Need to Know: World War II and the Rise of American Intelligence

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In June 1940, the world watched in shock as the Nazis overran France. The British were subject to the relentless onslaught of the German blitzkrieg bombing and other setbacks but refused to capitulate. However, the need for intelligence on the Axis powers grew as a necessity. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill needed intelligence services such as MI6 to acclimate to the war effort and glean actionable information against the enemy. The United States had a gung-ho visionary who stressed the importance of intelligence and derring-do, his name was William “Wild Bill” Donovan. Donovan would head the Office of the Coordinator of Information and later the OSS. The OSS was vital, but the work of Signals Intelligence in code-breaking helped unravel the puzzles of the Japanese cables, while the British allies broke the German correspondence.

Need to Know by Nicholas Reynolds (“Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy”) is a revelatory account of the covert efforts of the Allied forces to turn the tide of World War II. Some of the personalities (Donovan, J. Edgar Hoover) are known, while others (William Friedman) are not so much. There is no mistaking their impact on the allied effort, their struggles & triumphs highlighted by Reynolds’ excellent research and fine writing. A thrilling account.

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Author Nicholas Reynolds
Star Count /5
Format Hard
Page Count 512 pages
Publisher HarperCollins
Publish Date 06-Sep-2022
ISBN 9780062967473 Buy this Book
Issue October 2022
Category History