American Intelligence in War-Time London: The Story of the OSS

American Intelligence in War-Time London: The Story of the OSS

American Intelligence in War-Time London: The Story of the OSS

American Intelligence in War-Time London: The Story of the OSS

Synopsis

The OSS, based in London, was a critical liaison and operational outpost for American intelligence during World War II. Nelson MacPherson's study explores the evolution of the modern American intelligence behemoth from its earliest days in London and reassesses its role based on recently opened archive materials.

Excerpt

Some of the most significant tests of Anglo-American intelligence relations involved OSS/London's Special Operations and Secret Intelligence branches. Long before OSS-controlled intelligence and sabotage operatives parachuted into France in 1944 with their Anglo-French compatriots, the major element of Anglo-American cooperation had manifested itself already in the very fact that oss was ever involved in formulating these schemes. OSS/London's inclusion during operational planning, and the service's success in arranging communications with its agents, were the truly noteworthy developments in the SO-SOE and SI-SIS partnerships. While the operatives in the field were primarily concerned with surviving long enough to aid local Allied tactical units, both branches depended on establishing close headquarters' relations with their British counterparts to the point where each was more fully integrated with its opposite British service than it was with the rest of oss. sis and soe obviously gave strong support to American involvement in the European clandestine war, albeit partly out of self-interest. the British services were clearly loyal, if prudently cautious, allies and partners once they were assured of OSS/London's sound bureaucratic footing. Equally significant was how much OSS/London's leadership depended on establishing such close operational alliances. These developments in turn unfolded within the clear context of military primacy, and the creation of meaningful oss operations for overlord undeniably proved significant to the military campaign in France. the Anglo-American clandestine partnership was geared primarily toward aiding the Allied armies' return to the continent, with si, so, and the British services together hoping to excel at that mission. These operations therefore underscored how Anglo-American intelligence relations were indi-

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