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King Charles and Queen Camilla pose in royal regalia for official portraits

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To people who joined in the celebrations, the King said: “To know that we have your support and encouragement, and to witness your kindness expressed in so many different ways, has been the greatest possible Coronation gift.”


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3 accused of extorting 82-year-old Houston man who paid for sex … – Houston Chronicle

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3 accused of extorting 82-year-old Houston man who paid for sex …  Houston Chronicle

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Ukraine’s Big Mistake – Scheerpost.com

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Phone scammers wreak havoc on Americans and their wallets – WAER

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Phone scammers wreak havoc on Americans and their wallets  WAER

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Secret Agents, Secret Armies: The Spy Who Captured an Army

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Allen W. Dulles (1893-1969) was many things before he became the Office of Strategic Services’ (OSS) “Our Man in Bern.” After graduating from Princeton, he joined the State Department’s Foreign Service in 1916 and was assigned to Bern, Switzerland. His acceptance to the Foreign Service was probably not harmed by family connections to the State Department. His maternal grandfather, John W. Foster, was Secretary of State under Benjamin Harrison, and his uncle by marriage, Robert Lansing, was Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson.

According to Dulles’ later writings, he told of receiving an urgent phone call on April 8, 1917 from a Russian émigré in Bern who wished to talk to him. Dulles had a scheduled  tennis match that day and turned him down. The émigré was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known to history as Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was deported the next day and sent on a sealed train to St. Petersburg, Russia. Dulles later told new recruits to the CIA to always meet with potential agents.

Dulles survived the 1918 Flu pandemic, and in 1926, Dulles became a lawyer and joined his brother, John Foster Dulles at the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell. (John was future Secretary of State to President Eisenhower, and famously drew the wrath of Winston Churchill who described him  as “A bull who carried his own china shop around with him.” Churchill also created a stinging superlative adjective: “dull, duller, Dulles.”)

In 1940, Dulles ran into a fellow Wall Street lawyer at the Republican Party convention. His friend, William Donovan, the future chief of the OSS, suggested that Dulles might be interested in joining a proposed American intelligence service if the US was pulled into the current European war. When the US did join the war after December 7, 1941, Dulles joined the newly formed OSS as Agent 110 and he requested assignment to Switzerland, based on his prior experiences there.

Dulles arrived in Switzerland in November, 1942, where he made little effort to disguise his role in Bern. Swiss newspapers identified him as a personal representative of President Roosevelt, with “special duties.” Dulles preferred this high profile as it encouraged potential agents to flock to him. His British counterpart, Frederick Vanden Huevel, the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) station chief in Bern had a few pangs of jealousy over this and Dulles’ lavish budget. (SIS is the official title of “MI6”). Dulles soon developed two important contacts: a German diplomat, Fritz Kolbe, and Hans Bernd Gisevius, attached to the German Consulate in Zurich, but in fact an Abwehr officer. Gisevius would later be a key witness at the post war Nuremberg trials.

These two men provided valuable intelligence throughout 1943-45 on a wide range of subjects, including the German resistance movement, plots to kill Hitler, and the development of V-1 and V-2 weapons. Unfortunately, OSS in Washington was skeptical of both Kolbe and Gisevius as sowing disinformation.

Perhaps Dulles’ biggest success was “Operation Sunrise,” in which he  conducted a series of secret negotiations from February to May of 1945 with Waffen SS Obergruppenführer Karl Wolff. (Obergruppenführer is the equivalent of a Lieutenant General). Dulles and Wolff met in Lucerne  and then near Lugano, in the Italian speaking Canton adjacent to Italy. Essentially, Wolff offered to surrender the 225,000 men under his command, which then expanded to Army Group C, a force of about 585,000 men, including the German 10th and 14th Armies and Italian Army Group Liguria. By the time the surrender was signed on April 29, 1945, in Caserta, Italy, German army elements in southern Austria were included and the estimated number for the surrender was  one million soldiers. The surrender became effective on May 2, 1945, five days before  General Alfred Jodl signed the final unconditional surrender on May 7, 1945 at Reims, France.

Karl Wolff was a beneficiary of the surrender as he was not prosecuted at Nuremberg, despite being involved in and guilty of a number of war crimes. This would later tarnish Dulles’ reputation.

Operation Sunrise created a few shock waves among both ally and enemy. When Stalin learned of the negotiations and the surrender, he once again feared that this was part of a separate agreement with the Third Reich, and a possible alliance against the USSR. Hitler’s successor, Admiral Karl Doenitz, was caught off guard by the surrender and probably felt betrayed. In any event, Dulles’ reputation was secured and would lead eventually to him joining the CIA, in 1951, a few years after its formation replacing the disbanded OSS. He was appointed Deputy Director Plans, the CIA’s vague euphemism for what is today called the Clandestine Service. In 1952, after the election of President Eisenhower, Dulles became the first civilian Director of the CIA.

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Dulles Receives the National Security Medal, November 1961. Courtesy of the CIA Archives.

