Fortitude: The D-Day Deception Campaign

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9781585670758: Fortitude: The D-Day Deception Campaign
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Behind the astonishing success of D-Day was the most sophisticated deception scheme ever devised. The objective was to persuade the enemy that the long-awaited landings would take place in the Pas-de-Calais, and that any attack in Normandy would be nothing more than a diversionary feint that could be safely ignored. Hundreds of bogus agent reports were manufactured, an entire US Army Group was invented, false radio signals transmitted, and inflatable tanks, dummy bombers built of balsa wood and canvas landing craft were positioned where they could be photographed by the Luftwaffe. Each itemed an imminent amphibious assault from Dover, across the shortest stretch of the English Channel. Operation Fortitude was an extraordinary success. In this volume, the classified official history of the entire operation, written by Roger Hesketh as head of the team of D-Day deception specialists, has been declassified and released.

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About the Author:

Roger Hesketh wrote this history of the D-Day deception campaign at the end of the war. FORTITUDE remained highly classified throughout his lifetime, and when he died in 1987 many of the names of the double agents who had participated in the operation had still not been disclosed.

Review:

An authentic study, by a fully informed expert, of a subject once deadly secret. -- The Times (London)

An ourtstanding history of the most successful deception campaign in history...a must read. -- The Washington Times

Nothing less than the official history of the D-Day deception campaign...a superbly written insider's account. --Eliot A. Cohen, Foreign Affairs

History's lasting paradox is that hindsight bestows a legacy of inevitability on events. So it is now accepted folklore that the origins of the Second World War lie in the ending of the First World War and no doubt soon it will be a matter of public record that Nato had to invade Kosovo. Like many sweeping statements these big ideas do have a germ of truth, but they ignore all those niggling "if only" questions. History owes every bit as much to missed opportunities and plain luck as it does to careful planning and inevitability as Fortitude, Roger Hesketh's account of the D-Day deception plan makes clear. The Normandy landings in 1944 were one of the key moments of the war--the moment when the Allies reinvaded France, four years after Dunkirk, and began to sweep the Germans back towards Berlin. Most history books pay tribute to the bravery of the British and American soldiers but only lip service to just how touch and go the operation was. But without detailed planning and a large amount of good fortune, European history could have taken a very different course. Hesketh was the amateur architect who in 1943 was charged with running the Allies D-Day deception campaign, code-named Fortitude. Establishing a beachhead on French soil was a massively risky operation, and Hesketh's task was to persuade the Germans that the main landings would be in the Pas de Calais and that the Normandy operation was merely a feint. Over the course of the year, Hesketh successfully fooled the Germans with a wealth of bogus information. His team manufactured agent reports, invented an entire US army group, sent false radio signals and positioned tanks, bombers and landing craft made out of balsa wood in locations where they could be photographed by the Luftwaffe's aerial reconnaissance. The picture the Germans built up was precisely the one that Hesketh had in mind. Indeed he was so successful that many German divisions were not still moved to Normandy after D-Day because the Nazis still believed the main invasion would take place in Calais. Hesketh's book was originally written in 1947 and its style reflects the formality of that period. Predictably, too, he is more interested in talking about his successes than about the deception plans that went wrong or were so nearly compromised. But running just beneath the surface of the text--like one of Hesketh's secret cyphers--is the message of how very different the outcome could easily have been. --John Crace --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. --Amazon

'FORTITUDE was a complete success in keeping 200,000 German troops out of the Battle for Normandy' -- JOCK HASWELL in The Tangled Web 'One of the most creative intelligence operations of all time' -- KIM PHILBY in My Silent War - --Danny Boy

