Secret actions: how espionage helped win wars

Milton raises an interesting question that brings to mind the great movie “The Third Man”: Who was really running Berlin in the late 1940...


Milton raises an interesting question that brings to mind the great movie “The Third Man”: Who was really running Berlin in the late 1940s? another? In any case, he concludes that Soviet missteps ultimately prompted the Western allies to form the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949, and then, several years later, to invite Germany to join it.

Brian Masaru Hayashi, a Kent State University historian, examines the experience of Americans of Japanese and American descent who worked for the OSS – the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the CIA – during World War II. In ASIAN AMERICAN SPIES: How Asian Americans Helped Achieve Allied Victory (University of Oxford, 304 pages, $ 34.95), he describes the OSS as “racially liberal” and “an ethnically and racially inclusive organization”. Its director, William Donovan, protested directly to President Franklin D. Roosevelt against the internment of Japanese Americans from the West Coast.

There was a mole in the OSS office that covered East Asian affairs, but it was not someone of Asian descent. On the contrary, Hayashi reports, it was Duncan Lee, a blue-blooded descendant of Robert E. Lee and a graduate of the University of Virginia and Yale Law School who served as the head of secret intelligence in the office. of the Japan-China OSS. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, writes Hayashi, information emerged from files archived in Russia that Lee slipped information into the NKVD – the predecessor of the KGB – during World War II.

More than the Cold War came out of the conflict, David A. Price reminds us in GENIUS AT WAR: Bletchley Park, Colossus, and the Dawn of the Digital Age (Knopf, 256 pp., $ 28). Anyone who pays attention to the history of this war knows that Bletchley Park was home to British analysts who sought to break German codes. Price, a prolific historian with a degree in computer science, argues that Bletchley should also be known for developing the first real computer and thus ushering in the Information Age. For British set-top boxes, having this new machine, which they called Colossus, was “like going from a WWI biplane to a rocket.” By the end of the war, they had 10 of these computers daily feasting on the traffic of secret German messages.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Secret actions: how espionage helped win wars
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