WORLD WAR II

OSS

Individuals

A - F

Alsop, Stewart, and Thomas Braden. Sub Rosa: The OSS and American Espionage. New York: Reynal & Hitchcock, 1946. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1964. [pb]

Pforzheimer notes that this book contains "fragmentary but authentic examples of a few OSS clandestine and paramilitary operations in Europe, Africa, and Asia." According to Constantinides, "a few OSS operations and missions are outlined in True Adventure style. The ... operations covered are not significant in themselves because subsequent writings have offered much more."

Bair, Deirdre. Saul Steinberg: A Biography. New York: Doubleday, 2012.

Peake, Studies 57.3 (Sep 2013), and Intelligencer 20.2 (Fall-Winter 2013), notes that the author's "engaging biography" of the New Yorker's cartoonist has two chapters devoted to "Steinberg's OSS service. He served first with the Sino-American Cooperative Organization [SACO] in the Pacific under Admiral Milton Miles.... His job was to prepare drawings to convey allied propaganda to those who could not read English. Later he was assigned to an Army unit in Italy and served as an interpreter in the Psychological Warfare Branch."

Barnes, Bart. "Lucien E. Conein Dies at 79: Fabled Agent for OSS and CIA." Washington Post, 6 Jun. 1998, B6. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

"Lucien E. Conein, 79, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and covert intelligence agent whose career ranged from landing by aircraft in Nazi-occupied France during World War II to participation in the coup d'etat that brought down South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem in 1963, died June 3 at Suburban Hospital....

"Col. Conein's career also included orchestrating the infiltration of spies and saboteurs into Eastern Europe after World War II, training paramilitary forces in Iran and a secret mission to organize anti-communist guerrillas in North Vietnam after the country was partitioned following the French defeat in Indochina in 1954. He retired from the military and CIA in 1968 but later joined the Drug Enforcement Administration, where he directed an intelligence-gathering and operations unit until his civilian retirement in 1984."

Conein became "the stuff of legend and romance in the intelligence community. Author David Halberstam, writing in 'The Best and the Brightest,' described him as 'someone sprung to life from a pulp adventure.' Stanley Karnow, in 'Vietnam: A History,' said he was an 'eccentric, boisterous, often uncontrollable yet deeply sensitive and thoroughly professional agent.' Henry Cabot Lodge, President John F. Kennedy's ambassador to South Vietnam, called him 'the indispensable man' and a vital liaison between the U.S. Embassy and the South Vietnamese generals who plotted the overthrow and subsequent assassination of Diem in 1963....

"Col. Conein's decorations included a Distinguished Service Cross, a Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, a Bronze Star and the CIA's Intelligence Star."

Clark comment: I cannot allow the passing of Conein without noting that whether his stories were true or not is immaterial; they should have been.

Berg, Ethel. My Brother Morris Berg: The Real Moe. New York: Schulsinger Brothers, 1975.

See Dawidoff, The Catcher Was a Spy (1995).

Bernstein, Adam. "To Your Stealth: Honoring the OSS." Washington Post, 30 Jun. 2003, C1. [http://www.washingtonpost.com]

Charles Pinck's father, Dan, spent 18 months in China for the OSS. Today, the son is president of the OSS Society, which celebrates the achievements of that organization.

Burke, Michael. Outrageous Good Fortune. Boston: Little, Brown, 1984.

Burke served in OSS in World War II and later was part of the CIA's covert operation against Albania in the early 1950s. His OSS adventures were made into a movie, "Cloak and Dagger," with Gary Cooper playing Burke. In later life, Burke was president and chairman of the board of the New York Yankees. O'Toole, Encyclopedia, pp. 84-85.

Conant, Jennet. A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 55.3 (Sep. 2011), "we learn in considerable detail" what Paul Child, Jane Foster, Elizabeth MacDonald, and Julia McWilliams did in the OSS during World War II. Of course, "there is no actual covert affair" here, but "[s]ervice in the OSS was a formative experience for all involved in the story."

Cimino, AIJ 29.2 (2011), stresses that this book's title is "tremendously misleading," as "[t]he major character is actually Jane Foster." The story reads like fiction novel, "only the story is real. The characters with all of their talents and flaws are captivating." Similarly, Goulden, Washington Times, 15 Apr. 2011, accuses the publisher of pulling a "blatantly egregious ... bait-and-switch sting on an unwary reader.... Foster's story alone did not warrant a book; roping in the famed Julia Child seems a ploy, but one that falls flat." See also review by Chapman, IJI&C 25.3 (Fall 2012).

Cutler, Richard. Counterspy: Memoirs of a Counterintelligence Officer in World War II and the Cold War. Washington, DC: Brassey's, 2004.

According to Periscope 26.1 (2004), the author "describes his career with the super-secret X-2 counterintelligence branch" of OSS and "his postwar counterespionage work with its successor, the War Department's Strategic Services Unit (SSU)." Cutler "provides an insightful overview of OSS operations during the war." He also worked in counterespionage in Berlin in the early postwar years.

