Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2011

19 May 2012

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

Susan Heuck Allen

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

City: Ann Arbor

Year: 2011

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

Description: Hardback, 430 p., 24 b/w photographs, 2 maps, 24x16 cm


Classical Spies is the first insiders’ account of the operations of the American intelligence service in World War II Greece. Initiated by archaeologists in Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, the network drew on scholars’ personal contacts and knowledge of languages and terrain. While modern readers might think Indiana Jones is just a fantasy character, Classical Spies discloses events where even Indy would feel at home: burying Athenian dig records in an Egyptian tomb, activating prep-school connections to establish spies code-named Vulture and Chickadee, and organizing parachute drops.

Susan Heuck Allen reveals remarkable details about a remarkable group of individuals. Often mistaken for mild-mannered professors and scholars, such archaeologists as University of Pennsylvania’s Rodney Young, Cincinnati’s Jack Caskey and Carl Blegen, Yale’s Jerry Sperling and Dorothy Cox, and Bryn Mawr’s Virginia Grace proved their mettle as effective spies in an intriguing game of cat and mouse with their Nazi counterparts. Relying on interviews with individuals sharing their stories for the first time, previously unpublished secret documents, private diaries and letters, and personal photographs, Classical Spies offers an exciting and personal perspective on the history of World War II.


List of Abbreviations [xi]

Prologue [1]

Chapter 1. “On the Rim of a Volcano” [8]

Chapter 2. Leaving the Ivory Tower [31]

Chapter 3. Flight [51]

Chapter 4. From Relief to Intelligence: Forging a “Grecian Formula” [68]

Chapter 5. Recruiting the Four Captains [84]

Chapter 6. “Playing Ball” and Striking Out with the British [102]

Chapter 7. “Preparing the Underground Railroad” [117]

Chapter 8. “Entering the Danger Zone”: The “Samos Show” [139]

Chapter 9. “Oriental Endurance” and the “Somber World of Snafu” [163]

Chapter 10. Operation Honeymoon [180]

Chapter 11. The Birds Began to Sing [192]

Chapter 12. Liberation and the “Dance of the Seven Veils” [213]

Chapter 13. Things Fall Apart [238]

Chapter 14. “Playing a Dangerous Game” [262]

Epilogue [271]

Appendixes [291]

Internal Assessment [293]

Who’s Who [301]

OSS Greek Desk Missions [308]

OSS Bases and Secret Harbors or Coded Targets [317]

Notes [323]

Bibliography [397]

Index [413]


Παρακαλούμε τα σχόλιά σας να είναι στα Ελληνικά (πάντα με ελληνικούς χαρακτήρες) ή στα Αγγλικά. Αποφύγετε τα κεφαλαία γράμματα. Ο Αιγεύς διατηρεί το δικαίωμα να διαγράφει εκτός θέματος, προσβλητικά, ανώνυμα σχόλια ή κείμενα σε greeklish.