The Shadow War Against Hitler: The Covert Operations of America's Wartime Secret Intelligence Service

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Overview

Surveying the expanding conflict in Europe during one of his famous fireside chats in 1940, President Franklin Roosevelt ominously warned that "we know of other methods, new methods of attack. The Trojan horse. The fifth column that betrays a nation unprepared for treachery. Spies, saboteurs, and traitors are the actors in this new strategy." Having identified a new type of war -- a shadow war -- being perpetrated by Hitler's Germany, FDR decided to fight fire with fire, authorizing the formation of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to organize and oversee covert operations. Based on an extensive analysis of OSS records, including the vast trove of records released by the CIA in the 1980s and '90s, as well as a new set of interviews with OSS veterans conducted by the author and a team of American scholars from 1995 to 1997, The Shadow War Against Hitler is the full story of America's far-flung secret intelligence apparatus during World War II.

In addition to its responsibilities generating, processing, and interpreting intelligence information, the OSS orchestrated all manner of dark operations, including extending feelers to anti-Hitler elements, infiltrating spies and sabotage agents behind enemy lines, and implementing propaganda programs. Planned and directed from Washington, the anti-Hitler campaign was largely conducted in Europe, especially through the OSS's foreign outposts in Bern and London. A fascinating cast of characters made the OSS run: William J. Donovan, one of the most decorated individuals in the American military who became the driving force behind the OSS's genesis; Allen Dulles, the future CIA chief who ran the Bern office, which he called "the big window onto the fascist world"; a veritable pantheon of Ivy League academics who were recruited to work for the intelligence services; and, not least, Roosevelt himself. A major contribution of the book is the story of how FDR employed Hitler's former propaganda chief, Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstengl, as a private spy.

More than a record of dramatic incidents and daring personalities, this book adds significantly to our understanding of how the United States fought World War II. It demonstrates that the extent, and limitations, of secret intelligence information shaped not only the conduct of the war but also the face of the world that emerged from the shadows.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Stuttgarter Nachrichten
A thrilling look into the work of the first central secret service of the U.S.
International History Review - Raymond Millen

Mauch has not only written a superb account of OSS activities during the war, but he has also woven into his narrative the political, diplomatic, and military dynamics that framed key decisions.... It is essential reading for students of intelligence and strategy alike and would make a fine addition to the professional library.

Journal of Military History - Freie Universitat Berlin

A valuable contribution to an understanding of the postwar world.

Military Review - Mitchell McNaylor

The Shadow War Against Hitler is an excellent read.

American Historical Review - Maochun Yu

Christof Mauch's book... is a brilliant volume that expertly chronicles the epic saga of the OSS's robust intelligence warfare against the Third Reich, with vivid narratives and critical analysis skillfully intermingled throughout the text... This is a must read for anyone who studies America's war against Nazi Germany.

American Diplomacy.org - Rorin M. Platt

The most authoritative single volume on the subject... Mauch brilliantly integrates both the research/analytical as well as operational histories of the OSS.

History: The Journal of the Historical Association - Steve Hewitt

A well-researched and balanced study.

H-Net - Patricia Kollander

Scholars of the Second World War should look to Mauch's work to provide a template for analysis of this important subject.

Military Review
The Shadow War Against Hitler is an excellent read.

— Mitchell McNaylor

American Historical Review
Christof Mauch's book... is a brilliant volume that expertly chronicles the epic saga of the OSS's robust intelligence warfare against the Third Reich, with vivid narratives and critical analysis skillfully intermingled throughout the text... This is a must read for anyone who studies America's war against Nazi Germany.

— Maochun Yu, United States Naval Academy

American Diplomacy.org
The most authoritative single volume on the subject... Mauch brilliantly integrates both the research/analytical as well as operational histories of the OSS.

— Rorin M. Platt

History: The Journal of the Historical Association

A well-researched and balanced study.

— Steve Hewitt

H-Net
Scholars of the Second World War should look to Mauch's work to provide a template for analysis of this important subject.

— Patricia Kollander

History: The Journal of the Historical Association
A well-researched and balanced study.

— Steve Hewitt

Stuttgarter Nachrichten (of the German edition)

A thrilling look into the work of the first central secret service of the U.S.

Choice

[Mauch] offers valuable information concerning the 'Sauerkrauts,' German POWs who volunteered to infiltrate German lines to spread defeatism among Wehrmacht units and the SS formations in northern Italy. This is a valuable addition for graduate students and professionals in the field. Recommended.

Jewish Book World

[Mauch] succeeds in transforming his meticulous archival research into a readable and thought provoking monograph. This volume will provide significant new data for scholars and laymen alike on the OSS and its 'shadow war' against the Nazis.

