42 Classified Facts About Spies And Espionage In The Second World War

“No spy, however astute, is proof against relentless interrogation. Some unforseen circumstance, some trivial lapse, is pounced upon, exploited by the interrogator, until a break is complete.”—Lt-Col Robin Stephens, Commandant of Camp 020, in charge of getting information from Nazi spies in WWII.

From 1939 to 1945, the world buckled under the strain of constant war. Under the surface of every battlefield, however, were two opposing (though often connected) sides of espionage agents, most of whom were under the direction of one of three major intelligence organizations. Some of those spies were politicians, criminals, even celebrities. Some were double agents, offering help from where one would least expect it, never to be trusted completely. It wasn’t until after the war that the full extent of their activities became known—if we even know everything today. And with the Cold War looming on the horizon, the true Age of Espionage was only beginning. Here are 42 classified facts about World War II spies.

Spies And Espionage In The Second World War Facts

42. Wild Bill

Before the CIA, there was the Office of Strategic Services. The OSS was headed by William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Donovan had caught the attention of governmental higher-ups first as a soldier in WWI, and then as a zealous smasher of speakeasies during the Prohibition Era. Prior to being posted as head of the OSS, President Roosevelt had offered Donovan the governorship of the Philippines (which Donovan declined.)

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