World War 2 Spy Training Film: Undercover | OSS Film | ca. 1944


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This video – originally titled as "Undercover" – is a dramatized spy training film produced by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the wartime intelligence agency of the United States during World War 2. It was released in circa 1944.

The film analyzes preparation, arrival, establishment, and "prevalent cover" for secret agents by presenting one movie within another, as introduced by Col. Robertson, chief of Schools and Training at Office of Strategic Services. Gives examples of agents discovered because of inattention to details, good cover versus bad cover. Emphasizes proper attitude, study, and importance of support staff. Explains ways to infiltrate enemy territory. Illustrates effective and ineffective spy methods by comparing two agents. Shows ways to camouflage or dispose of revealing evidence. Explains techniques of blending into enemy culture and preparing for sudden departure, how to choose residence and how to avoid suspicion in enemy country.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND / CONTEXT

On 13 June 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) to centralize the nation's fragmented and uncoordinated intelligence activities during World War 2. An earlier attempt to do so, through the Office of the Coordinator of Information (COI), formed 11 July 1941, had failed to achieve any real success because of unclear lines of authority and bureaucratic jealousies among the various government agencies concerned. As a part of the plan for establishing the OSS, some of the COI functions, such as domestic information activities, became the responsibility of the newly formed Office of War Information. The OSS took on others: the collection and analysis of strategic information and the planning and performance of special operations, particularly in the realms of espionage and sabotage. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were to supervise and direct OSS activities. Col. William J. Donovan became director.

Throughout its existence, the organization of the OSS constantly changed as it grew to an eventual strength of 12,000 personnel. Basically, the OSS consisted of a headquarters and various subordinate offices in and near Washington, D.C., and a series of field units, both in the United States and overseas. Two exceptions were Latin America, where the Federal Bureau of Investigation handled intelligence activities, and the South West Pacific theater, where Gen. Douglas MacArthur refused to accept the OSS.

Three branches of the OSS exemplified the breadth and scope of its operations. The secret intelligence branch dealt with sabotage, spying, demolitions, secret radio communications, and paramilitary functions. The morale operations branch handled the propaganda functions vested in the OSS. The research and analysis office gathered extensive information on all aspects of the areas in which U.S. forces operated. The OSS collected even the most trivial data and used it to further the war effort. All three branches had agents in both enemy and neutral areas.

It is the secret intelligence area from which the OSS gained much of its glamour. Many of its operations were in fact more dramatic than the fictionalized accounts found in books and films. In Burma, for example, a small OSS unit of twenty men operated behind Japanese lines with such success that it likely eliminated more than 15,000 of the enemy. Beginning in 1943, OSS personnel, along with British and other Allied teams, took part in the Jedburgh operation, which sent hundreds of three-man teams into France and the Low Countries to organize and aid underground forces in advance of the invasion of Europe. In 1944, another group smuggled an Italian inventor out of his German-occupied homeland to the United States, where he was able to produce an effective counter-measure to the torpedo he had designed for the Germans.

The end of World War 2 brought the demise of the OSS, by an executive order effective 1 October 1945. The departments of state and war split the functions, personnel, and records of the office. It was the experience gained by the OSS that laid the foundation for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), established in 1947.


World War 2 Spy Training Film: Undercover | OSS Film | ca. 1944

TBFA_0122 (DM_0065)


NOTE: THE VIDEO REPRESENTS HISTORY. SINCE IT WAS PRODUCED DECADES AGO, IT HAS HISTORICAL VALUES AND CAN BE CONSIDERED AS A VALUABLE HISTORICAL DOCUMENT. THE VIDEO HAS BEEN UPLOADED WITH EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. ITS TOPIC IS REPRESENTED WITHIN HISTORICAL CONTEXT. THE VIDEO DOES NOT CONTAIN SENSITIVE SCENES AT ALL!


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1 month ago

had the allied forces had spies, i can´t imagine ow hard would be for them to have a proper cover in the pacific war, specially how hard the japanese were

4 days ago

I'll tell you what non of these Americans could pass for Englishmen with that standard of pronunciation.

