You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger

You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger

4.4 9
by Roger Hall

ISBN-10: 1591143535

ISBN-13: 9781591143536

Pub. Date: 05/28/2004

Publisher: Naval Institute Press

With a sharp eye and wry wit, Roger Hall recounts his experiences as an American Army officer assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. First published in 1957 to critical and popular acclaim, his book has become a cult favorite in intelligence circles. The story follows Hall's experiences from a junior officer fleeing a tedious…  See more details below


With a sharp eye and wry wit, Roger Hall recounts his experiences as an American Army officer assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II. First published in 1957 to critical and popular acclaim, his book has become a cult favorite in intelligence circles. The story follows Hall's experiences from a junior officer fleeing a tedious training assignment in Louisiana to his quirky and rigorous OSS training rituals in the United States, England, and Scotland. Quick to pick up on the skills necessary for behind-the-lines intelligence work, he became an expert instructor. But he was only reluctantly given operational duties because of his reputation as an iconoclast. In his droll story-telling style, Hall describes his first parachute jump in support of the French resistance as a comedy of errors that terminated prematurely. His last assignment in the war zone came when William Colby appointed him section head of an operations group that made its way on foot through Sweden. Called one of the funniest and most perceptive works ever written about life in the OSS, the book includes a wealth of unforgettable personalities that Hall encountered over the years.

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Product Details

Naval Institute Press
Publication date:
Bluejacket Bks.
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

Table of Contents

1.I don my cloak11
2.I get my dagger22
3.An instructor's lot is not a happy one34
4.Don't forget to tumble44
5.I am assessed58
6.Cops and robbers, king size71
7.A Philadelphia story86
8.Bon voyage, indeed it was106
9.RWH vs O.S.S., ETOUSA120
10.They try to get even for Cornwallis134
11.Lafayette, my watch was slow148
12.The saints, Mr. Smith, and SHAEF167
13.Headquarters: seldom have so many done so much and accomplished less183
14.Scotland and Norway196
15.The decline and fall of the O.S.S.214

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You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
cwby42 More than 1 year ago
I first read this book as a Jr. High student and loved it. I was happy to see it reprinted. great insite into the mind of an OSS officer in WWII
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The first time I had ever heard of the O.S.S. was when I happened  to pick up a book titled "Of Spies and Stratagems"   by Stanley Lovell at my public library... in 1978!  It was so interesting that it stayed with me all these years, I have sought out anything concerning O.S.S. off and on ever since. Fast forward to the republishing of this book...Roger Hall was an EXTREMELY clever man, very witty and from that I conclude he was likely brilliant.  He understates his accomplishments which is a plus, no one like a braggart but, the reason for only 4 stars is this... There HAS to be so much more he could have written!   Considering the time it was written and published, he must have had concerns about  revealing too much.  If only he had added another chapter.  I fear this man went to his grave with stories we all would have been in awe of.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Hall's book is his funny story volunteering for, training in, and working within America's WWII OSS unit (pre-cursor to the modern CIA). Like all good soldiers, Hall sought to escape the boredom, heat, and humidity of camp life for anything else. So, he volunteered for the OSS - only knowing that at least it was something different and possibly dangerous - oh my! The book takes us through numerous training assignments of Hall's - patrolling, ambushing, parachuting, espionage basics, infiltration into civilian organizations, and more. Typical of most American WWII soldiers, he spent far more time training than he ever did in combat. The most interesting sections of the book are his parachute and espionage training. He describes both in fascinating detail. It is quite funny to see how amateurish much of his spy training was - I suppose that's why the CIA would have liked for the book not to be published. Hall writes in an irrevent and playful style that makes his book both fun and easy to read. He is the type of original smart-*ss that self-important superior officials love to hate. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, especially as it pokes fun at a rather serious business.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book when it first came out and thought at the time anyone this brave with a sense of humor like this and would dedicate his first book to 'Whom It My Concern' certainly was someone I would want watching my back in Vietnam. It was much better reading the second time around. Hope to see more from Mr. Hall.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wry, irreverent,and belly-laughing funny. Recommended to everyone who is not recovering from abdominal surgery!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I was in Junior High School and High School, I would walk 1.77 miles to school and 1.77 miles to home every day. To make good use of my time, I would read a book on the way to school and on the way home. I read hundreds of books on these trips over a period of six years. Of all of the books I read, there are two books I vividly remember. 'Your Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger' is one of the two. I actually read this book several times. Then, after two years of college, I found myself enlisting in the US Army. I ended up in the United States Army Intelligence School (USAINTS) at Fort Holabird, Maryland. After a couple of days of classes, I began thinking: 'This is Deja Vu all over again.' Then I began comparing what I was going through with a book I had read. Wow! I was becoming the guy who wrote 'Your Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger!' When you first read this book, it sounds like great fiction. In reality, it is an accurate reflection of the author's experience. While the book is about World War II, it also reflects what military intelligence, CIA and other 'spooks' are doing daily today. We got to play with the highest level of technology available to anybody. I was in Intelligence Collection overseas and in Counter Intelligence in the U.S. Much of the activity I was involved in can only be done overseas because it is illegal to do it in the U.S. Overseas, I was in the Headquarters of the 525th Military Intelligence Group at 'The Ponderosa' in northern Saigon. We hired and fired spy rings and native agents. We had rows of high security filing cabinets with dossiers on just about every espionage agents in Vietnam. This book is still a great tale about what it's like to be involved in espionage. It's great for all ages. If you have any interest in espionage, this is one of the 'must read' books of all time involving espionage. Even all of the hilarious episodes are accurate descriptions of what really happens among spies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Reviewer: Lucy M. Huntzinger from San Bruno, CA USA. One of the funniest books I've read in any genre. If Dave Barry had been eligible for enlistment in 1942 this is the the kind of book he might have written. Roger Hall's account of his time in the O.S.S. is full of dry wit, bawdy humor, accute assessments of the Army's intelligence operations during World War II, and his own vivid personality. The pace is fast, people and situations are clearly delineated in a few deft words, and the irreverence only heightens the sobering reality of military life in a time of war. Thirty years after I first read it this book still makes me laugh.