World War II

United States

A - M

Bancroft, Mary. Autobiography of a Spy. New York: Morrow, 1983.

Bancroft worked for Allen Dulles and the OSS station in Switzerland in World War II, and this work makes explicit that the two were also lovers. "[H]er most important work was with Hans Bernd Gisevius, a top officer of German military intelligence.... [H]er real job was to make sure he was not a double agent (she concluded he was not) and then to elicit and pass on the detailed information he supplied about the day-to-day shifts of power and strategy within the German Government." See Robert McG. Thomas, "Mary Bancroft Dead at 93; U.S. Spy in World War II," New York Times, 19 Jan. 1997.

Breaks, Katherine. "Ladies of the OSS: The Apron Strings of Intelligence in World War II." American Intelligence Journal 13, no. 3 (Summer 1992): 91-96.

Breuer, William B. War and American Women: Heroism, Deeds, and Controversy. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997.

Deschamps-Adams, Hélène.

1. "An OSS Agent Behind Enemy Lines in France." Prologue, Fall 1992, 256-74. [http://carlisle-www.army.mil/usamhi/RefBibs/intell/ww2/oss.htm]

2. Spyglass: An Autobiography. New York: Holt, 1995.

Surveillant 4.2: This is the story of the author's "years in the French Resistance, and her later work in OSS."

Foster, Jane. An Unamerican Lady. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1980.

Constantinides notes that Foster, who worked in Morale Operations with OSS during World War II, was indicted with her husband in 1957 as Soviet agents. In discussing her OSS experiences, Foster "relates much about personal, social, and administrative matters but precious little about her operations." With regard to the charges brought against her, she denies being a Soviet agent but admits that she lied about her Communist Party membership and marital status.

The indictment against Foster came on the basis of information from FBI double agent Boris Morros. See Morros, My Ten Years as a Counterspy (1959). See also, Conant, A Covert Affair (2011).

Litoff, Judy Barrett, ed. and intro. An American Heroine in the French Resistance: The Diary and Memoir of Virginia D'Albert-Lake. Bronx, NY: Fordham University Press, 2006

From publisher: "Litoff brings together two rare documents" written by Virginia (Roush) d'Albert-Lake -- her "diary of wartime France until her capture in 1944 and her prison memoir written immediately after the war." Viginia and her husband, Philippe d'Albert-Lake, joined the Resistance in 1943. She "put her life in jeopardy as she sheltered downed airmen and later survived a Nazi prison camp. After the war, she stayed in France with Philippe, and was awarded the Légion d'Honneur and the Medal of Honor. She died in 1997."

Lovell, Mary S. Cast No Shadow: The Life of the American Spy Who Changed the Course of World War II. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.

MacDonald, Elizabeth P. Undercover Girl. New York: Macmillan, 1947.

Constantinides notes that this is "one of the earliest works on OSS Morale Operations (MO) and MO work in China and from India." But that is "secondary to what she revealed of the organization and personalities of OSS in Washington, China, and Southeast Asia.... Her trained journalist's eye caught a number of humorous incidents and the subtleties of OSS personalities." For Pforzheimer, Studies 5.2 (Spring 1961), this work "contains ... the most detailed information publicly available on OSS operations, especially in black psychological warfare, in the Far East."

See also the author's later work: Elizabeth P. McIntosh, Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998).

Mansfield, Stephanie. The Richest Girl in the World: The Extravagant Life and Fast Times of Doris Duke. New York: Putnam's, 1992.

McIntosh, Elizabeth P. Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998. 2009. [pb]

Jonkers, AIJ 18.1&2, notes that McIntosh "joined OSS in 1943 and was part of operations against the Japanese in Burma. After postwar assignments with VOA and the State Department she joined CIA in 1958 and remained there until her retirement in 1973." This is "[a]n entertaining book, with many photos." For Waller, Intelligencer 9.3, the author "serves history well with her book.... Sisterhood of Spies provides an authentic picture of women at war in the demanding field of intelligence." Bates, NIPQ 14.4, recommends this "interesting and worthwhile book." The "author's writing style is delightful."

Chapman, IJI&C 11.4, comments that "The Women of the OSS is a good read. It's fascinating, highly informative, and I learned a lot. My minor criticism is that in parts, where McIntosh deals with spectacular stuff, it's so one-foot-in-front-of-the-other factual that I wished there was more pizzaz to describe the operations of several heroines."

To Westlake, NYTBR, 31 May 1998, McIntosh tells her stories with "brisk polish. Unfortunately, she brings to her task a ... compulsion toward completeness rather than a storyteller's compulsion toward narrative." Smith, Military Review, Jan.-Feb. 2000, regrets that the author "focuses predominantly on civilian women" within OSS, "not the smaller military contingent." Nonetheless, this is a "fascinating book ... [that] combines historical narrative, case studies and oral histories to trace both the development of the OSS and women's expanding roles within the agency."

Hamilton, H-Minerva, H-Net Reviews, Aug. 2002 [http://www.h-net.org], comments that this "book is an interesting look into OSS activities during World War II, including how the OSS started and how it evolved into the CIA." It is, however, "less useful as an in-depth study into women's roles, either in how these activities opened up new roles for women or how women were perceived in these roles. The book touches on these ideas, but only in passing, as they are not central to the book's purpose."

See also the author's earlier work, where she relates her own wartime adventures in OSS Morale Operations in the Far East: Elizabeth P. MacDonald, Undercover Girl (New York: Macmillan, 1947).

Miller, Gene E. [SFC/USA] "MI Corps Hall of Fame: Virginia Hall." Military Intelligence 20, no. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1994): 44-45.


Adapted from Lawrence J. Cerri, Army Magazine (Feb. 1988). Using the pseudonym of Marcella Montagne, the "Incredible Limping Lady" served in France with SOE and the French underground and, later, in OSS' Operation Heckler preparatory to Operation Overlord. See also, Nouzille, L'espionne: Virginia Hall, une Americaine dans la guerre (2007); and Pearson, The Wolves at the Door (2005).

[1. Photo from: https://www.cia.gov/cia/ciakids/history/vhall.html]

Montalván , Luis Carlos. "Liberazione d'Ialia: One Woman's War." American Intelligence Jouranl 28, n0o. 2 (2010): 87-93.

The life and especially the World War II years in OSS of Myrtle Vacirca-Quinn.

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