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History >> World War 2 for Kids

World War II

Spies and Secret Agents

Spies and secret agents played an important role in World War II. Each country had their own spy organizations that tried to get secret information about their enemies such as troop movements, supplies, bunker locations, and new weapons.

Why were spies important?

Information on where the enemy planned to attack or a new weapon they had invented could help determine the outcome of a battle. If a spy could get a hold of this secret information, it could save thousands of lives.

Who would become a spy?

Spies were generally people who already had access to secret documents and information. An enemy agent would approach them and try to get them to betray their country.

Why would someone become a spy?

Each spy probably had their own reasons for becoming a spy. Some did it for money. Others did it because they didn't agree with what their country was doing or because they secretly were loyal to another country.

The Double Cross

During World War II, the British developed the Double Cross System. They would find German spies and then turn them into double agents. They were very good at this, turning more than 40 German spies into double agents. They could then use these spies to find out information about the Germans as well as to provide the Germans with false information.

Did they have cool gadgets?

Yes, they did have some cool gadgets that helped them with their jobs. Many of these gadgets were used to hide secret messages including hollowed out corks, fake fence spikes, and plaster logs to hide messages. Some spies had bicycle battery chargers they would use to power their radio sets. Other gadgets included bombs hidden in rats, messages in micro-dots, gun silencers, and shoes that left barefoot-looking footprints.

Were women spies too?

Yes, there were many women spies on both sides of the war. There were several British and French women spies who parachuted into France in order to help prepare the French Resistance for the Allied attack on D-day.

Spy Agencies

Each country had their own spy agencies. Here are some of the major agencies during the war: Interesting Facts about World War II Spies and Secret Agents Activities

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Learn More about World War II:

Overview:
World War II Timeline
Allied Powers and Leaders
Axis Powers and Leaders
Causes of WW2
War in Europe
War in the Pacific
After the War

Battles:
Battle of Britain
Battle of the Atlantic
Pearl Harbor
Battle of Stalingrad
D-Day (Invasion of Normandy)
Battle of the Bulge
Battle of Berlin
Battle of Midway
Battle of Guadalcanal
Battle of Iwo Jima

Events:
The Holocaust
Japanese Internment Camps
Bataan Death March
Fireside Chats
Hiroshima and Nagasaki (Atomic Bomb)
War Crimes Trials
Recovery and the Marshall Plan
Leaders:
Winston Churchill
Charles de Gaulle
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S. Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Douglas MacArthur
George Patton
Adolf Hitler
Joseph Stalin
Benito Mussolini
Hirohito
Anne Frank
Eleanor Roosevelt

Other:
The US Home Front
Women of World War II
African Americans in WW2
Spies and Secret Agents
Aircraft
Aircraft Carriers
Technology
World War II Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> World War 2 for Kids

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