OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War

OSS in China: Prelude to Cold War

by Maochun Yu
     
 

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Maochun Yu tells the story of the intelligence activities of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in China during World War II. Drawing on recently released classified materials from the U.S. National Archives and on previously unopened Chinese documents, Yu reveals the immense and complex challenges the agency and its director, General William Donovan, confronted

Overview

Maochun Yu tells the story of the intelligence activities of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in China during World War II. Drawing on recently released classified materials from the U.S. National Archives and on previously unopened Chinese documents, Yu reveals the immense and complex challenges the agency and its director, General William Donovan, confronted in China. This book is the first research-based history and analysis of America s wartime intelligence and special operations activities in the China, Burma and India during WWII. It presents a complex and compelling story of conflicting objectives and personalities, inter-service rivalries, and crowning achievements of America's military, intelligence and political endeavors, the significance of which goes far beyond WWII and China.

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A significant account of the wartime exploits in China of the OSS (Office of Strategic Services), the intelligence agency that was later to become the CIA.

Yu's (History/US Naval Academy) is the first history based on original US archives and on recently published articles and memoirs in China. The fighting among the 20 US bureaucratic agencies and dozen independent intelligence organizations in Chungking seems to have exceeded in intensity anything they were able to mobilize against the Japanese, at least until the last months of the war. The main contenders were the US army commanders Stilwell and later Wedemeyer; Tai Li, the head of Chinese intelligence; Milton Miles, the head of naval intelligence; William Donovan, chosen by Roosevelt to set up the OSS; the crusty American ambassador Gauss; and a swirling, ever-changing group of contending individuals and agencies seeking to push themselves and sabotage everyone else. These included—though for a long time the US participants seemed oblivious to it—both the British, who didn't want China to be too strong after the war, and the Communists, who wanted to undermine the Nationalist government, get weapons and money from the US, and build up a reputation as the main enemy of the Japanese at the very time that they were engaged in making deals with them. The main winners were the OSS, which seems to have emerged largely unscathed almost in spite of itself; and the Communists, whose shrewd infiltration of the British, the French, and above all the Nationalists was truly remarkable. On the critical question of the extent to which the Communists infiltrated the Americans, Yu is circumspect. He describes, for example, the extraordinary assistance given them by a second-ranking State Department employee like John Paton Davies without analyzing his motives.

It is one of the few deficiencies in an important if profoundly depressing story of bureaucratic infighting, jealousies, incomprehension, and ultimate failure.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612510590
Publisher:
Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
07/31/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
File size:
3 MB

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