of the Master Spy That Helped Win World War II (1976, 2000)
During his time in Europe, Stephenson came across William Donovan, who was near the front on behalf of the American War Relief Commission, whose mission was to try and find a way to reduce the horrific number of KIA's. At age 33, Donovan was a successful lawyer in New York City, and also a top-notch investigator. In 1916, Stephenson made a great impression on Donovan, since Stephenson asked/answered questions that helped Donovan's mission. Among the topics that Stephenson discussed with Donovan was that he believed that in the end, Germany would lose the war since the nation was fighting for
Stephenson figured out that the Red Baron's brother, Lothar, was the far-more dangerous German fighter pilot, hitting British targets that actually mattered instead of going for the easy glory-kills for statistics and self-promotion (as his brother often did). Stephenson's report on Lothar caught the attention of the man in charge of British intelligence during World War I, Admiral Sir Reginald "Blinker" Hall (an eye constantly twitched, earning him the nickname). Technically, Hall was the Director of Naval Intelligence, but his power and influence dominated all of British intelligence, even after being removed from his naval post in 1915 due to political reasons. Hall was the one that had intercepted and decrypted the Zimmerman Telegram in 1917, which at that point had been the most significant intelligence coup for Britain.
Later, Stephenson was wounded in the leg by mistaken friendly fire from a French pilot as Stephenson tried to help out French planes under attack from German pilots. Stephenson would get wounded in the same leg a second time, and on the ground he was taken prisoner by the Germans and kept under close guard so there was no escape; keeping veteran enemy pilots out of the air was a top priority for the German High Command. Stephenson slowly healed, but he exaggerated the extent of his injuries to convince his German captors that he was unable to escape. After only a week as a prisoner, Stephenson had already figured out the best method and route for his escape.
Hall wanted Stephenson to be a part of British intelligence, but Stephenson was too well known, since he was a British "Ace of Aces" with 26 confirmed kills, as well as distinguishing himself in the trenches before he did so in the skies. Interestingly, Stephenson had become a very good boxer during WW I at the same time Gene Tunney served for the US in the Marines in Europe. Stephenson and Tunney became lifelong friends and business partners, and Tunney's success in the ring when he became the undefeated world champion would help Stephenson's efforts in British intelligence during World War II.
In 1918, Hall was in the process of becoming part of the military and political background in Britain in order to be able to effectively run his intelligence groups, which he would do for the next quarter-century. Hall had already established the British Secret Intelligence Service in the US during the Great War, and his operating budget was kept secret. Hall very badly wanted to find a role in his intelligence apparatus for William Stephenson . . .