Operation Fortitude

Operation Fortitude : The Greatest Hoax of the Second World War

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Operation Fortitude was the ingenious web of deception spun by the Allies to mislead the Nazis as to how and where the D-Day landings were to be mounted.

'One of the most creative intelligence operations of all time' - Kim Philby

The story of how this web was woven is one of intrigue, personal drama, ground-breaking techniques, internal resistance, and good fortune. It is a tale of double agents, black radio broadcasts, phantom armies, 'Ultra' decrypts, and dummy parachute drops. These diverse tactics were intended to come together to create a single narrative so compelling that it would convince Adolf Hitler of its authenticity.

Operation Fortitude was intended to create the false impression that the Normandy landings were merely a feint to disguise a massive forthcoming invasion by this American force in the Pas de Calais. In other words, the success of D-Day - the beginning of the end of the Second World War - was made possible by the efforts of men and women who were not present on the Normandy beaches.

Men such as Juan Pujol, a Spanish double-agent (code-name GARBO) who sent hundreds of wireless messages from London to Madrid in the build-up to D-Day relaying supposed intelligence from his fictitious spy network. This allowed the enemy to conclude that the number of Allied divisions preparing to invade was twice the actual number.

Men such as R.V Jones, the head of British Scientific Intelligence, who masterminded the dropping of tinfoil confetti from the bomb-bay doors of Lancaster bombers, creating a false impression that a flotilla of Allied ships was heading in the opposite direction to the genuine invasion fleet.

Using first hand sources from a wide range of archives, government documents, letters and memos Operation Fortitude builds a picture of what wartime Britain was like, as well as the immense pressure these men and women were working under and insure D-Day succeeded.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 28mm | 258.55g
  • Collins
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • UK ed.
  • 0007395876
  • 9780007395873
  • 92,503

Flap copy

The success of D-Day was made possible by the efforts of people who were not even present on the Normandy Beaches. General Patton spen D-Day on British shores commanding a phantom army. Spanish double-agent GARBO sent messages relayhing supposed intelligence from his fictitious spy network, fooling the Nazis right up until the end of the war.Even as the Normandy landings were happening, Hitler remained convinced they were a diversionary tactic to force him to move his troops. So, thanks to Fortitude, D-Day was a triumph; wihtout it the war might well have had a very different outcome.
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Back cover copy

D-Day would never have been the success it was without Operation Fortitude. Convincing the German High Command that the Allied landings were going to be in the Pas de Calais, Fortitude was an ingenious deception plot that drew attention away from the real invasion force.Using a complex setup of double agents, fake radio broadcsts, dummy invasion craft, and imaginary troops, Fortutide was so convincing that Hitler was reluctant to believe reports of the real D-Day invasion.Operation Fortitude tells the thrilling tale of the explits of those men and women who ensured that D-Day was the pivotal turning point of the Second World War.
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Review quote

Reviews for previous titles...

`A vivid, moving story of the men who fought the Great War in the Air. Quite superb.'
Max Arthur

`Those magnificent men in their flying machines recount in their own words just how mad and magnificent it was to be an air-ace in World War One. Joshua Levine's compilation is enthralling and breathtaking'.
Chris Powling, Classic FM Guestlist

`This is a superior example of the genre from a writer at the top of his game.' Air Marshal Stuart Peach
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About Joshua Levine

Joshua Levine is the author of Forgotten Voices of the Blitz and the Battle for Britain and Forgotten Voices of the Somme. He is also a playwriter and writer for television, and was the researcher for Max Arthur on three of the Forgotten Voices series.

His first book for Collins, On a Wing and a Prayer, was the story of the pioneering aviation heroes of the First World War.
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Rating details

177 ratings
3.83 out of 5 stars
5 25% (45)
4 42% (75)
3 24% (42)
2 7% (12)
1 2% (3)
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