionage, initially to learn the identity of a top German agent there. On weekend visits to country mansions, she was not above rummaging through drawers and cracking safes and photographing documents. She became a top counter- espionage agent. After the war, she remained there and married a Spanish nobleman, becoming the Countess of Romanones. Rucker, U. Army paratrooper and a veteran of jumps himself.

The 38 women he instructed as parachutists represented only 1 percent of the 3, people he trained to jump out of airplanes, including Americans, British, French, Italian, Chinese and Thais. Rucker supervised more than twenty thousand jumps in his career, and he reported that only 50 trainees had refused at the last minute to jump out of the plane. None of those who refused was a woman. The women jumped, but they complained that their breasts were badly bruised by the severe snap back of the harness when the parachute opened.

She received her overseas espionage training at a converted warehouse in Roslyn, Virginia. I had to share them with men. And what a collection! The place was always full of agents: Chinese, Arabs, French, even Germans, coming and going. Army in citing the capture of a thousand enemy agents. However, neither Lussier nor De Giacomo was allowed to operate behind enemy lines. The only American OSS women who were sent behind enemy lines were apparently those who had already been in German-occupied countries before they joined the OSS.

She was interrogated and beaten and suffered hearing loss from a bomb explosion, but she survived the war, married an American officer, and moved with him to the United States. So smile. Fluent in French and living in Paris when the Nazis invaded in , Hall served first as a volunteer ambulance driver until the French surrendered. They sent her to Lyons, where she launched an operational resistance unit.

After the Allied invasion of France, her teams helped impede German reinforcements by blowing up bridges and supply trains, and ambushed truck convoys. They killed more than German soldiers and captured nearly a thousand. Its members were trained to blow up bridges and railroad lines and to lead guerrilla attacks on enemy outposts and lines of communication and supply. Initially, the Army did not view Special Operations as useful, in contrast to the Secret Intelligence Branch, which proved its effectiveness in the North African invasion of November Later, between and , Special Operations Branch would prove its value in Europe and in Asia, but it took time.

Army paratroopers and rangers, there was a high degree of sang froid, and a gutsy, cocky, devil-may-care attitude among many OSS special operations agents. They were serious about their business and the risk of fighting behind enemy lines, but there was also a swagger to men who saw themselves as part of an elite unit, physically and mentally at top form, ready to jump out of airplanes into the dark behind enemy lines, risking capture and death in daring, hazardous secret missions that as far as they knew the public would never hear about, but which, they believed, might help win the war.

See also entry of 20 February , p. Parton, Jr. Kellogg, subject: Attachment, 2 Nov. This went so far as a proposal to the JCS for a Strategic Service Command and the formation of significant units in an independent corps. Wallace R. The Operational Groups differed from commandos in that they were recruited by language. They also usually operated far behind enemy lines on a sustained basis working with indigenous resistance groups. Such ethnic soldiers in American military uniforms parachuted behind enemy lines, would be welcomed, Donovan believed, by indigenous resistance groups. Each consisted of about half a dozen officers and about 30 enlisted men.

Like the two- to three-man Special Operations teams, but in larger units, the Operational Group units were trained to work with local resistance forces and to engage in sabotage, hit-and-run raids, and other guerrilla operations to disrupt enemy lines of communication and supply in conjunction with directives from the Allied theater commander to assistant the invasion or other offensives of the main Allied forces.

In , as a prelude to the Allied invasion of Normandy and subsequently the South of France, dozens of SO and OG teams were dropped behind German lines there with instructions to link up with indigenous guerrillas and impede German resistance through sabotage and hit-and-run raids. Among them were nearly one hundred multi-national SO teams, usually American, British, and French, code named Jedburghs. The present author requested its declassification in The initial authorization was for officers and enlisted men. Donovan, Special Order No. Ellery C. Huntington, Jr. Operational Groups, to Lt.

Davis Halliwell, Chief of S. Although there is a town of Jedburgh in Scotland it is miles north of Milton Hall in Peterborough, England, the main training site. A recent student of the subject has concluded that the name Jedburgh was given operation by being randomly selected from a list of town names in the U. The first Special Operations unit sent into the field was Detachment , which was sent to northeastern India in the middle of to begin guerrilla operations against the Japanese in Burma. The group of some two dozen Americans had received their training for the mission in the spring of Their commander, Colonel Carl F.

The other half of the contingent, under Lieutenant William R. Detachment , a group that never exceeded Americans in the field, recruited and directed nearly 11, native Kachin and other Burmese tribesmen. Operating as guerrillas deep behind Japanese lines in the jungles of Burma from to , they harassed and weakened the Imperial Japanese Army and Air Force. General Claire L. SO and OG officers working with Chinese troops, the first Chinese OGs, as well as Chinese guerrillas sought to impede Japanese advances by blowing up supply depots, railroads and bridges After Tokyo surrendered in , flying SO rescue teams into POW camps to prevent Allied prisoners from being harmed by fanatical Japanese militarists.

Because OSS teams became involved in a number of seaborne projects in which operatives would be infiltrated by boat or which would involve the demolition of ships, harbor facilities, or landing obstacles, the OSS in June established a Maritime Unit MU. Earlier, some seaborne infiltration training took place on a lake at Prince William Forest Park, but most of such training occurred at a Maritime training camp Training Area D established in late April at Smith Point on the eastern bank of the Potomac River in southern Charles County, Maryland.

Members of SO and SI continued to receive seaborne landing instruction there, but the OSS Maritime Unit emphasized for its own personnel training not just in small craft handling and underwater explosives, but also sustained underwater combat swimming. Since the Potomac proved unsatisfactory for various reasons lack of surf to simulate sea landings, iced over in winter, too murky and polluted for underwater swimming , MU moved its facilities to the Caribbean and California Area D continued to be used by for advanced SO training until it was closed in April