IB HOA 1
5 November 2012
Thomas B. Allen, George Washington, Spymaster (Washington D.C: National Geographic, 2004) In Thomas B. Allen’s George Washington, Spymaster, George Washington quickly realized that he had to lead the American people to victory against King George even if it meant playing dirty. Having intelligence over the enemy was essential during the time of the revolutionary war, so both the Americans and the British were trying to get each other’s plans. George Washington started recruiting agents to work for him and then recruiting others who would set up spy rings in different areas as they were needed. He and those who worked for him had to become sneaky, secretive, and they had to develop new ways of getting the information that they needed. Thomas B. Allen told the stories of how agents working for the Americans and the British, affected the outcome of the Revolutionary War. He began the book before the war even started. Washington learned the value of spy craft when he was in the French and Indian Wars. Ironically, he was fighting for the British at the time, but that’s where he made his reputation that led to his being chosen to lead the Revolutionary forces. During the years leading up to the war, both sides of the war were focused on discovering the other side's plans. As the war started, Washington faced an army that was much more powerful than his own. The British had better supplies and a better trained army altogether, but Washington had land and time in his favor. He fought battles only when needed or when the odds were in his favor. Information became that much more important in a fight like this. There were many devices that George Washington used to defeat the British, many of which are still in use today; invisible ink, codes and ciphers, drop boxes, double agents, and much more. It was very risky to use these different devices. It was always a race to keep ahead of the enemy and there was always...