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Experiencing War: Military Intel: The Inside Story (Stories from the Veterans History Project, Library of Congress)

Interrogators and interpreters who work not far from the battlefield, questioning captured prisoners and translating enemy documents, play a valuable role in any war. It isn't enough to speak the language; a good intelligence agent also has to know the military hierarchy of the enemy and its strategy style to make sense of insider information.

Featured Story: Alexander Standish
Alexander Standish - link to story
"Very often I actually knew what a German division was going to do before the German commander of that division knew it." (Audio Interview, 21:04)

At the not-so-tender age of 42, businessman Alexander Standish joined the war effort, recruited by the Army Air Corps to interview pilots just returned from missions for intelligence information. After an uneventful stint in New York City on anti-submarine command, Standish was assigned to London, where D-Day preparations were underway. Nearby, in Bletchley Park, British intelligence was cracking the Enigma code used by the Germans. Standish followed General Omar Bradley across Europe, relaying to him the latest inside information.

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Alexander Standish's story
Experience more stories of In the Field more stories
"I was not directly in the battle itself, but the intelligence we gathered indicated that the Germans tried to encircle the area in which we were located."
                                                                                                                           --William Spoelhof
William A. Glenn - link to story
"Certainly the challenge was ... not to make the mistake ... expect the other fellow to think the way you do."

William A. Glenn's story

Rudolf H. Michaels - link to story
"The idea was to get them talking and to keep them talking and not to offend them or make them shut up ..."

Rudolf H. Michaels' story

Edwin P. Putzell, Jr. - link to story
"It was sort of a father-son relationship, which I will always treasure."

Edwin P. Putzell, Jr.'s story

William Spoelhof - link to story
"Our group trained them, sent them back with telegraphic equipment, and they would wire intelligence to us."

William Spoelhof's story

Robert B. Springsteen - link to story
"Part of our duties ... were getting agents to go behind the lines in a way that they wouldn't be compromised."

Robert B. Springsteen's story

Milton Zaslow - link to story
"They decided America was their country and they wanted to fight for it ..."

Milton Zaslow's story

  Home >> Military Intel: In the Field
  The Library of Congress
  May 16, 2006
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