5 months ago

How to spy.....whisper your thoughts in your head. Don't want anyone to hear. Also, that is the classiest street prostititue ever.

6 months ago

I'm a bit conflicted by this film. On one hand, I believe this film is totally out of place in 2018.

On the other hand, it's a film that has been seen by countless numbers of people, and is actually part of history.

It's like...bringing up old wounds in a way...

6 months ago

It's not my fault that in 1944, there was total warfare and this type of film was normal for the time.

This is like a buried war relic.

6 months ago

pew pew pew ban bang peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwwww! i am a shuper secret shepherd spy look out now ho aw!

7 months ago

> farts
> "Hey! We haven't had beans here for weeks!"
shitshitshit

9 months ago

Watch my video on how to block these spy agencies snooping trough your Facebook accounts

9 months ago

In the Nazi POW camp:
"So how did the jerrys catch you, mate?"
"Hair grease."
Damn Nazis.

9 months ago

LAWYER EH????? Canadian EHH????

11 months ago

Charles sucks.

11 months ago

A.T Atkinson, "accountant" and spy recruiter looks like he's been spending time at the gym or boxing ring.

11 months ago

Remember; every prostitute's an informer

11 months ago

streetwalker

11 months ago

They're implying that falangism is nazism with the Spanish dude. FALANGISM. IS. NOT. NAZISM.

11 months ago

I would NOT have sent charlie to the port town. Not only is he brash, egotistical, and inclined to chase the ladies, but but because of being from there, he would be likely to be recognized, and someone might question his cover.

11 months ago

How did spies manage to infiltrate anything with such bad acting.

11 months ago

LMFAO
There's no way this is OSS

This's is like a Jerry Lewis movie

11 months ago

just look at his dick...UH OH!!

11 months ago

Very interesting even if old

1 year ago

V Ery onteresting

1 year ago

I would love to know who made these. Like which studio. I'm getting a loony tunes vibe from all these old videos.

1 year ago

What a shitty life

1 year ago

Is that John Ford playing Baldwin, the lawyer, about 5 ins. in?

1 year ago

watching this makes me think of The Running Man. not the arnold movie...but the Stephen King novella. it's amazing how closely Al's story meets with Ben Richards' story. they follow the same principles, same techniques. very cool.

1 year ago

I wonder why the residents of Enemy Town sound like Americans and speak English

1 year ago

1 year ago

37:31 German censorship strikes again

1 year ago

>walks in
>literally yells "LAWYER, HUH?! NICE COVER"
must've been sweet to be a spy before bugs were invented

1 year ago

The germans are pretty good in english HEA!?

1 year ago

Thank you so much for compiling all of these videos! Fascinating!

1 year ago

You are welcome, Chelsea Hill. Thank you for watching.

1 year ago

"El Porto"

1 year ago

Adressebuch

11 months ago

53:31 'the goddamned idiot' hahahaha

1 year ago

just imagine being an American spy. all Americans are circumcised. all Jews are circumcised. no Germans are circumcised. that will be a good long while of no sex for you dear spy.

1 year ago

MrKaiyooo: That would make an awesome educational top secret US WWII military film. I wonder how the disguise department would look.

9 months ago

Maybe they made fake foreskins out of bologna like Monica did for Joey.

11 months ago

Circumcised men lose 1/2 the nerve-endings and 3/4 penile sensitivity.

11 months ago

Max Power Thats not true.

11 months ago

Circumcised men can hardly feel anything anyway.

1 year ago

44:57 There's the part 100% of agents ignored.

1 year ago

Tom & Jerry music, cool

1 year ago

Visit our brand NEW CHANNEL dedicated to space exploration and aeronautics research: https://youtube.com/TheBestSpaceArchives

1 year ago

A free one hour CIA training course?! Sweet - thanks!! Q: Why was the OSS logo the Spear of Destiny?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Office_of_Strategic_Services

1 year ago

They give a lot of "dope" in this film.

