I'm delighted to have Anne Greene on Seriously Write today. From the first time I read one of her blogs on female spies I found the idea intriguing and wanted to learn more. I know you will too.
Did you know both the Union and the Confederate armies during the Civil War employed woman spies? And America had her lady spies during the American Revolution as well. But today I want to talk about America’s lady spies during World War II.
Japan’s surprise aerial assault on the US naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, highlighted America’s spy gathering weakness during those years. President Franklin Roosevelt, a longtime advocate of clandestine work, ordered the creation of this country’s first true intelligence service in June 1942.
During World War II, two main oversight organizations were responsible for intelligence activities for the Allies. These were the American OSS, or Office of Strategic Services and the British SOE, or Special Operations Executive. In addition to traditional spies, these organizations employed many ordinary men and women to covertly provide information about strategic locations and activities while leading apparently normal lives.
The OSS was active in every country in Europe, aiding resistance groups and monitoring enemy activity. They had spies in enemy countries as well as in the Pacific theater. Headed by Major General William J. Donovan, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) staged thousands of covert and guerilla activities. The sprawling organization also researched and drafted reports concerning a wide spectrum of political, social, cultural, and economic issues affecting the war.
Women played major roles in OSS missions. Of the thirteen thousand employees who served, forty-five hundred were women. One-third fulfilled overseas assignments. The OSS placed spies in Germany and Japan and every enemy-occupied country in Europe and in the Pacific, aiding resistance groups and monitoring enemy activity.
Eventually the OSS became the CIA, Central Intelligence Agency.
During World War II, the woman considered American’s greatest female spy, Virginia Hall of Baltimore, Maryland, flew into occupied France as an undercover OSS operative. A Spy.
Many other women served America during World War II. Woman like Barbara Lauwers, Amy Elizabeth Thorpe, Nancy Wake, Josephine Baker, Mary Louise Prather, film star Hedy Lamarr, and American’s favorite cook, Julia Childs.
I’m basing my next Women of Courage book, working title SPIES LIKE HER on these real-life American heroines.
Leave a comment below and let me know if you are acquainted with any woman currently employed by the CIA. I met one such lady while I was in college.
I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the world of women spies and look for my book, SPIES LIKE HER, when it release in 2017.
QUESTION: Do you admire the women who served at the risk of their lives for our country as much as I do? Do you know any of these heroic women? Also, I’d love to know what part of spy work appeals to you, or what part of spy work would you find most difficult to perform? These women often lived a lie to perform their duty.
ANNE GREENE delights in writing about alpha heroes who aren’t afraid to fall on their knees in prayer and about gutsy heroines. She and her hero husband, Army Special Forces Colonel Larry Greene, have visited forty countries. A visit to Scotland resulted in her award-winning Scottish historical romances, Masquerade Marriage and Marriage By Arrangement. A Texas Christmas Mystery also won awards. Her Women of Courage Series spotlights heroic women of World War II. The first book, Angel With Steel Wings, is available on Amazon. The second series, Handcuffed In Texas has the first book, Holly Garden, PI, Red Is For Rookie, now available on Amazon. Her newest release is novella, The Marriage Broker and The Mortician, in The California Gold Rush Romance Collection. Anne makes her home in McKinney, Texas. Anne’s highest hope is that her stories transport the reader to an awesome new world and touch hearts to seek a deeper spiritual relationship with the Lord Jesus. To learn more of Anne, visit her at http://www.AnneGreeneAuthor.com. and http://www.facebook.com/AnneWGreeneAuthor. She writes a novel teaching class on her blog www.anneswritingupdates.blogspot.com.
You can buy Anne’s books at Amazon or any on-line store.