What Would Your WWII Spy Job Have Been?

Zoe Samuel

Do you speak French?

Do you have a good head for numbers?

Can you blend in?

Do you have a disability that might preclude you joining the regular soldiers?

Are you a woman?

How good a shot are you?

Can you wire together intricate circuits?

How's your sense of direction?

Do you like working predictable hours?

Do you do your best work while very slightly drunk?

Can you seem upper class enough to get powerful people to take you seriously?

Do you mind being deep behind enemy lines?

How big is your optimal team size?

What special skill do you have?

Can you kick someone when they are down?

Are you physically very brave?

Do you look good in a suit?

Would you sleep with someone for your country?

Are you good under pressure?

Can you survive in the wilderness?

Could you hold up under torture?

Would you kill someone for your country?

How do you feel about gadgets?

Would you like to literally work with Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond and a fellow WW2 spy?

In which theater of the war would you most like to work?

Do you mind not getting credit for your work?

Who would you most like to help?

Do you have a very extensive Rolodex?

How traumatized do you anticipate being?

Who do you like to work with?

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About This Quiz

The intelligence services in World War II did most of their work in the shadows. While some groups like the Bletchley Park codebreakers who hacked the Nazis' Enigma code are now recognized and lauded for their contributions, many other groups go unrecognized. There are those like Dr. Ho Feng Shan, a Chinese diplomat in Berlin who defied his orders and illegally issued thousands of visas to help Jews flee the Nazis. Other diplomats blackmailed and bribed highly placed Nazi and Japanese sources to get intelligence on what the Axis intended to do before they did it.

World War II spies also included groups like MI6 and the Special Operations Executive (SOE). The latter's operation to blow up a Nazi heavy water plant in Norway is probably the main reason that the Nazis had no way to get the atomic bomb before the Allies did. The SOE also pulled off Operation Rubble, which destroyed many ships, as well as organizing resistance groups across Europe's occupied nations.  Brave MI6 and SOE agents went behind enemy lines to steal secrets, derail operations, and blow up key targets. They also trained the OSS, precursor of the CIA, in the dark arts of espionage and sabotage, and OSS enjoyed plenty of their own intelligence triumphs.

Like the Bletchley codebreakers, SOE's forces were about one-third women, meaning that serving in the intelligence services was a great way for a female patriot to fight the Nazi threat. SOE also welcomed career criminals, people with disabilities, and all sort of folks that the regular military wouldn't touch. These people made a huge difference in the morale and resources of occupied peoples, and in some places, changed the course of battles - and in the case of Bletchley, the war itself. Where would you belong among them?

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