Once again the report of events 65 years ago today.....

June 3, 1944 -The embarkation of all troops is complete. Over 100,000 troops are locked in their ships in ports all over southern England awaiting the impending invasion.

June 3, 2009 - 3 motorcycles sit in garages ready to launch on their mission to Invade South Dakota as Operation Western Phelons draws closer

Operation Fortitude- no invasion would be complete without some deception!

So let's look at Operation Fortitude.
Objectives:
The principal objective of Fortitude was to ensure that the Germans would not increase their troop presence in Normandy, which it achieved by promoting the appearance that the Allied forces would attack German positions elsewhere. Equally important was to delay the movement of German reserves to the Normandy beachhead and prevent a potentially disastrous counterattack. The plan therefore aimed to convince the Germans that additional assaults were planned—specifically in Scandinavia and in the Pas de Calais.

Means:
It was initially envisioned that deception would occur through five main channels:

1. Physical deception: to mislead the enemy with non-existent units through fake infrastructure and equipment, such as inflatable rubber tanks and plywood artillery.
2. Controlled leaks of information through diplomatic channels, which might be passed on via neutral countries to the Germans.
3. Wireless traffic: the creation of non-existent units through simulation of the wireless traffic that such units would generate, which would be detected by the enemy.
4. Use of German agents controlled by the Allies through the Double Cross System to send false information to the German intelligence services.
5. Public presence of notable staff associated with phantom groups, such as FUSAG (First U.S. Army Group), most notably George S. Patton, the best known senior Allied combat commander.
During the course of Fortitude the almost complete lack of German aerial reconnaissance, together with the absence of uncontrolled German agents in Britain, came to make physical deception almost irrelevant. The unreliability of the "diplomatic leaks" resulted in their discontinuance. The majority of deception was carried out by means of false wireless traffic and through German double agents. The latter proved to be by far the most significant.

In fact, Fortitude was so successful that Hitler regarded the Normandy invasion as a feint: he kept his Panzer units where he expected an attack and away from Normandy, until the battle was decided—in Normandy. Although Fortitude was controlled from SHAEF, London Controlling Section retained responsibility for what was called "Special Means": the use of diplomatic channels and double-agents.

Double Agents:

The Germans had about 50 agents in England at the time, but B1A (the Counter-Intelligence Division of MI5) had caught all but one of them (he died in unclear circumstances). Many were recruited as double agents under the Double Cross System. They were used throughout the war to feed German Intelligence a misleading picture, and particularly in the pre-invasion period misleading or imaginary information about invasion preparations. Reports sent by these agents were carefully composed and coordinated to support the view of forces in the UK the Allied deception planners wished to present.

The three most important double agents during the Fortitude operation were:

- Juan Pujol (GARBO) was a Catalan who managed to get recruited to German intelligence, and sent them abundant but convincing (mis)information from Lisbon, until the allies accepted his offer and he was employed by the British. He created a huge network of imaginary sub-agents by the time of Fortitude, and the Germans unwittingly paid the Exchequer large amounts of money regularly, thinking they were funding a network. He was awarded the Iron Cross by the Germans and an MBE by the British after D-Day.
- Roman Czerniawski (BRUTUS) was a Polish officer; captured by the Germans, he was offered a chance to work for them as a spy. On his arrival in Britain, he immediately turned himself in to British intelligence.
- Dusan Popov (TRICYCLE), a Yugoslav lawyer.


An inflatable M4 tank used in Operation Fortitude


An inflatable B-26


Inflatable Landing Craft


Pretty Heavy huh?

And now for the person who was in charge of the "fake" Army and the man whom I think could have reshaped the outcome of the Cold War and current politics if left to his own devices.... Ladies and Gentleman, A REAL American Hero...


General George S. Patton!

That's it for today. The countdown gets closer!
We are Ready to Ride!
John

3 Days til launch- Are you ready?