1 year ago

I really love the music in this film.

1 year ago

GMATveteran lol

1 year ago

This is exactly the type of music that I'd want to be played (perhaps by an orchestra following me around) while I'm on an espionage operation. :-D

1 year ago

at least in this day and age, you wouldn't have to be quite a carbon copy of every single man on the planet to not be found out, as our society has become far more individualised.

1 year ago

This reminds me of that scene in Inglorious Basterds where the guy holds up his first three fingers instead of his back three fingers to order three beers and the Nazis find him out.

1 year ago

That's what I was thinking of

6 months ago

Actually, to indicate the number three (3) in Germany with your fingers, you hold up your THUMB, index finger, and middle finger, NOT your back three fingers. The mistake the guy made was that he held up his index finger, middle finger, and ring finger instead of using his thumb, index finger, and middle finger. Similarly, in continental Europe, to indicate the number one (1) with fingers, you hold up your THUMB, not your index finger as we do in the U.S. The number two (2) is indicated with the THUMB and INDEX finger, NOT the index and middle fingers.

6 months ago

I thought about the same thing when they were in the bar

11 months ago

Ugh, imagine having to spend years of your life in enemy capital, what a nightmare.

1 year ago

Enemy Area seems like a nice place to live.

1 year ago

It was.Why do you think the British declared war on Enemy Area? It wasn't because they gave a shit about Poland otherwise they would have declared war on Russia as well. Russia wasn't a nice place to live though, so the British were not jealous of Russia...

11 months ago

Enemy Town

1 year ago

Where are you going?
"Enemy Town"
Flawless Cover

1 year ago

38:27

11 months ago

Enemy: So Sir, what is it that you do, for a living?

Me (after watching this: Oh, I;m NOT a spy. Matter of fact, I wouldn't NOT even know what a spy looked like. Aside from that, they certainly would NOT look like me!

Enemy: I did NOT ask you, if you were a spy!
Me: Oh....I see. Do you mind, if we start this over again
Enemy pulls out gun
Me: Did't think so

straight up, get Smart sh88

11 months ago

My cover would be an architect... I would be researching the lovely historic Enemian (i wonder thats how something or someone from Enemy town is called) architecture, so I can build a city, and it would be called 'New Enemy' =D...

1 year ago

I SEE NOTHING! I KNOW NOTHING!!

1 year ago

I learned the Underground mostly works above ground.

1 year ago

Keeping these videos alive is very important and I thank you for archiving these. I have gone through every video and downloaded them and added them to my archive of historical videos and images. Again thank you very much for saving these important videos. Cheers!

1 year ago

You are welcome, VAC2. Thank you for watching.

1 year ago

Why is the Swastika in the train censored like they do with games in modern German censorship?

1 year ago

I think it's simply to genericize the area of operation, as you may be spying in any number of countries. Hence 'Enemy Area' and 'Enemy Town'. I think it safe to assume they wanted to use this film after the current 'Enemy Area' was defeated.

1 year ago

love how all the foreign enemies speak english.

1 year ago

Back then being fluent in German without an accent, was part of getting he job as a spy. Either that or being jail for suspicion of being a German spy. :)

9 months ago

Wanted to make sure you did not have to learn a foreign language.

11 months ago

It's a joke don't-cha know? Amongst themselves they speak English flawlessly. However in the open, or on the internet. They talk in some weird non-english language. It's the longest running joke in history. ~Wikipedia.

1 year ago

Extremely Thick American English at that xD

1 year ago

YGK, oh yeah cause everyone in Europe speaks english with eachother rather than their own language

1 year ago

Is that John Ford who is doing the interview of Candidate #2...the sexual intellectual, i.e. the F***in' Know It All, because John Ford was a Capt, USN(R), assigned to the movie makers of the OSS. After the war he stayed in the service and went down with the ship (or so it would go in night club

1 year ago

Nick d'Sylva Yep.

1 year ago