World War II


Babington-Smith, Constance. Air Spy: The Story of Photo Intelligence in World War II. New York: Harper, 1957. Evidence in Camera. London: Chatto & Windus, 1958.

Bailey, Ronald H. "All-Seeing Eyes in the Sky." In The Air War in Europe. World War II Series. New York: Time-Life, 1979. [Petersen]

Barker, Ralph. Aviator Extraordinary: The Sidney Cotton Story. London: Chatto & Windus, 1969.

Brookes, Andrew J. Photo Reconnaissance. London: Ian Allan, 1975.

Brugioni, Dino. "Auschwitz and Birkenau: Why the World War II Photo Interpreters Failed to Identify the Extermination Complex." Military Intelligence 9, no. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1983): 50-55.

Brugioni, Dino. "Photo Interpretation and Photogrammetry in World War II." Photogrammatic Engineering and Remote Sensing 50, no. 9 (1984): 1313-1318. [Petersen]

Downing, Taylor. Spies in the Sky: The Secret Battle for Aerial Intelligence During World War II. London: Little, Brown, 2011.

According to Peake, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.3 (Winter-Spring 2013), the author tells the story of "the Central Interpretation Unit (CIU) at RAF Medmenham.... Photography taken by RAF reconnaissance units was interpreted by a staff recruited from universities and the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) and trained as PIs.... By 1943, American and allied PIs were part of the CIU.... Spies in the Sky is an inspiring chronicle of the vital contribution of PIs to the major operations in WW II and to the postwar profession for which they paved the way."

Halsall, Christine. Women of Intelligence: Winning the Second World War with Air Photos. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2012.

Peake, Studies 57.3 (Sep 2013), and Intelligencer 20.2 (Fall-Winter 2013), notes that this work tells the story of the British photo interpreter (PI) program at RAF Medmenham "and the allied personnel -- men and women -- that made the British effort a success." The story of the women's "rapid transition to equal-status PIs and managers is a major theme of the book."

Nesbit, Roy Conyers, and Jack Eggleston. Eyes of the RAF: A History of Photo-Reconnaissance. Stroud: Sutton, 1996.

For Twigge, I&NS 14.2, this book's breadth -- from the origins of UK photoreconaissance before World War I to the present day -- means that "only a superficial view of the capability and significance of British aerial reconnaissance" is presented. However, the illustrations "provide a visual narrative often ... superior to the text." Coverage of operations by RAF reconnaissance squadrons in World War II is "well informed and illuminating."

Powys-Lybbe, Ursula. The Eye of Intelligence. London: Kimber, 1983.

Rostow, W.W.

1. "The Beginnings of Air Targeting." Studies in Intelligence 7, no. 1 (Winter 1963): A1-A24.

OSS Research and Analysis (R&A) Branch analysts formed in September 1942 the Economic Objectives Unit (EOU). The unit "served the U.S. Strategic Air Force and other British and American headquarters in a semi-independent, advisory status throughout the war." The work eventually led to a systematic target theory for use in precision bombing raids.

2. "Waging Economic Warfare from London." Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 73-79.

These "recollections" focus on the Economic Objectives Unit (EOU), formally part of the Economic Warfare Division of the U.S. Embassy in London but staffed largely by personnel from OSS. The author arrived in London on 13 September 1942. The EOU's "task was to develop and apply criteria for the election of one target system versus another, one target within a system versus another, and, if the target were large enough and bombing precise enough, one aiming point versus another."

See also, James L. Tyson, "The EOU vs. Hitler's Mini-Missiles," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 12, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 80-87.

Staerck, Chris, ed. Allied Photo Reconnaissance of World War II. San Diego, CA: Thunder Bay Press, 1998.

From publisher: "This book details several of the most important operations from the perspective of photo-reconnaissance, including Monte Cassino, the Normandy landings, and the hunt for and destruction of Germany's V-weapons."

Stanley, Roy M., II [COL/USAF].

1. To Fool a Glass Eye: Camouflage Versus Photoreconnaissance in World War II. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

According to Seamon, Proceedings 124.12 (Dec. 1998), this "handsome collection" consists of "more than 350 U.S., British, and German aerial photographs taken during World War II, along with clear, concise descriptions of what the pictures uncovered."

Van Nederveen, 31 Oct. 2000, at http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil, says that this book provides "interesting examples" that give "an overview of camouflage, concealment, and deception techniques. The book explores the value of effective photo-intelligence techniques and demonstrates it with striking examples. It also shows how practical photo-intelligence techniques allow a detailed understanding of the enemy.... To Fool a Glass Eye is a must for World War II history buffs and intelligence personnel."

2. World War II Photo Intelligence. New York: Scribner's, 1981.

Pforzheimer: "This book is ... copiously illustrated with over five hundred photographs appropriate to the text. While essentially a 'coffee table' book, it has merit for the historically minded professional intelligence officer."

Tyson, James L. "The EOU vs. Hitler's Mini-Missiles." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 12, no. 1 (Spring 1999): 80- 87.

The author worked in the Enemy Objectives Unit (EOU) of OSS London from November 1943. The EOU was staffed primarily by economists (including Charles Kindleberger, Carl Kaysen, Robert Roosa, and W.W. Rostow) and performed research and analysis work on identifying strategic targets in Germany for the Combined Strategic Targets Committee (CSTC). See also, W.W. Rostow, "The Beginnings of Air Targeting," Studies in Intelligence 7, no. 1 (Winter 1963): A1-A24; and "Waging Economic Warfare from London," Studies in Intelligence 36, no. 5 (1992): 73-79.

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