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These are the true stories of OSS covert operations during World War 2.
There are three volumes.
They were written at the end of WW 2 and cut to the chase. There is no flowery narration, just hard-hitting facts of their successes, difficulties, and failures. This is the most accurate assessment of intelligence operations from the war.
Before World War II, intelligence activities in the United States were mostly carried out by the Department of State, the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI), and the War Department's Military Intelligence Division (MID). Hoping for greater coordination of intelligence activities and a more strategic approach to intelligence gathering and operations, on July 11, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt appointed William J. Donovan to head a new civilian office attached to the White House, the Coordinator of Information (COI). The COI was charged with collecting and analyzing information that may have had bearing upon national security, correlating such information and data, and making this information available to the President, authorized departments, and government officials. The COI operations duplicated but did not necessarily replace functions carried out by the State Department, ONI, and MID.
When World War II started, Donovan worked with the newly created Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) to place the COI under JCS control; while preserving COI autonomy and gaining access to military support and resources. On June 13, 1942, the COI became the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). The OSS gathered intelligence information about practically every country in existence but was not allowed to conduct operations in the Pacific Theater, which General Douglas MacArthur claimed as his own. J. Edgar Hoover of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Nelson Rockefeller, the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs, insisted that the OSS should not operate in the Western hemisphere. For these reasons, the records of OSS covert operations were primarily confined to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. The OSS established more than 40 overseas offices during World War II, extending from Casablanca to Shanghai and Stockholm to Pretoria.
Most records were transferred to two federal agencies after the OSS was eliminated on September 20, 1945. Approximately 1,700 cubic feet of Research and Analysis Branch records ended up at the Department of State. In comparison, more than 6,000 cubic feet of operational records were transferred to what was to become the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Note that the CIA was not created until July 26, 1947.
After World War II, OSS veterans in the Strategic Services Unit (SSU) arranged most OSS operational records according to OSS locations, offices, and file categories. For a list of these categories, see the Arrangement of OSS Records.
In 1946, the State Department began releasing records to the National Archives, which had taken over the bulk of Research and Analysis Branch files after the war. The most extensive series consists of intelligence reports relating to political, economic, military, and morale. The information covers nearly all nations. Each series is arranged by document number. The office would assign the next consecutive number to the accounts and correspondence sent to the R & A Branch.
As a historian and bestselling author, I edited various passages for clarity, punctuation, and ease of reading. However, it did not change the information or story in any fashion.