Operation Fortitude

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Massive misinformation operation from the Allies to hide their plans for D-Day

Fortitude was a massive operation of deception conducted by the Allied Forces to lead the Germans to believe that they would be landing in Pas-de-Calais, where France and England were closest, or in Norway, because Hitler and his cronies thought this most probable.

The aim was also to make them believe that the Normandy landings in May 1944 and in the south of France in June 1944 were mere diversions, and that the real landings would take place in Pas-de-Calais, so that the German army would concentrate its troops there during the Landings, giving the Allies time to muster.

The means implemented for this operation were as follows:

  • Deliberately letting the enemy get hold of false secret information via exchanges with neutral countries, spies and double agents.
  • Creating dummy military units in England, sometimes with fake tanks and inflatable aeroplanes, movements of troops and heated radio conversations.

This encouraged the Germans to build many bunkers and reinforce the Atlantic Wall along the Côte d’Opale, in Pas-de-Calais.

The German authorities apparently clung to their belief that the landing would occur in Pas-de-Calais right until September 1944.

Dummy Aircraft - Oct. 1943. From the British National Archives

Dummy Sherman Tank - By United States Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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