Classical Spies: American Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece

By Susan Heuck Allen

“Classical Spies could be an enduring contribution to the self-discipline and should stimulate additional examine. Susan Heuck Allen offers to a large readership an issue of curiosity that's vital and has been neglected.”
—William M. Calder III, collage of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Classical Spies is the 1st insiders’ account of the operations of the yankee intelligence provider in global struggle II Greece. Initiated by way of archaeologists in Greece and the japanese Mediterranean, the community drew on students’ own contacts and data of languages and terrain. whereas sleek readers could imagine Indiana Jones is simply a delusion personality, Classical Spies discloses events the place even Indy might think at domestic: burying Athenian dig documents in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to set up spies code-named Vulture and Chickadee, and organizing parachute drops.

Susan Heuck Allen unearths awesome information about a awesome crew of people. frequently fallacious for mild-mannered professors and students, such archaeologists as college of Pennsylvania’s Rodney younger, Cincinnati’s Jack Caskey and Carl Blegen, Yale’s Jerry Sperling and Dorothy Cox, and Bryn Mawr’s Virginia Grace proved their mettle as potent spies in an interesting video game of cat and mouse with their Nazi opposite numbers. counting on interviews with participants sharing their tales for the 1st time, formerly unpublished mystery records, inner most diaries and letters, and private pictures, Classical Spies offers a thrilling and private point of view at the heritage of worldwide conflict II.

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Within the valley Caskey encountered enormous quantities of vehicles wearing substantial weapons towards Beirut, British army bases, RAF and Royal Engineers installations, and internment camps brimming with Greek refugees. From Baalbek, he fol- lowed the Orontes River north, passing Krak des Chevaliers and a monu- psychological inform that loomed over a medieval urban of cobbled alleys and towering wood water wheels. Due east around the wasteland, Caskey’s professor had ex- cavated at the banks of the Euphrates. extra north, Rameses II had confronted the Hittites, and Alexander had bested the Persians. yet Caskey’s course led to Aleppo, so he headed earlier camel-colored hills for the crusader fort crowning the inform that commanded the apparent among the Orontes and ecu- phrates Rivers. 20 He checked into the Baron inn, whose guestbook learn like a who’s who of English archaeologists and spies—Gertrude Bell, Max Mallowan, Agatha Christie, T. E. Lawrence, and Sir Leonard Woolley. The following day, the U. S. consul supplied lunch and a travel of a mosque con- taining is still of the Roman temple upon which St. Helena, the mum of 108 • classical spies Constantine, had outfitted a church marking the tomb of John the Baptist’s fa- ther. Caskey needed to forgo Woolley’s and Lawrence’s websites and Campbell’s ex- cavations at Antioch, for this used to be the tip of site-seeing. Caskey shed his uniform and jeep and ready to depart the security of the British area. 21 He persisted north at the Baghdad Railway. on the Turkish border, a menacing inspector pulled him off the teach for an expired visa and vowed to come back him to Syria. in view that his personal mom had as soon as been im- prisoned in Istanbul at the related ruse, Caskey knew that such threats have been commonplace. but tomorrow, the Turks stamped his passport and allow him continue. He took the afternoon teach to Adana, which straddled the key east-west street via malarial plains as soon as held by means of the Hittites. After snif‹ng round for antiquities, Caskey stuck the Taurus show, the sluggish educate for Ankara that jerked and snorted alongside a stretch of tune laid through the Germans in time to provide their Ottoman allies ‹ghting the British over Iraq oil ‹elds in global warfare I. At nightfall the educate climbed in the course of the snowy Taurus Mountains on the Cilician Gates and handed inside yards of the path as soon as trod through the Persian military, Alexander the nice, St. Paul, and the caravans of the 1st campaign. in the course of the twenty-six-hour experience, Caskey met American lecturers from Robert university who have been on “holiday” (with X-2) in Palestine and Syria and an Englishman analyzing military depots who informed him that Turkey was once “fairly stiff with British . . . doing a number of jobs below skinny hide. ”22 The British “octopus” had drawn on a wellspring of expertise not just from global battle I, but additionally the centuries-old Levantine neighborhood of British nationals ›uent in Turkish and Greek (still large and good put in transport, exchange, and banking) and accustomed to the coasts and offshore islands from years of yachting.

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