WORLD WAR II

OSS

Research & Analysis

The focus here is on OSS' Research and Analysis Branch (R&A), headed by William L. Langer. Dessants, I&NS 11.4/747, fn. 3, recommends the following as the three best works on the origins and evolution of R&A: Bradley F. Smith, The Shadow Warriors (1983), pp. 69-78, 174-176, 209-211, and Ch. 8; Barry M. Katz, Foreign Intelligence (1989), Ch. 1; and Robin Winks, Cloak and Gown (1987), Ch. 2.

DeCoster, Bryan Donald. "OSS Estimate of German Logistics on the Eastern Front, 1941-1942: An Early Example of Strategic Warning." Defense Intelligence Journal 3, no. 1 (Spring 1994): 107-131.

Although this article concludes that analysts of the Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch of the Office of the Coordinator of Information "accurately estimated the supply capabilities and requirements of the German Army and the resulting impact on future operation," it does not really show that the R&A successes amounted to strategic warning. The author admits that "their presentation did not emphasize their value for strategic warning. Thus it is hard to discern their value."

Dessants, Betty Abrahamsen. "Ambivalent Allies: OSS' USSR Division, the State Department, and the Bureaucracy of Intelligence Analysis, 1941-1945." Intelligence and National Security 11, no. 4 (Oct. 1996): 722-753.

"Despite interdepartmental battles over personnel and access to information, the USSR Division [of OSS' Research and Analysis Branch (R&A)] and the State Department reached a productive, working relationship born of mutual need" during the wartime years. Nevertheless, "the State Department rejected the idea that the Research and Analysis Branch would be incorporated" in State's analysis and policymaking process. In so doing, "State had clearly lost the opportunity to take the lead in intelligence activities."

Katz, Barry M.

1. "The Criticism of Army: The Frankfurt School Goes to War." Journal of Modern History 59 (Sep. 1987): 439-78.

http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usamhi/RefBibs/intell/ww2/oss.htm: "Marxists Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer prepared studies for the central Eur[ope] Sec[tion], Research & Analysis, OSS."

2. Foreign Intelligence: Research and Analysis in the Office of Strategic Services 1942-1945. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1989.

Surveillant 1.1 sees this as the first history that focuses "on the European theater" of R&A. It "traces the careers of the key players and shows how their assessments shaped U.S. policy both during and after the war and how these scholars laid the foundation of modern intelligence analysis."

For McKenney, IJI&C 4.2, this is "an extraordinary book [that] closes an important gap in the intelligence literature about the OSS." Katz concludes that "the overall contribution of R&A Branch to winning the war was not large," but its "legacy has been influential." Smith, I&NS 6.2, finds the book to be "clearly presented ... and ... well-written." The focus is more on the effect of the wartime experience on a number of "pacesetting scholars," than on wartime intelligence activities.

Langer, Walter C. The Mind of Adolf Hitler: The Secret Wartime Report. New York: Basic Books, 1972.

Walter Langer, brother of William Langer, was an OSS psychologist.

Langer, William L. In and Out of the Ivory Tower: The Autobiography of William L. Langer. New York: Neale Watson Academic Publications, 1978.

Langer headed OSS Research and Analysis Branch from 1942 through the war. He later set up what became the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. In 1950, he returned from Harvard on a leave of absence to establish the structure for production of National Intelligence Estimates. O'Toole, Encyclopedia, p. 271.

Laudani, Raffaele, ed. Secret Reports on Nazi Germany: The Frankfurt School Contribution to the War Effort. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2013.

According to Peake, Studies 58.1 (Mar. 2014), and Intelligencer 20.3 (Spring-Summer 2014), this work "contains 31 of the studies" produced during and after the war by the Research and Analysis Branch (R&A) of the OSS. "Franz Neumann, Herbert Marcuse, and Otto Kirchheimer were leading members of the Central European Section (CES). They were also Marxists.... For those wondering what R&A did during the war and after it was assigned to the State Department, Secret Reports On Nazi Germany provides the basis for a firsthand assessment."

Lowenthal, Mark M. "Searching for National Intelligence: U.S. Intelligence and Policy Before the Second World War." Intelligence and National Security 6, no. 4 (Oct. 1991): 736-749.

Lowenthal describes this article as assessing COI and OSS analytical efforts, "arguing that there was little historic continuity between this fairly unimportant output and the analytical role eventually assumed by the CIA."

Mabee, Carleton. "Margaret Mead and Behaviorial Scientists in World War II: Problems of Responsibility, Truth and Effectiveness." Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences 23 (1987): 3-13.

