During the Second World War, with Hitler's forces dominating Western Europe, the Allies knew that conventional warfare alone would not be enough for victory over the brutal Nazi regime. What they needed were secret agents, who could be dropped into enemy territory to gather intelligence, organize the resistance, and cause chaos through any means possible. But while Britain was not well versed in clandestine warfare, the USA nor Canada had any experience whatsoever of sending spies behind enemy lines. In espionage terms, Britain stood alone.
So a joint plan was forged between Britain and America to train an army of spies in the dark arts of sabotage, subversion, and guerilla warfare. To help keep the new Anglo-American alliance a secret, the decision was made to set up the elite school in Canada, close to Toronto. Overseen by British experts and instructors, it was known officially as Special Training School 103. But to those who trained there it went by another name - CAMP X.
Opening within days of the Pearl Harbour bombing, Camp X was the first spy school in North America. It became the model on which America's espionage training was based, all of which was laid down in a top-secret manual written specifically for the Camp. A one-of-a-kind document, it taught new recruits everything they needed to know about how to be a spy.
Following training, North American spies were sent around the world to take on enemies from Germany and Japan in a deadly chess game of move and counter move that lasted the entire war.
Told through the incredible stories of these real-life James Bonds, this film traces the evolution of espionage in North America, and explains how the men and women who were the world's first modern spies were vital in helping the Allies to victory…
Starting at the opening of Camp X, it uses first hand accounts from WWII spies to explore all the key skills required to conduct WWII espionage, including demolitions, codes and ciphers, cover stories and close combat, all of which are intimately detailed in the Camp X training manual. It then ends with the dramatic key role that Camp X played in helping to reveal the threat posed by the Soviets in the earliest days of the Cold War, and the revelation that one of the writers of the manual was secretly a Soviet mole, who would later become one of the most infamous defectors in history - Kim Philby.
Through this process of discovery, Camp X reveals how the work that began at this WWII spy school laid the foundations for the world most famous intelligence agency … the CIA.