One of Virginia Hall’s responsibilities was to organize the French to resist German occupation. Sabotage was a key element of resistance but it didn’t always take the form of “James Bond-style” explosions or large-scale destruction of enemy equipment or installations.  The most insidious and effective sabotage often took place on a small scale: day-to-day activities that individuals living in a hostile environment could plan and execute with little fear of discovery, and yet would slow the enemy down or thwart his plans.  This sabotage, known as Simple Sabotage, was highly effective–especially on the eve of the D-Day invasion when the Germans wanted to move their equipment forward quickly to meet Allied forces.

Virginia was familiar with the OSS Sabotage Manual, which offered guidance on a range of actions–from blowing fuses in apartments housing the enemy to changing signposts at intersections and reporting imaginary spies or dangers to the Gestapo.

For a better understanding of the range of OSS sabotage tools and techniques, see the video: Sabotage, Perfecting the Art of Surprise:


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