George Washington, Spymaster

Without his brilliance at espionage the Revolution could not have been won

 

George Washington a master of espionage? It is commonly understood that without the Commander in Chief’s quick mind and cool judgment the American Revolution would have almost certainly expired in 1776. It is less well known that his brilliance extended to overseeing, directly and indirectly, extensive and very sophisticated intelligence activities against the British.

 
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Escape From Vichy

One of the most ingenious and least known rescue missions of World War II was engineered by a young American dandy, Varian Fry, who shepherded to safety hundreds of European intellectuals wanted by the Nazis

ALL WARS , great and small, can be counted on to produce four things: misery, death, destruction, and refugees. As far as the first three are concerned, the Second World War differed from its predecessors only in scale. In the matter of refugees, however, the conflict produced a wholly new phenomenon: the mass transplanting of the intelligentsia of one continent to another continent.Read more »

Spying For The Yanks

The safest, fastest, most convivial operation in the annals of espionage

A little autobiography is needed. I was born a U.S. citizen, in Lenox, Massachusetts, to be precise, and educated in France and England. I therefore speak French with a French accent and English with an English one. Now this is not allowed of Americans. An American can quite legitimately speak with a Latvian, Korean, Irish, German, Italian, or Greek accent and no one cares, you are an okay American. But if you speak with an English one, people ask if you are “really” American.Read more »

Only One Life, But Three Hangings

In September a statue of Nathan Hale, martyr-patriot of the Revolution, is to be unveiled near the main entrance to the CIA headquarters in Washington. A similar statue has stood for some years next to the headquarters of the FBI, and there are other copies of it in New London and Bristol, Connecticut, and at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. Hale was hanged by the British in New York in 1776 while on a behind-the-lines espionage mission for General Washington.Read more »

The Spies Who Went Out In The Cold

In late February, 1775, three men in what they thought was Yankee farmers’ dress, “brown cloaths and reddish handkerchiefs round our necks,” boarded the ferry at the foot of Prince Street in Boston, bound for Charlestown, a half mile across the Charles River.Read more »