How Roosevelt's Office of Strategic Services followed Britain's example

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The Office of Strategic Services was the vast American espionage organisation created by President Franklin Roosevelt in the Second World War and directly modelled on Britain’s intelligence services.

The OSS, which evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) after the war, was created virtually from scratch in 1942, and swiftly evolved into a wide intelligence-gathering network, employing soldiers, lawyers, actors, sportsmen, academics and many others.

The full extent of the spy network will be revealed when the National Archives in Washington declassifies the names and personnel files of around 24,000 people who worked for the secret organisation between 1942 and 1945.

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Jeff Shear - 8/14/2008

The great CIA historian who revealed Agency DNA in the conception of OSS died last week at his home in Virginia. He was 89.