International History Review
Mauch has not only written a superb account of OSS activities during the war, but he has also woven into his narrative the political, diplomatic, and military dynamics that framed key decisions.... It is essential reading for students of intelligence and strategy alike and would make a fine addition to the professional library.

— Raymond Millen

Journal of Military History
A valuable contribution to an understanding of the postwar world.

— Freie Universitat Berlin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231120449
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/23/2003
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.44 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

Christof Mauch is Director of the German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., and a professor of modern history at the University of Cologne. He was the director of the OSS Oral History Project at Georgetown University and is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, mostly in German.

Jeremiah M. Riemer is a translator living in Washington, DC.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. The SettingHistorical PerspectivesThe Place of the OSS in American HistoryWithin the Secret Intelligence ServiceAnatomy of the OSSII. Donovan on the Offensive and America's Path to WarThe fifth column as a dangerWilliam J. Donovan's lessons for AmericaOn the eve of confrontationWilliam J. Donovan as Director of Intelligence and the origins of the COI -The peace feeler of Federico Stallforth - Pearl HarborThe COI and the New "World Pattern"Germany's Military and Economic Capabilities in the COI's calculations, 1941 - Assessing the Situation in the EastBetween Opinion Research and CounterespionageThe Foreign Nationalities Branch and the Role of German Émigrés - German-Americans, Exile, and PropagandaExcursus: Franklin D. Roosevelt, John Franklin Carter and Ernst "Putzi" HanfstaenglThe Secret Carter Organization - The "S"-Project: Ernst "Putzi" Hanfstaengl in the Service of American Secret Intelligence - Analyses of Germany and Propaganda Plans - The End of the "S"-ProjectThe COI in Crisis and the Creation of the OSSIII. 1943, The Turning PointStrategies and discoursesState Department versus OSS: Initial Speculation about the German collapse, 1942 - The Discussion About Strategic Priorities, 1943Lessons from Moscow and the OSS' AnswerThe National Committee for a Free Germany and the Beginnings of the Crisis Between the Allies - Secret Intelligence Initiatives for Mobilizing German ÉmigrésGermany and the GermansThe Mood of the Germans as Assessed by the OSS - A German Parallel: 1918 and 1943Ideology and Economy in the Bombing WarTheories and Experiences-The Enemy Objectives Unit (EOU) - From Casablanca to POINTBLANK - Tensions with the British and the philosophy of the EOUIV. Bern: the Big Window Onto the Fascist WorldAllen Dulles and the Establishment of the OSS Outpost in Bern - Psychological and Military Warfare - Opportunists and Conspirators - The German V Weapons and the Attack on Peenemünde - The Wood StoryV. Media War and Black PropagandaThe Difficult Beginnings of the OSS Morale Operations - From the Hamilton Plan to Operation Sauerkraut - Blankenhorn's Soldiers Councils Project and the "Neues Deutschland" Underground movement - OSS Radio War: Joker and Matchbox - Operation Musac: American Pop Music in the War Against HitlerVI. Penetration of GermanyConceptionsThe Infiltration of Agents into Germany in the British Calculation - American Secret Intelligence Plans for Operations in the German Reich - The Post-invasion Syndrome and the Significance of the OSS Labor Division for Operations in GermanyExcursusPaul Hagen, the Origins of the OSS Labor Division, and the Trade Union Contacts of British Intelligence - Goldberg's 'Philosophy of the Underground' and the FAUST PlanOperations"Special Operations": Foreign Workers and CALPO Communists as "Trojan horses" - Infiltrating SI Agents into the ReichVII. Götterdämmerung - Between Peace and WarPhantom Stronghold in the Alps: The Redoubt as an Idée Fixe?Defense of the Alps and the Ideological Phantom of the "Nazi Underground" - The Redoubt in the Calculation of the OSS - The Alpine Fortress from the Perspective of British Intelligence - The "Redoubt Psychosis" of the Americans and the Perspective of Gauleiter Hofer - Eisenhower, Marshall, RooseveltLast-minute PutschThe Munich "Pheasant Hunt" and American intelligence - The Peace Feelers of Ritter von Epp - The Munich Putsch of April 28 - Operation Capricorn: Simulated Resistance Under the Sign of ZodiacGood and Bad GermansAllen Dulles as Promoter of Postwar German PoliticiansVIII. The Dream of the Miracle War: the Legacy of the OSSConclusion and SummaryThe End of the OSS and the Origins of the Myth - Outline of the Shadow War: A summary - The Legacy of the OSS3

Columbia University Press

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