of Strategic Services
Common clues: WWII agcy.; Old spy org.;
CIA precursor; 1940s spy grp.; Clandestine WWII gp.
2 times a year
in English language:
47426 / 86800
10 years of war has changed US spies
era Propaganda film about Internment Camps
Office of Strategic Services was a United States intelligence
agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime (but not
direct) precursor to the Central Intelligence Agency.
members of a B-24 bomber flown by OSS on special missions over
Central Europe pose beside their plane at Area T.
to the formation of the OSS, American intelligence had been
conducted on an ad-hoc basis by the various departments of the
executive branch, including State, Treasury, Navy and War. They
had no overall direction, coordination, or control. The Army and
the Navy had separate code-breaking departments (Signal
Intelligence Service and OP-20-G) that not only competed, but
refused to share break-throughs. Also, the original code-breaking
operation of the State Department, MI8, run by Herbert Yardley,
had been shut down in 1929 by Secretary of State Henry Stimson
because "gentlemen don't read each other's mail".
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was concerned about American
intelligence deficiencies. He directed William J. Donovan, a
World War I veteran and New York lawyer, to draft a plan for an
Office of Strategic Services was established in June 1942 to
collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint
Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to
other agencies. During the War, the OSS supplied policy makers
with facts and estimates, but the OSS never had jurisdiction over
all foreign intelligence activities—the FBI was responsible
for intelligence work in Latin America, and the military
jealously guarded their areas of responsibility.
OSS helped arm, train and supply anti-Japanese and anti-German
groups in the Second World War, including Mao Tse Tung's
Communist Forces in China, and Ho Chi Minh (Nguyen Ai Quoc)'s
Viet Minh in French Indochina. The OSS also recruited and ran one
of the war's most important spies, the German diplomat Fritz
October 1945 the OSS was dissolved and its functions were
transferred to the Departments of State and War, its personnel
being assigned to the SSU (Strategic Services Unit). In 1947 the
National Security Act established America's first permanent
peacetime intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency,
which took up the functions of the OSS.
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It uses material from the Wikipedia
article "Office of Strategic Services".
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