OSS Society Newsletter (Winter 2004-2005), says that Cutler "offers a rare firsthand account of the secret war against Hitler and the postwar competition with the Soviets for German intelligence assets." Bath, NIPQ 21.2 (Jun. 2005), comments that "[w]e learn little about counterintelligence tradecraft from the stories Cutler tells about agent handling, but a great deal about the attitudes of the conquered Germans and of life in Berlin in the immediate post-war devastation."

For DKR, AFIO WIN 35-04 (27 Sep. 2004), this is a "remarkable account of espionage during the hot war and the beginning of the Cold War." The author "sets out previously unpublished case histories of double agents in Berlin and gives details of recruitment, missions, methods and the fates that followed from success or failure."

West, IJI&C 19.2 (Summer 2006), finds that the author's "value lies in his matter-of-fact descriptions of his agents, and the successes, failures, he experienced." His "version of the famous CICERO case ... is deeply flawed.... But this episode is a rare example in Cutler's narrative of straying from his own first-hand experience."

To Ruffner, Studies 49.3 (2005), this "is an invigorating account"; it "is not only good reading, but also perhaps the only firsthand account of X-2 operations in Berlin at the dawn of the Cold War. The author provides "an excellent introduction to this confusing period. A keen observer during his travels throughout Europe, he provides insights into life during and after the war and how the local population reacted to the American presence."

Dawidoff, Nicholas. The Catcher Was a Spy: The Mysterious Life of Moe Berg. New York: Pantheon, 1994. New York: Vintage, 1995. [pb]

[1]

Yardley, WPNWE, 18-24 Jul. 1994, notes that Berg was a Major League catcher 1923-1939. During World War II, he was a "member of the small OSS task force assigned to track down the activities of Werner Heisenberg." After the war, he "tried a few assignments for the CIA, but was temperamentally unsuited for its bureaucratic style." Dawidoff's work shows "heroic research," and he "avoids the temptation of rehashing it to excess." He "has brought the mystery to life." Surveillant 3.6/4.2 says Berg "remains rather indistinct in this account ... but we are warned, for Dawidoff states at the outset that Berg was oddly secretive and enigmatic."

A briefer version of the main points of this book appears as: Nicholas Dawidoff, "Scholar, Lawyer, Catcher, Spy," Sports Illustrated, 23 Mar. 1992, 76-86. For an earlier biography of Berg, see: Kaufman, Fitzgerald, and Sewell, Moe Berg: Athlete, Scholar, Spy (1974). On the latter work, Constantinides notes that there is no mention of Berg in the OSS history or any major work on OSS. Berg's sister has also published a book on his life: Berg, My Brother Morris Berg (1975).

[1. Photo from: https://www.cia.gov/cia/ciakids/history/mo.html]

Deschamps-Adams, Hélène.

1. "An OSS Agent Behind Enemy Lines in France." Prologue, Fall 1992, 256-74. [http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usamhi/RefBibs/intell/ww2/oss.htm]

2. Spyglass: An Autobiography. New York: Holt, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2: This is the story of the author's "years in the French Resistance, and her later work in OSS."

Felsen, Milt. The Anti-Warrior: A Memoir. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa, 1989.

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usamhi/RefBibs/intell/ww2/oss.htm: "Adventures as volunteer in Spain 1937-38 and w[ith] OSS, WWII. See Chaps. 11-13."

Foster, Jane. An Unamerican Lady. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1980.

Constantinides notes that Foster, who worked in Morale Operations with OSS during World War II, was indicted with her husband in 1957 as Soviet agents. In discussing her OSS experiences, Foster "relates much about personal, social, and administrative matters but precious little about her operations." With regard to the charges brought against her, she denies being a Soviet agent but admits that she lied about her Communist Party membership and marital status.

The indictment against Foster came on the basis of information from FBI double agent Boris Morros. See Morros, My Ten Years as a Counterspy (1959). See also, Conant, A Covert Affair (2011).

Hall, Roger. You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger. New York: Norton, 1957. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2004.

Roger Hall died at the age of 89 on 20 July 2008.

Adam Bernstein, "Wry Tale of Spying During World War II A Gem of the Genre," Washington Post, 22 Jul. 2008, C8: "On a weekend of remembrance for the nation's service people, the stories of Roger Hall as a spy in World War II are not typical tales of breathless action and heroism. Hall's adventures -- more precisely, misadventures -- captured the imagination of the tens of thousands who read his 1957 memoir,... still considered one of the funniest and most perceptive books about life in the Office of Strategic Services."

For Bath, NIPQ 20.2, this is "a laugh-out-funny memoir and an amazingly quick read." The humor is of "the kind that can only come from someone who has truly experienced what he is writing about." Kent, Studies 17.1 (Spring 1973), says that this book "is a humorous and at the same time accurate account of an OSS man's training for irregular war." Similarly, Seamon, Proceedings 130.10 (Oct. 2004), finds that Hall's book remains "as fresh as today's headlines -- and far funnier."

Benson, Air & Space Power Journal 20.4 (Winter 2006), finds that "[t]he author’s ability to blend humor into the serious business of espionage is unparalleled." The book "will appeal to military-intelligence practitioners and enthusiasts alike, as well as unconventional thinkers who, like young lieutenant Roger Hall, sometimes find themselves volunteering just to be different."

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