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World War II espionage training film for OSS (Office of Strategic Services, the precursor of the CIA) operatives. At the opening, a Lieutenant introduces Col. Henson Langdon Robinson, chief of OSS Schools and Training, who speaks briefly before the training film begins.
Originally a public domain film from the US National Archives, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and one-pass brightness-contrast-color correction & mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
Wikipedia license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was a United States intelligence agency formed during World War II. It was the wartime intelligence agency, and a predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The OSS was formed in order to coordinate espionage activities behind enemy lines for the branches of the United States Armed Forces. Other functions of the OSS included the use of propaganda, subversion, and post-war planning...
Prior to the formation of the OSS, American intelligence had been conducted on an ad-hoc basis by the various departments of the executive branch, including the State, Treasury, Navy, and War Departments. It had no overall direction, coordination, or control. The US Army and US Navy had separate code-breaking departments: Signals Intelligence Service and OP-20-G... The FBI was responsible for domestic security and anti-espionage operations.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was concerned about American intelligence deficiencies. On the suggestion of William Stephenson, the senior British intelligence officer in the western hemisphere, Roosevelt requested that William J. Donovan draft a plan for an intelligence service based on the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Special Operations Executive. Colonel Donovan was employed to evaluate the global military position in order to offer suggestions concerning American intelligence requirements because the U.S. did not have a central intelligence agency. After submitting his work, "Memorandum of Establishment of Service of Strategic Information," Colonel Donovan was appointed as the "Co-ordinator of Information" on July 11, 1941 heading the new organization known as the office of the Coordinator of Information (COI). Thereafter the organization was developed with the assistance of the British...
The Office of Strategic Services was established by a Presidential military order issued by President Roosevelt on June 13, 1942, to collect and analyze strategic information required by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to conduct special operations not assigned to other agencies...
After victory in Europe in May 1945, the OSS was better able to concentrate on operations in Japan. One month after the war was won in the Pacific Theater of Operations, on September 20, 1945, President Truman signed Executive Order 9621, which came into effect as of October 1, 1945. Thus in the following days from September 20, 1945, the functions of the OSS were split between the Department of State and the Department of War. The State Department received the Research and Analysis Branch of OSS which was renamed the Interim Research and Intelligence Service or (IRIS) and headed by U.S. Army Colonel Alfred McCormack. This was later renamed the Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
The War Department took over the Secret Intelligence (SI) and Counter-Espionage (X-2) Branches, which were then housed in a new office created for just this purpose—the Strategic Services Unit (SSU). The Secretary of War appointed Brigadier General John Magruder (formerly Donovan's Deputy Director for Intelligence in OSS) as the director to oversee the liquidation of the OSS, and more importantly, the preservation of the clandestine intelligence capability of the OSS.
In January 1946, President Truman created the Central Intelligence Group (CIG) which was the direct precursor to the CIA. The assets of the SSU, which now constituted a streamlined "nucleus" of clandestine intelligence, was transferred to the CIG in mid-1946 and reconstituted as the Office of Special Operations (OSO). Next, the National Security Act of 1947 established the United States's first permanent peacetime intelligence agency, the Central Intelligence Agency, which then took up the functions of the OSS. The direct descendant of the paramilitary component of the OSS is the Special Activities Division of the CIA...