Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS
Naval Institute Press
, 1998 - History
- 282 pages
The daring missions and cloak-and-dagger skullduggery of America's World War II intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), are well documented and have become the stuff of legend. Yet the contributions of the four thousand women who made up one-fifth of the OSS staff have gone largely unheralded. Here for the first time is a chronicle of their fascinating adventures, told by one of their own. A seasoned journalist and veteran of sensitive OSS and CIA operations, Elizabeth McIntosh draws on her own experiences and interviews with more than a hundred other OSS women to reveal some of the most tantalizing stories and best-kept secrets of the war in Europe and Asia. McIntosh weaves intimate portraits of dozens of remarkable women into the storied development and operation of the OSS in the 1940s. Along with famous names like Julia Child and Marlene Dietrich, readers will discover such intrepid agents as Amy "Cynthia" Thorpe, who seduced a Vichy official and stole naval codes from the French embassy; Virginia Hall, who earned a Distinguished Service Cross for her work with the French resistance running an underground railroad for downed fliers; and others who recruited double agents, pioneered propaganda and subversion techniques, and tracked the infamous Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny. Filled with previously unpublished photos, this entertaining account is a historic contribution to the literature of World War II and the culture of intelligence operations.