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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA MF 510-515
1945-1949, 1977
Level of description
Collection (Fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
6 reels


Name of creator(s)

Office of Strategic Services (OSS), United States State Department

Administrative / Biographical history

The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the approximate US counterpart of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, and Special Operations Executive (SOE), with which it co-operated throughout World War Two and its immediate aftermath. The OSS was created by Presidential Military Order on 13 Jun 1942 and it functioned as the principal US intelligence organisation in all operational theatres during the war. Its primary function was to obtain information about enemy nations and to sabotage their war potential and morale. From 1940-1942, the US had no central intelligence agency responsible for the collection, analysis, and dissemination of information bearing on national security, these services having been dispersed amongst the armed services and regional desks in the US State Department. In Jul 1941 Maj Gen William Joseph Donovan was appointed by US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the civilian post of Co-ordinator of Information (COI) and was instructed to consolidate a regular channel of global strategic information. The overt propaganda functions of the COI were eventually severed and the COI was re-organised as the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in 1942. The OSS was instructed by the President to collect and analyse such strategic information as might be required to plan and operate special military services in theatres of operation directed by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS). The OSS was terminated by Executive Order 9620 on 20 Sep 1945, its functions later assumed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The US State Department's primary function immediately following World War Two was to provide the US President and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff with intelligence relating to the civil structure of foreign states and the impact of communism on post-colonial countries. In addition, the State Department provided the US Executive Branch with key intelligence concerning the economic and civil stability of nations weakened by Japanese occupation during World War Two. This enabled US policy planners to formulate long-term strategic goals in the Far East. During the war, the US State Department relied on OSS intelligence to prepare summary research reports concerning the social structure, strategic interests, resources, government, and economic stability of countries of the Far East. After the war, US embassies, State Department field offices and US foreign service personnel provided the White House with the majority of strategic intelligence relating to the Far East.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

University Publications of America, Bethesda, MD, USA

Content & structure

Scope and content

OSS/State Department Intelligence and Research Reports: Postwar Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia is a themed microfilm collection relating to US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and US State Department evaluations of the Far East, 1945-1949. Regions studied include Burma, Hong Kong, French Indo-China, Netherlands East Indies, Japan, Korea, Malaya, the Philippines, and Thailand. OSS and State Department intelligence and research reports include the economic reconstruction of the Far East; business rehabilitation in Burma; the factors influencing the postwar status of Hong Kong and Macao; the communist influence in Indo-China; biographies of prominent nationalist leaders in Burma and French Indo-China; brief on issues in dispute between France and nationalist leaders in French Indo-China; report on political parties and movements in the Netherlands East Indies; British policy towards Indonesian leader Achmed Sukarno; summary of the conditions in the Netherlands East Indies during the first clashes between Indonesian nationalists and Allied occupation troops, 1945; the Japanese reaction to the surrender of Japan to Allied forces, Aug 1945; Allied proposals for political reform in Japan; the reformation of the Japanese electoral system; situation reports on the Japanese economy and the political leadership, 1945-1949; the 1946 Japanese General Election; Japanese raw materials and industrial requirements, 1946-1949; revisions of the Japanese Civil Code, House of Peers, House of Representatives and Constitution, 1946-1949; Japanese reaction to the final verdicts of the Far East War Crimes Trials, Dec 1948; analysis of political groupings in Korea; structure of the North Korean government, 1948; speculation on the survivability of the South Korean government, 1948; the role of communists during the onset of the Malaya 'Emergency', 1947; reports relating to American-Philippine relations; economic and political developments in Thailand, 1945-1949; a survey of Thai relations with the United States, 1945-1949; report on the extent of economic recovery in Thailand, 1948.

System of arrangement

Arranged according to country and chronologically therein.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies may be printed off the microfilm for research purposes and are charged at the cost to the Centre. Enquiries concerning the copyright of the original material should be addressed to University Publications of America, Inc, 4520 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, 20814, USA

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Published detailed catalogue available in hard copy in the Centre's reading room, Paul Kesaris (ed.), OSS/State Department Intelligence and Research Reports: Postwar Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia (University Publications of America, Inc, Bethesda, MD, 1977).

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, USA

Description control

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Sep 1999

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