Operations against Germany

M - Z


MacPherson, B. Nelson. "Inspired Improvisation: William Casey and the Penetration of Germany." Intelligence and National Security 9, no. 4 (Oct. 1994): 695-722.

"The penetration of Germany [by Secret Intelligence Branch/OSS/ London] demonstrated William Casey's singular adeptness at harnessing disparate assets into a more cohesive force." Casey was SI/London chief from 1 December 1944. "The penetration ... provided the military precisely the kind of information it wanted."

Mauch, Christof.

1. "Dream of a Miracle War: The OSS and Germany, 1942-45." Prologue 27 (Summer 1995): 135-142. []

2. Tr., Jeremiah Riemer. The Shadow War Against Hitler: The Covert Operations of America's Wartime Secret Intelligence Service. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

Kirkus Reviews, 1 Mar. 2003, finds this to be "[a] careful study that draws heavily on declassified archives"; it presents "illuminating research on the WWII era and modern military intelligence." The author concludes that "the OSS contributed materially to the Allied cause ... by, among other things, targeting and exploiting weak points in the German economy, identifying bombing targets, disrupting civilian and military morale, and spreading misinformation that helped pin down Wehrmacht and SS units that might otherwise have gone into battle against the Allies."

For Kollander, H-German, H-Net Reviews, Mar. 2006 [], the author has "produced a work that skillfully illuminates the history of the ... OSS.... Although the OSS was handicapped by its haphazard organization and by the fact that it was often ignored by the President, it[s] ... operations helped to shorten the war in Europe.... This exhaustively researched book ... is as much a history of the origins of the CIA as it is a history of secret operations against Hitler."

Mendelsohn, John, ed. Covert Warfare: Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Military Deception During the World War II Era. 18 vols. New York: Garland, 1988.

This multivolume work consists of photo reproductions of documents from the National Archives.

Vol. 3: OSS Jedburgh Teams, 1. Intro., Bradley F. Smith.

Vol. 4: OSS Jedburgh Teams, 2. Intro., Bradley F. Smith.

Vol. 5: Other OSS Teams. Intro., Bradley F. Smith.

Vol. 6: German Radio Intelligence and the Soldatsender.

According to Sexton, this volume "includes the War Diary of the Morale Operations Branch of the OSS in London, which describes OSS black propaganda operations aimed at German forces."

Vol. 8: The OSS-NKVD Relationship, 1943-1945. Intro., J. Dane Hartgrove.

From "From December, 1943 until September, 1945, the forerunners of the CIA and the KGB maintained a tenuous contact through Major General John R. Deane's US Military Mission in Moscow. The book is packed with facsimilie documents including letters, cables and memoranda, many top secret, exchanged between the major participants."

O'Donnell, Patrick K. They Dared Return: The True Story of Jewish Spies Behind the Line in Nazi Germany. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo, 2009.

Goulden, Washington Times (15 Jan. 2010) and Intelligencer 17.3 (Winter-Spring 2010), notes that few books about bravery in espionage and war that he has read "moved me as much" as this one did. "Five Jewish refugees from Hitler's Germany" join the OSS and take on the mission -- Operation Greentop -- of scouting "the heavily fortified area of Austria's 'Alpine Redoubt.'" The mission "was led by a streetwise sergeant named Fred Mayer, born in Freiburg in 1921.... O'Donnell tells much of the story through the words of Mr. Mayer and surviving members of the group." Peake, Studies 54.3 (Sep. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), calls this "a good story, well told"

Padover, Saul K. Experiment in Germany: The Story of an American Intelligence Officer. New York: Duell, 1946.

Working with a small OSS unit as the Allies advanced across Europe after the Normandy landings, Padover "interrogated German civilians, obtaining information upon which the American Military Government in Germany subsequently based its denazification policies." O'Toole, Encyclopedia, p. 356.

Persico, Joseph E.

1. "Casey's German Gamble." MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History 3, no. 1 (Autumn 1990): 70-77.

For anyone who does not want to read Persico's Piercing the Reich, this is an excellent short version of the penetration of Germany by American spies. While the effect of these activities on the broader war effort may be debated, their overall success -- at least, on the tactical level -- cannot.

