In the final days of the Battle of the Bulge, January 1945, the Allied war effort was approaching, but hadn’t yet reached, a victorious end, and supplies were still required on the ground and in offices, military and intelligence, throughout Europe.
As one telegram collected in Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) declassified CREST archive reveals, not all of these necessities were armaments or standard stapler-type office artifacts.
In a curious communication sent on January 13, 1945 from London to Stockholm, the Agency’s predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), authorized a quick list of workplace wants.
First, pens …
Then, pencils …
And finally …
50 fresh tubes of lipstick.
The sender puts no further parameters around the pucker pigments’ purchase, though the final sentence assumes that whoever is making the buy will know exactly what kind to get.
The only other mention of lipstick from that era retrieved from CREST thus far appears in the March 1944 Month Report of OSS activities.
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