Office of Strategic Services 1942-45: The World War II Origins of the CIA
Osprey's elite series title for the origins of the CIA during World War II (1939-1945). The Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency, was founded in 1942 by William 'Wild Bill' Donovan under the direction of President Roosevelt, who realized the need to improve intelligence during wartime. A rigorous recruitment process enlisted agents from both the armed services and civilians to produce operational groups specializing in different foreign areas including Italy, Norway, Yugoslavia and China. At its peak in 1944, the number of men and women working in the service totaled nearly 13,500.
This intriguing story of the origins and development of the American espionage forces covers all of the different departments involved, with a particular emphasis on the courageous teams operating in the field. The volume is illustrated with many photographs, including images from the film director John Ford who led the OSS Photographic Unit and parachuted into Burma in 1943.
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North Africa neutral countries Italy Western Mediterranean Balkans
agents airfield Allied American areas Army ARSOF Archives August bases branch British broadcasts Burma Burmese captured Carpetbagger Chetniks China cipher civilian clandestine coast Command Communists counterespionage Detachment 101 Detachment 404 documents Donovan drop enemy lines equipment established Europe Field Photo fighting Fourteenth Air Force French French Indochina French resistance gather intelligence German headquarters infiltrated intelligence service intelligence-gathering Italian Italy Japanese Jedburgh teams JFK Special Warfare Kachin Kachin Rangers landed leaflets liberated line-crossers M1 carbine Maquis messages miles military Milorg mission NARA neutral countries Nissei Norwegian numbers obtained Operation Jedburgh Operation Torch Operational Groups overseas parachuted Partisans personnel pistol POW camps radio operator reconnaissance recruited Rene Defourneaux reports resistance groups sabotage and ambush Sepals September 1944 SF Detachment Special Funds Special Warfare Museum summer of 1944 supply surrender targets territory troops undercover uniforms units USAAF Vichy French Viet Minh weapons wearing Wehrmacht