WORLD WAR II

OSS

Operations in the China-Burma-India Theater

N - Z

See "Four Intelligence Officers in the China-India-Burma Theater: Stilwell, Eifler, Peers and Chan" at the Huachuca History Program under "Masters of the Intelligence Art": http://huachuca.army.mil/files/History_MSTILWELL.PDF.

Peers, William R. [LTGEN/USA]

See Richard Stewart, "Army Values: Integrity," Special Warfare, April 2000, which focuses on Peers, who headed the "Peers Commission" to investigate the My Lai Massacre.

1. "Intelligence Operations of OSS Detachment 101." Studies in Intelligence 4, no. 3 (Summer 1960): A1-A13.

The author was commander of Detachment 101. "For Detachment 101 intelligence was an all-pervasive mission. The Detachment did plan and carry out espionage operations specifically to collect both strategic and tactical information, but intelligence was also a by-product of all its other operations, including guerrilla actions, sabotage, and psychological measures."

2. And Dean Brelis. Behind the Burma Road: The Story of America's Most Successful Guerrilla Force. Boston: Little, Brown, 1963.

According to Pforzheimer, Peers commanded OSS Detachment 101 which operated behind Japanese lines in Burma. The unit conducted both paramilitary and tactical intelligence collection operations. Constantinides notes that the emphasis here is on the "strategic and tactical picture of both military and paramilitary operations," with intelligence activity receiving lesser treatment.

Pinck, Dan. Journey to Peking: A Secret Agent in Wartime China. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003.

Jonkers, AFIO WIN 7-03, 18 Feb. 2003, notes that the author was assigned by OSS "to a remote area near Hong Kong, where he was the sole American agent..., working with some sixty Chinese local agents. They reported on troop movements and shipping along the coast, and mapped Japanese fortifications in areas where an American invasion was planned.... This is a vivid, honest, and often humorous account, a close-up and personal story of covert military operations." For Bath, NIPQ 19.3, this is "[a] gentle, amusing, and thoroughly enjoyable look at a very small piece of a very large war."

Sacquety, Troy J.

1. The OSS in Burma: Jungle War against the Japanese. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2013.

From publisher: The author recounts the story of OSS's Detachment 101 "with a depth of detail that makes the ... Burmese theater come ... alive. He describes the organizational evolution of Detachment 101 and shows how the unit's flexibility allowed it to evolve to meet the changing battlefield environment. He depicts the Detachment's two sharply contrasting field commanders: headstrong Colonel Carl Eifler,... and the more measured Colonel William Peers.... He also highlights the heroic Kachin tribesmen, fierce fighters defending their tribal homeland."

2. ed. "Behind Japanese Lines in Burma." Studies in Intelligence 11 (Fall-Winter 2001): 67-79.

The editor introduces and presents a letter from OSS Detachment 101's legendary chief, Carl F. Eifler, to Carl Hoffman, head of OSS activities in the CBI theater. In the letter, Eifler describes flying into one of the Detachment's isolated bases, losing his plane, and then walking back through the Burmese countryside and Japanese lines.

Ward, James R. "The Activities of Detachment 101 of the OSS." Special Warfare, Oct. 1993, 14-21.

Windmiller, Marshall. "A Tumultuous Time: OSS and Army Intelligence in India, 1942-1946." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 8, no. 1 (Spring 1995): 105-124.

Army G-2 was the first U.S. intelligence organization in India, in the form of a Military Observer Group (the "Osmun Group") in February 1942. Establishment of an OSS contingent was slowed by British intelligence objections. In April 1942, OSS activated Detachment 101, but its activities were directed toward Burma. Gandhi launched the "Quit India" movement in August 1942 -- tumult followed, along with British concerns that the Americans would use their intelligence activities against British interests in India. Agreement for OSS to operate in India was not reached until August 1943. Problems with the British were compounded by turf wars among the Americans themselves. Nonetheless, it is clear that OSS from early on violated the British-American agreement and gathered intelligence in India.

Yu, Maochun.

1. "OSS in China -- New Information About an Old Role." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 7, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 75-96.

"Newly-available Chinese and English documents ... furnish a key to understanding the extraordinary harshness with which OSS was treated by the [Nationalist] Chinese. OSS's embryonic tie with the British cost Donovan dearly in China.... [Yet,] relations between British and American intelligence in wartime China were never without mutual animosity." Also, the ineffectiveness of U.S. intelligence operations in China was affected by "the extraordinary ... competition for turf in the China theater among the American intelligence branches themselves.... The richness of the [OSS operational] files indicates that ... OSS was by no means a failure in the China theater.... The central question of command also plagued U.S.-China cooperation."

2. OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1996.

Yager, WIR 16.2, says that the author has told his interesting story well. However, Yu's "interpretations of events and his evaluations of personalities will not be accepted by all readers." In addition, there is an "occasional assertion of generalizations that go beyond the historical evidence." But the author "correctly sees the competing goals of the major actors in wartime China as constraining and complicating possibilities for cooperation.... He does not pay much attention, however, to what various parties actually did in the intelligence field."

Similarly, Leary, JAH 84.2, notes that "missing from the book is a treatment of what OSS accomplished in China," especially against Japan, the primary intelligence target. Nonetheless, Yu provides "an authoritative account of OSS's organizational structure in all its complexity."

Iriye, History 26.1, refers to Yu's "massive research in U.S. and Chinese sources," and to the author's telling of his "fascinating story ... in clear prose." Kruh, Cryptologia 23.1, says that this "well written and thoroughly researched book ... opens a curtain on the intrigue and discord among the multitude of organizations in the theatre."

For Del Bianco, Parameters 28 (Summer 1998), this book is "easily the most comprehensive examination to date of OSS activities in China during World War II." Yu makes a "straightforward presentation of nationalistic rivalries and service parochialism that constantly thwarted OSS operations in the theater.... The most serious concern is the perception of occasional overreliance on official source material, not only to describe OSS activities in China, but as the exclusive criteria to interpret why or how certain events did or did not transpire."

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