Office of Strategic Services 1942–45

Office of Strategic Services 1942–45

The World War II Origins of the CIA

Elite 173
  • Author: Eugene Liptak
  • Illustrator: Richard Hook
  • Short code: ELI 173
  • Publication Date: 10 Aug 2009
  • Number of Pages: 64
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About this Product

The Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA, was founded in 1942 by William 'Wild Bill' Donovan under the direction of President Roosevelt. Agents were enlisted from both the armed services and civilians to produce operational groups specialising in different foreign areas including Italy, Norway, Yugoslavia and China. In 1944 the number of men and women working in the service totalled nearly 13,500. This intriguing story of the origins and development of the American espionage forces covers all of the different departments involved, with a particular emphasis on the courageous teams operating in the field. The volume is illustrated with many photographs, including images from the film director John Ford who led the OSS Photographic Unit and parachuted into Burma in 1943.

Biographical Note

Eugene Liptak holds both a BA in History and a Masters in Library Science from the University of Arizona. His interest in military history comes from reading, movies, collecting military scale models, and visiting museums. This is his first book for Osprey.Richard Hook was born in 1938 and trained at Reigate College of Art. After national service with 1st Bn, Queen's Royal Regiment, he became art editor of the much-praised magazine Finding Out during the 1960s. He has worked as a freelance illustrator ever since, earning an international reputation particularly for his deep knowledge of Native American material culture; and has illustrated more than 50 Osprey titles. Richard is married and lives in Sussex; his three children Adam, Jason, and Christa are all professionally active in various artistic disciplines.


Establishment of the OSS, June 1942 - founding director William J.Donovan * Size and composition * OSS branches and operations: secret intelligence, special operations, operational groups, maritime units, morale opeations, counter-espionage (X-2), Detachment 101, research & analysis, research & development, field photographic * Weapons * Equipment - communications, documentation, parachute gear, underwater gear, sabotage devices, clothing, miscellaneous kit * Transportation - 'Carpetbagger' B-24 Libeators, RAF Special Duty squadrons, USN PT-boats * Summary and conclusions

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