During World War II, Lansky was also instrumental in helping the Office of Naval Intelligence's Operation Underworld, in which the government recruited criminals to watch out for German infiltrators and submarine-borne saboteurs. Lansky helped arrange a deal with the government via a high-ranking U. S. Navy official. This deal would secure the release of Luciano from prison; in exchange, the Mafia would provide security for the warships that were being built along the docks in New York Harbor. German submarines were sinking Allied shipping in great numbers along the eastern seaboard and the Caribbean coast, and there was great fear of attack or sabotage by Nazi sympathizers. Lansky connected the ONI with Luciano, who reportedly instructed Joseph Lanza to prevent sabotage on the New York waterfront.
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