Category Archives: Intelligence

OSS Report Leads to Nazi Weapons Facility

Austrian filmmaker uncovers apparent secret Nazi nuclear complex
Benjamin Weinthal
Jerusalem Post.
29 December 2014

Fascinating article about how an Austrian documentarian has discovered a US intelligence report from 1944 identifying St. Georgen an der Gusen as a major Nazi weapons research facility. More is still being unearthed about the underground facility, but it appears that research in either metallurgy or chemistry was being conducted there.

In the spate of small-r revisionism taking place, we are arguably overdue for someone to start scouring archives, digging into recently unclassified files and piecing together the disparate parts of the Nazi weapons research programs. We all need to understand what the Nazis accomplished, what they almost achieved, and who was involved.

And it is time to come to grips with how many ardent Nazis both we and the Soviets protected throughout the Cold War in order to gain access to the secrets of places like Peenemünde, Bergkristall, and St. Georgen an der Gusen.

How Intelligence Turned the Tide in the Pacific

On April 17, 1942, Imperial Japan seemed invincible. The nation’s armed forces were virtually undefeated in battle. All of East Asia, including much of China, lay under the boot of Dai Nippon; Australia and India looked to be next; and with the Allies focused on Europe first, the U.S. looked to be at least a year away before being able to take the offensive against even an overextended Japan.

Within 50 days, that had all changed.

While her armies were still rampant on mainland Asia, Japan’s Navy had suffered a sequence of defeats. The Doolittle Raid on Tokyo ended the myth of Japanese invincibility, the Battle of the Coral Sea had halted Japan’s drive into Australia, and the Battle of Midway destroyed the Imperial Japanese Navy as a strategic offensive force.

Damage to the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft ...

Damage to the Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carrier Shokaku sustained on May 8, 1942 during the Battle of the Coral Sea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

That turning point was enabled by a range of factors, but it surely would not have happened had there not been a series of coups in signals intelligence in the headquarters of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. In A Priceless Advantage: U.S. Navy Communications Intelligence and the Battles of Coral Sea, Midway, and the Aleutians, Frederick D. Parker gives us a look at the facts behind the legends, and provides a behind-the-scenes look at the unconventional team that enabled those (and many other) victories.

If the work leaves one wondering why, in contrast, the history of US intelligence over the last six decades reads like the annals of the Keystone Kops, it also offers the beginnings of an answer. Superior intelligence organizations are often not the conscious product of organizational science, but of brilliant, directed operators who are completely focused and left unhampered in their work.

A superb read for lovers of history and anyone interested in intelligence.