Dulles career was not without controversy. He had a fondness for an extravagant lifestyle, women other than his wife, and risky covert operations. During his tenure as Director, the CIA was involved in coups in Iraq (1953) and Guatemala (1954). A final attempted coup, the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in April 1961, turned into a fiasco that ultimately led to President Kennedy dismissing Dulles on November 29, 1961, after the consolation prize of awarding him the National Security Medal the day before. Dulles was the longest serving CIA director so far.

Dulles had enormous influence on the post war US intelligence system. His personal negotiations for the surrender of the entire German army in Italy and southern Austria prevented needless fighting and saved the lives of many Allied and Axis soldiers.

Further Reading

Max Hastings, The Secret War: Spies, Cyphers, and Guerillas, Harper Collins, 2016, (p. 305-313)

Keith Jeffery, The Secret History of MI6, Penguin Press, 2010, (p. 509)

Christopher Andrew, The Secret World, A History of Intelligence, Yale University, 2018

Neal H. Petersen, From Hitler’s Doorstep: The Wartime Intelligence Reports of Allen Dulles, 1942-1945 1st Edition Penn State University Press, 2010. (Excellent primary source edited by a former State Department historian.)

Allen Dulles, The Secret Surrender (N.Y.: Harper & Row, 1966)

Allen W. Dulles, The Craft of Intelligence, 1963

Allen Dulles in wartime: The Exploits of Agent 110 by Mark Murphy

Operation Sunrise: America’s OSS, Swiss Intelligence, and the German Surrender 1945. Stephen P. Halbrook

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This article is part of an ongoing series commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II made possible by Bank of America. 

Walter Wolf joined the Museum in October 2019 as the Museum’s first intellectual property Rights Manager in the Curatorial Department. Walter has a Bachelor’s degree in Modern European History and a Juris Doctor degree in law. He also has a certificate in Espionage and Covert Operations from the University of New Orleans. 

Learn More

  • A first-generation American of Lebanese descent, James Jabara was intent on being a fighter pilot. Soon, the five foot five airman would make US military aviation history.

  • Marking the 80th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, The National WWII Museum connects two instances of remorse for Nazi criminality by leading German politicians.

  • Modern mechanized armies need a robust logistics chain to provide fuel, ammunition, and other sinews of war to sustain combat operations. Fighting the Allies during the North African campaign of 1942-1943, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps (DAK) was resupplied by a concerted air and sea lift effort.

  • The treaty that Hitler hated even more than the Treaty of Versailles and one of the most important treaties you have probably never heard of.

  • Much has been made in the historical record of the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge over the Rhine River at Remagen, Germany in early March of 1945. However, fewer accounts exist of Operation Flashpoint, Ninth US Army’s assault crossing of the Rhine, which began on March 24. General William H. Simpson, commander of Ninth Army, has received little attention in the historiography of World War II.

  • In the aftermath of the Battle of Kasserine Pass, US II Corps passed to the command of General Harold Alexander’s 18th Army Group. When Alexander took command on February 20, 1943, one of his first tasks was to assess II Corp’s combat readiness after its setbacks during its early engagements around Kasserine Pass.

  • Many historians have written about the famous “Buffalo Soldiers” of the all-Black 92nd Infantry Division, who fought with distinction during World War II.

  • At the Arcadia Conference, held in Washington, DC, from December 24, 1941 to January 14, 1942, the Western Allies agreed to a “Germany First” policy to govern global strategy, but the question where to engage Germany, and when, remained unsettled.


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Obituary: Mary Bancroft

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Mary Bancroft was that rarity in real life, a glamorous upper- class spy. She reached that condition by the tried and tested method of having a love affair with a man who was himself one of the most important spies of the Second World War and went on to be the most celebrated chief of America’s Central Intelligence agency.

Allen Welsh Dulles had served as an American secret agent in Switzerland during the First World War. After the United States joined the Second World War, Colonel “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the Office of Strategic Services, precursor of the CIA, gave Dulles the assignment of returning to Switzerland to create a network of intelligence inside Nazi Germany.

Dulles sent an NBC radio technician, Gerald Mayer, ahead to begin identifying possible agents, and one of the first people Mayer recruited was Mary Bancroft.

Then a handsome, bored married woman aged 38, Mary Bancroft had dropped out of Smith College in Massachusetts, and rebelled against the ultra- respectable life of a debutante in Beacon Hill, the Mayfair of Boston, where she was brought up by her stepgrandfather, C.W. Barron, who was the publisher of the Wall Street Journal and the founder of the business magazine which bears his name. Something of a Bright Young Thing, not to say a “goer”, in the Jazz Age, Bancroft had been married twice, first to an American, then, to the surprise of her friends, to a Swiss accountant called Jean Rufenacht. She tired of the marriage, and first wrote a novel, then began to study the work of the great Swiss psychologist, Carl Gustav Jung.

She had many lovers, and as her husband’s work took him away from home frequently, she was in restless and emotionally available mood – “randy and ready”, says Dulles’s biographer – when, early in December 1942, she was introduced to Allen Dulles over a drink at the ultra-discreet Hotel Baur am Lac in Zurich. Her upper-class credentials appealed to Dulles, himself the nephew and grandson (and later the brother) of American Secretaries of State, and a partner in the powerful New York law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. But she was also a highly intelligent woman who had been living in Switzerland since 1934 and had acquired excellent French and German.

