Streaming Media


In the history of espionage, World War II intelligence contributions typically take a backseat to those of the Cold War despite the fact that the American Office of Strategic Services and British Special Operations Executive provided critical support to the Allied victory. An even less-studied aspect of intelligence history is the involvement of women, particularly during World War II. This project focuses upon the contributions of a singular woman who served in both the Office of Strategic Services and the Special Operations Executive, but has remained largely unrecognized in historiography despite her unmatched achievements. Examining primary source material and authoritative treatments of relevant intelligence history, this study recounts and contextualizes the achievements of Virginia Hall while analyzing bias in the historiography of World War II and mid-twentieth century American intelligence. Virginia Hall was a remarkable intelligence practitioner during and after World War II, despite the obstacles she faced as a disabled woman. Her story deserves to be told.


Friedman, Joan




European History | Military History | Political History | United States History | Women's History


Virginia Hall, intelligence, World War II, espionage, Occupied France, Klaus Barbie, SOE, OSS, CIA

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2016 Abigail C. Helvering