2. Piercing the Reich: The Penetration of Nazi Germany by American Secret Agents during World War II. New York: Viking, 1979. London: Michael Joseph, 1979. New York: Ballantine, 1979. [pb] New York: Barnes & Noble, 1997.

Commenting on the 1997 reprint, Kruh, Cryptologia 23.1, finds that the author "recounts in thrilling fashion the perilous missions to penetrate Germany's formidable security.... [T]he main story is about one of the greatest counterintelligence coups of all time."

Pforzheimer notes that most OSS penetration operations "were tactical in nature, supplying important order of battle and targeting information from behind the German lines." This book "is the first real effort at considering these operations ... in their entirety. As such it deserves good marks." The officer directing these operations was Bill Casey whose first-hand account was published as The Secret War Against Hitler (1988).

For Constantinides, the book is "an interesting and well-researched study." However, he thinks that Persico "may have exaggerated the success" of these operations. "The lack of identification of sources ... is a weakness ... that could easily have been avoided."

Petersen, Neal H., ed. From Hitler's Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles, 1942-1945. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1996.

Macartney, Intelligencer 8.1, believes that this compendium "will prove to be a boon to World War II historians." He suggests that it be read in conjunction with Heideking and Mauch, eds., American Intelligence and the German Resistance to Hitler: A Documentary History (1996). The reviewer for Virginia Quarterly Review 73.1 comments that "Petersen has carefully and careingly edited the radioteletype and telegraph messages to present a detailed picture of American intelligence gathering in its early days. Petersen also provides a most helpful introduction."

Quibble, Anthony. "Alias George Wood." Studies in Intelligence 10, no. 1 (Winter 1966): 69-96.

This article tells the story of George Wood, the code name given to German Foreign Office official Fritz Kolbe, an anti-Nazi "walk-in" to the OSS Bern station in August 1943. Kolbe became one of Allen Dulles' great sources over the remainder of the war. See also, Delattre, A Spy at the Heart of the Third Reich (2005).

Schwab, Gerald. OSS Agents in Hitler's Heartland: Destination Innsbruck. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.

This work focuses on an OSS intelligence gathering operation inside Austria in early 1945. It is based on interviews with some of those involved and on declassified OSS documents. Witmer, at, calls it "a reliable reference work and a highly entertaining read." Anderson, Air Chronicles, notes that Schwab "covers the whole spectrum of Operation Greenup, from planning through termination.... The book is both well written and researched."

Smith, Bradley F., and Elena Agarossi. Operation Sunrise: The Secret Surrender. New York: Basic, 1979. London: André Deutsch, 1979.

Constantinides calls this a "scholarly history" of the Allied effort to secure the surrender of German forces in Italy. The authors "go too far at times" in seeking to revise the view of Allen Dulles' role in the surrender negotiations, especially in suggesting that Dulles had accomplished nothing in OSS up to this time. See Dulles, The Secret Surrender (1966), for Dulles' firsthand account of Operation Sunrise.

Steury, Donald P. "Tracking Nazi 'Gold': The OSS and Project SAFEHAVEN." Studies in Intelligence 9 (Summer 2000): 35-50.

"Although it was evident from the outset that SAFEHAVEN would be primarily an intelligence-gathering problem, it does not appear to have occurred to anyone to consult the intelligence services, which were excluded from the planning and implementation of SAFEHAVEN until the end of November 1944.... Once the OSS was brought into the SAFEHAVEN fold, all the advantages of a centralized intelligence organization were brought to bear.... [For OSS,] SAFEHAVEN ... emerged as a joint SI [Secret Intelligence Branch]/X-2 [Counterintelligence Branch] operation..., especially in the key OSS outposts in Switzerland, Spain, and Portugal."

Whiting, Charles. The Battle for Twelveland: An Account of Anglo-American Intelligence Operations Within Nazi Germany, 1939-1945. London, Leo Cooper, 1975. The Spymasters: The True Story of Anglo American Intelligence Operations Within Nazi Germany, 1939-1945. New York: Dutton, 1976.

Constantinides says this is "a potpourri of fact and fiction, actuality and myth, assumptions, sketchy versions of certain events, contrived tie-ins, and a certain confusion." Nevertheless, the author is "sometimes so accurate as to indicate access to well-informed sources or successful combining of certain versions." There is also "a good segment on SIS's role and the basis of its intelligence successes against Germany."

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