History's lasting paradox is that hindsight bestows a legacy of inevitability on events. So it is now accepted folklore that the origins of the Second World War lie in the ending of the First World War and no doubt soon it will be a matter of public record that Nato had to invade Kosovo. Like many sweeping statements these big ideas do have a germ of truth, but they ignore all those niggling "if only" questions. History owes every bit as much to missed opportunities and plain luck as it does to careful planning and inevitability as Fortitude, Roger Hesketh's account of the D-Day deception plan makes clear. The Normandy landings in 1944 were one of the key moments of the war--the moment when the Allies reinvaded France, four years after Dunkirk, and began to sweep the Germans back towards Berlin. Most history books pay tribute to the bravery of the British and American soldiers but only lip service to just how touch and go the operation was. But without detailed planning and a large amount of good fortune, European history could have taken a very different course. Hesketh was the amateur architect who in 1943 was charged with running the Allies D-Day deception campaign, code-named Fortitude. Establishing a beachhead on French soil was a massively risky operation, and Hesketh's task was to persuade the Germans that the main landings would be in the Pas de Calais and that the Normandy operation was merely a feint. Over the course of the year, Hesketh successfully fooled the Germans with a wealth of bogus information. His team manufactured agent reports, invented an entire US army group, sent false radio signals and positioned tanks, bombers and landing craft made out of balsa wood in locations where they could be photographed by the Luftwaffe's aerial reconnaissance. The picture the Germans built up was precisely the one that Hesketh had in mind. Indeed he was so successful that many German divisions were not still moved to Normandy after D-Day because the Nazis still believed the main invasion would take place in Calais. Hesketh's book was originally written in 1947 and its style reflects the formality of that period. Predictably, too, he is more interested in talking about his successes than about the deception plans that went wrong or were so nearly compromised. But running just beneath the surface of the text--like one of Hesketh's secret cyphers--is the message of how very different the outcome could easily have been. --John Crace

This book is very detailed. "The author actually wrote the account at the end of the war, but its publication was delayed until the principal participants died or came out of hiding." (Thats all I should have to say.) I would highly recommend this book (hence the 5/5 stars). They fooled Hitler, Rommel, and the German High Command. How? Well, read this baby and you'll know how. (Project Fortitude) This goes beyond the inflatable tanks, fake radio broadcasts, double agents, spies, and etc. There are several intresting documents, too. I read and purchase several history books and documentaries. I must admit that I m only 3/4 through. This book is worth the money!!! I could yap on instead check out an excerpt. Have FUN :-) Chapter One Early Planning The decision to invade France in 1944 was taken at the Casablanca Conference in January 1943. General Morgan was appointed Chief of Staff to the future Supreme Commander and established his headquarters at Norfolk House, St James's Square, in April of that year. On 26th April he received a directive from the Combined Chiefs of Staff which, besides instructing him to prepare plans for a full-scale assault against the Continent as early as possible in 1944 and for a return to the Continent in the event of German disintegration at any time, also demanded `an elaborate camouflage and deception scheme extending over the whole summer with a view to pinning the enemy in the West and keeping alive the expectation of large-scale cross-Channel operations in 1943. This would include at least one amphibious feint with the object of bringing on an air battle employing the Metropolitan Air Force and the Eighth US Air Force.' The deception plans which were prepared in compliance with that instruction and which received the name of COCKADE do not strictly lie within the scope of this report. Nevertheless, as they had a bearing upon subsequent events, a short account is included. COCKADE had two distinct objects: to contain German forces in North-Western Europe, thus preventing them from being used on the active fronts, and to destroy German aircraft. The plan comprised three connected operations: TINDALL, the threat of a landing in Norway; STARKEY, of a landing in the Pas de Calais; and WADHAM, of one in the Bay of Biscay. STARKEY and WADHAM, so the story ran, were to be complementary operations. After the bridgehead in the Pas de Calais had been established by British forces, an American landing was to take place in Western France with the object of opening Brest, which could then be used to land troops sailing direct from the United States. The forces in the United Kingdom being held inadequate to support all three plans, the French and Norwegian assaults were presented as alternative undertakings. STARKEY was the most important part of COCKADE inasmuch as it included an elaborate embarkation exercise by 21 Army Group in which the landing craft actually sailed to within a few miles of the French coast, as well as real air attacks against the Pas de Calais. TINDALL and WADHAM relied mainly on the use of wireless, dummy devices and controlled leakage. --By "slicksteve"

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