Office of Strategic Services

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"The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in July 1942. The OSS replaced the former American intelligence system, Office of the Coordinator of Information (OCI) that was considered to be ineffective. Roosevelt selected Colonel William J. Donovan as the first director of the organization, who had spent some time studying the Special Operations Executive (SOE), an organization set up by the British government in July 1940.

"The OSS had responsibility for collecting and analyzing information about countries at war with the United States. It also helped to organize guerrilla fighting, sabotage and espionage. Some senior US military figures disapproved of the OSS and General Douglas MacArthur refused to allow the organization to operate in the Philippines.

"One of the most important OSS operations was run by Allen Dulles in Switzerland who was able to use his base in this neutral country to obtain important information on Nazi Germany and the Gestapo.

"William Donovan was given the rank of major general and during the Second World War he built up a team of 16,000 agents working behind enemy lines. The growth of the OSS brought conflict with J. Edgar Hoover who saw it as a rival to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"The OSS was disbanded in October 1945 and was eventually replaced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)." [1][2][3]

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