See Margaret Mead, "Anthropological Contributions to National Policies during and Immediately after World War II," In The Uses of Anthropology, ed. Walter Goldschmidt, 145-157 (Washington, DC: American Anthropolgical Association, 1979).

MacPherson, B. Nelson. "Reductio Ad Absurdum: The R&A Branch of OSS/London." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 15, no. 3 (Fall 2002): 390- 414.

"R&A/London clearly never fulfilled its potential. It, moreover, certainly never merited the reputation it enjoyed in postwar historical literature."

Marquardt-Bigman, Petra. "Behemoth Revisited: The Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services in the Debate of U.S. Policies towards Germany, 1943-46." Intelligence and National Security 12, no. 2 (Apr. 1997): 91-100.

The title reference is to Franz Neumann, author of Behemoth: The Structure and Practice of National Socialism (1942) and described by the author as the "intellectual leader" of R&A's team of German experts. The policy prescription advocated by R&A was similar to what was adopted after 1947, but the Europe of that time was decidedly different than the one of 1944 at which the proposal was aimed.

Mead, Margaret. "Anthropological Contributions to National Policies during and Immediately after World War II." In The Uses of Anthropology, ed. Walter Goldschmidt, 145-157. Washington, DC: American Anthropolgical Association, 1979.

See Carleton Mabee, "Margaret Mead and Behaviorial Scientists in World War II: Problems of Responsibility, Truth and Effectiveness," Journal of History of the Behavioral Sciences 23 (1987): 3-13.

Price, David H. "Gregory Bateson and the OSS: World War II and Bateson's Assessment of Applied Anthropology." Human Organization 57, no. 4 (Winter 1998): 379-384.

This article draws on "a position paper written by Bateson for the OSS in November 1944. In that paper, Bateson outlined a number of methods and strategies that U.S. intelligence agencies might wish to consider using in the post-war period to continue to gather intelligence in India and to help maintain colonial order in India....

"In many ways, Gregory Bateson was a natural candidate for the OSS. Since 1940, Bateson and his then-wife Margaret Mead had been developing and refining the methods used in their studies of 'culture at a distance' [footnote omitted]. These were the very sorts of techniques that the OSS was interested in using to understand and subvert the enemy.... Bateson spent much of his wartime duty designing and carrying out 'black propaganda' radio broadcasts from remote secret locations in Burma and Thailand, and also worked in China, India, and Ceylon." [Footnotes omitted]

Quibble, Anthony. "The Eastern Front at the Turning Point: Review of a Logistics Estimate." Studies in Intelligence 6, no. 4 (Fall 1962): A15-A28.

The Research and Analysis Branch of the Coordinator of Information produced an estimate as to the German Army's likely capabilities for renewing its onslaught against Russia in the Spring of 1942. This study "was the first historic effort to devise a methodology for military-economic studies of a kind that are now routine in the intelligence community."

Rostow, W.W.

1. "The Beginnings of Air Targeting." Studies in Intelligence 7, no. 1 (Winter 1963): A1-A24.

OSS Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch analysts formed in September 1942 the Economic Objectives Unit (EOU). The unit "served the U.S. Strategic Air Force and other British and American headquarters in a semi-independent, advisory status throughout the war." The work eventually led to a systematic target theory for use in precision bombing raids.

2. "Waging Economic Warfare from London." Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 73-79.

These "recollections" focus on the Economic Objectives Unit (EOU), formally part of the Economic Warfare Division of the U.S. Embassy in London but staffed largely by personnel from OSS. The author arrived in London on 13 September 1942. The EOU's "task was to develop and apply criteria for the election of one target system versus another, one target within a system versus another, and, if the target were large enough and bombing precise enough, one aiming point versus another."

See also, James L. Tyson, "The EOU vs. Hitler's Mini-Missiles," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 12, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 80-87.

Tyson, James L. "The EOU vs. Hitler's Mini-Missiles." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 12, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 80- 87.

The author worked in the Enemy Objectives Unit (EOU) of OSS London from November 1943. The EOU was staffed primarily by economists (including Charles Kindleberger, Carl Kaysen, Robert Roosa, and W.W. Rostow) and performed research and analysis work on identifying strategic targets in Germany for the Combined Strategic Targets Committee (CSTC). See also, W.W. Rostow, "The Beginnings of Air Targeting," Studies in Intelligence 7, no. 1 (Winter 1963): A1-A24; and "Waging Economic Warfare from London," Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 73-79.

Wilson, John D. "At Work with Donovan: One Man's History in OSS." Studies in Intelligence 37, no. 5 (1994): 71-79.

The author joined the Research and Analysis Branch at the Coordinator of Information in March 1942. He discusses work with R&A and with Donovan during the war.

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