He quickly put the relationship on a more intimate basis by asking her to help him to find some bed-linen, scarce in wartime Bern, where he lived under diplomatic cover, and she obliged by lending him some from her husband’s country chalet.

Within days he took her for a walk along the lake in Zurich and put his double proposition to her with bluntness close to effrontery. “We can let the work cover the romance,” he said, “and the romance cover the work.”

Before long both work and romance had settled into an efficient and pleasurable routine. Every morning, at precisely 9.20, Dulles would telephone Bancroft and tell her what reports he needed translated. They kept their conversation secure by using American slang, something that was more impenetrable in Switzerland in 1943 than it would be today.

Once a week she would take the train from Zurich to Bern, and check in at a cheap hotel opposite the station. She would then take a taxi to Dulles’s comfortable home, where they would spend the day preparing a report for Washington. That evening Dulles would report to Donovan over a more or less secure radio-telephone, high technology for the day. Spy master and spy mistress would then retire to bed together.

After a while, Dulles gave Bancroft the assignment of editing a book written by Hans Bernd Gisevius, an upper-class Prussian military intelligence officer who was both an agent of Admiral Canaris’s Abwehr secret intelligence service, and a member of the anti-Nazi underground. He was naturally one of Dulles’s most prized contacts inside the German Resistance. Before long, Mary was romantically involved with Gisevius too.

At the same time as she was becoming drawn deep into the web of intelligence- gathering and anti-Nazi plotting in Switzerland, Bancroft was getting more and more involved in her study of Jungian psychology, and eventually became a confidante of Jung himself.

Her relationship with Dulles soon began to cool; he was a physically ardent but emotionally cold lover who once demanded that they make love hastily on a sofa “to clear his head” before an important meeting. After the end of the war, Dulles was joined in Switzerland by his wife Clover. She lost no time in telling Bancroft that she was aware of her relationship with her husband and that she approved of it, and the two women became close friends for life.

Later, after Dulles had become the first head of the new Central Intelligence Agency and she had returned to New York, Bancroft also became close, though apparently not sexually involved with, Henry Luce, the publisher of Time and Life, whose wife, Clare Booth Luce, was another of Allen Dulles’s lovers. She became a leading champion of Jung’s psychology in the United States and wrote a number of articles in learned journals about his work.

The relationship with the Dulles family became even closer when, in 1952, Bancroft’s daughter, Mary Jane, married Horace Taft, son of the conservative candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, and Allen Dulles gave the bride away.

In 1983 Mary Bancroft wrote her memoirs, which she called Autobiography of a Spy.

Godfrey Hodgson

Mary Bancroft, spy: born 29 October 1903; twice married (one daughter); died New York 10 January 1997.


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Texas Mass Shooter Posted Neo-Nazi Content, FBI Document Reveals

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Multiple Casualties Reported After Shooting At Outlet Mall In Texas - Credit: Stewart F. House/Getty Images
Multiple Casualties Reported After Shooting At Outlet Mall In Texas – Credit: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

The suspected mass shooter who killed at least eight people at an Allen, Texas mall on Saturday frequently posted pro-white supremacist and neo-Nazi materials on social media, according to an FBI bulletin reviewed by Rolling Stone. 

The FBI’s “review and triage of the subject’s social media accounts revealed hundreds of postings and images to include writings with racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist rhetoric, including neo-Nazi materials and material espousing the supremacy of the white race,” the bulletin reads.  

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The document also says the alleged shooter was discharged from the military in 2008 amid “mental health concerns.” The Defense Department did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

Investigators believe the shooter was a neo-Nazi and an “incel,” according to an internal email circulated by Texas law enforcement.

On Saturday, a man, identified in law enforcement documents as 33-year-old Dallas resident Mauricio Garcia, opened fire at Allen Premium Outlets. The suspected shooter was killed by police at the scene, where several of the victims were found deceased. Nine additional victims were later transported to the hospital. Another two victims later died at the hospital.

Garcia had no criminal history but is believed to have been associated with a local neo-Nazi group, according to the email. He previously reported a lost firearm to authorities, which police believe allowed him to then modify that same firearm in an attempt to make it harder to trace, according to the law enforcement documents reviewed by Rolling Stone. The suspect is a U.S. citizen who has never applied for a passport, the law enforcement documents also noted.

Garcia was armed with an AR-15-style rifle and a handgun, according to law enforcement emails. He was also wearing a tactical vest with an “RWDS” patch — a reference to “right wing death squad,” which is a term used by white supremacists. He had 10 rifle magazines and six pistol magazines on his body. More handguns and rifles were found in his car, according to law enforcement emails.

The investigation into the shooter’s motives is ongoing.

Best of Rolling Stone

Click here to read the full article.


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Ukraine Downs Dozens of Drones Over Kyiv in Russian Air Assault

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May 8: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – Brooklyn Eagle – Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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May 8: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY – Brooklyn Eagle  Brooklyn Daily Eagle

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На Украине заявили о самой массированной атаке на Киев с начала СВО

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