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History Vault: Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, 1941-1961

Content in this Module

Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and State Department Intelligence and Research Reports, 1941-1961

During World War II and the first decade and a half of the Cold War, the Office of Strategic Services and the State Department assigned leading scholars to write special, classified reports about Asia, Europe, the Soviet Union, Latin America, and Africa. At the time, the reports helped to shape U.S. foreign policy decisions, and, now, as part of History Vault, the over 3,500 reports in this module provide an excellent source for studying the major areas of the World during the period from 1941 to 1961. These reports are not contained in the State Department's foreign relations series or the armed forces' official histories.
Reports on Asia focus on political, industrial, and military affairs of wartime Japan, the occupation of Japan by the U.S. following World War II, and the beginnings of the economic revitalization of Japan in the mid-1950s; the Nationalist-Communist struggle for China and Mao’s consolidation of power in the 1950s, independence for India; the Korean War; and the outbreak of war in Indochina.

Topics covered in the reports on Europe include the German war effort, occupation and division of Germany, reconstruction of Europe under the Marshall Plan, de Gaulle and the Fifth Republic, formation of the Common Market, and Soviet control of Eastern Europe.  A series of reports on the Soviet Union for 1941 to 1961 covers Soviet participation in World War II; the cold war with the West; the death of Stalin; and the formation of the Warsaw Pact.  There are also numerous reports on the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America from 1941 through 1961. Major developments covered include Palestine, African nationalism as well as economic stagnation and famine, Communist movements in South America and U.S. intervention in Central America.