The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of WWII's OSS
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OPERATIVES, SPIES, & SABOTEURS: The Unknown Story of the Men and Women of World War II’s OSS

"A revealing look into the intrigue and extraordinary courage of our intelligence gatherers of World War II. A rare combination of suspense thriller and true heroism by a great American writer."
    —Clive Cussler

"First rate reading for fans of cloak-and-dagger stuff..."
    —Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"Before there was a James Bond or a CIA, before there was a genre called the spy thriller, real-life spooks worked behind the scenes, often at tremendous risk, to win World War II. Deftly using oral history and recently declassified documents, Patrick O'Donnell gives us a fascinating look at the shaken-not-stirred life of these intrepid spies and soldiers, who are into intrigue before intrigue was cool."
    —Hampton Sides, author of GHOST SOLDIERS

"What we are doing is all OSS," remarked one senior CIA official close to the War on Terror. The "sources and methods" used by America’s modern intelligence agencies trace their origins to one of the most dynamic organizations ever created by this country—the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), forerunner of the CIA. Made up of men and women drawn from diverse backgrounds ranging from debutantes to safecrackers to Yale professors to German prisoners of war, the secret agents of the OSS were true unsung heroes who made a significant contribution to the Allied victory in World War II. Classified for decades, the greatest untold story of the Second World War can finally be revealed.

Well before D-Day, America was waging a covert war throughout the Nazi-controlled lands of Europe—a war of espionage, intrigue, and savage violence. Deep behind German lines, saboteurs blasted bridges and tunnels, spies ferreted out crucial information and relayed it back to the Allies, and uniformed soldiers parachuted from blacked-out planes to organize resistance movements (much as Special Forces soldiers did in Afghanistan and Iraq). Sometimes these "shadow warriors" fought pitched battles against the Axis foe; sometimes the killing was silent and targeted. In Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs, author Patrick K. O’Donnell draws upon recently declassified archives and hundreds of interviews with OSS veterans to reveal the intricacies of this fascinating covert war.

Combining historical narrative with first-hand accounts, Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs is a unique and powerful history, packed with stories of secret agents who used aliases and donned disguises, of beautiful female spies whose stock in trade was seduction, of interrogation and torture, secret weapons, biological warfare, even collaboration with the Mafia. Featuring a fascinating cast of characters, such as saboteur William Colby, who went on to become the director of the CIA, one-legged Virginia Hall, who ran a French resistance network while disguised as a milkmaid, and socialite seductress Elizabeth Pack, whose victims disclosed some of the most sensitive Axis secrets. The result is highly dramatic and evocative of a James Bond movie. Operatives, Spies, and Saboteurs is the definitive history of this last great chapter of the war.

Main Selection of the History Book Club
Alternate Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club
Alternate Selection of the Military Book Club
Alternate Selection of the Quality Paperback Book Club
Unabridged Audio Edition Published by Blackstone Audiobooks

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