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

Home front intelligence workers may not have played the dashing roles of their overseas counterparts, but their ability to interrogate, interpret, and decode made them more than ordinary office workers. There were undercover assignments as well as long hours at a desk, trying to make sense of intercepted, coded enemy messages. And for some a taste of wartime intelligence work led to a career in the field as a civilian.

Featured Story: Louis L. Weinstein
Louis L. Weinstein - link to story
"You were learning things about people that they didn't think their neighbors knew about them." (Video Interview, 17:04)

A 29-year-old lawyer with an established practice when he entered the Army, Louis L. Weinstein found his niche working as a plainclothes investigator. His first assignments were in Chicago (where recruiting was taking place for the Manhattan Project) and his native Detroit (where there was strong sympathy for the Nazi cause). By war's end, he was in San Francisco, interviewing released prisoners of the Japanese in preparation for war crimes trials.

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Louis L. Weinstein's story
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"You weren't supposed to talk about it, not even to your family, not even to your husband if you had a husband. Nobody was to know."          --Ann Caracristi
Ann Caracristi - link to story
"It made a big difference in winning the war in the Pacific ... we were aware of that."

Ann Caracristi's story

John W. Kluge - link to story
"I would take [the German generals] in my car and show them the Pentagon."

John W. Kluge's story

Ann Ellicott Madeira - link to story
"Even before Pearl Harbor, the Navy knew they needed more cryptographers."

Ann Ellicott Madeira's story

Judy Reed Russell - link to story
"If you were ever seen reading a Russian magazine, you would have been reported."

Judy Reed Russell's story

James C. Shildmyer - link to story
"It's the best job in the Army by far."

James C. Shildmyer's story

  Home >> Military Intel: Behind the Scenes
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  May 2, 2006
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