Deception and the Liberation of Western Europe
O n June 6, 1944, the U.S., Britain and Canada launched the largest force of warships in history across the English Channel. It escorted the largest concentration of troops transport vessels ever assembled, covered by the largest force of fighter and bomber aircraft ever brought together, preceded by a fleet of air transports that had carried forty thousand paratroopers and glider-borne troops to Normandy.
Not one German submarine, not one small boat, not one airplane, not one radar set, not one German anywhere detected this movement. As General Walter Warlimont, deputy head of operations of the German Supreme Headquarters, later confessed, on the eve of Operation Overlord the Wehrmacht leaders "had not the slightest idea that the decisive event of the war was upon them."
None of the surprises achieved in World War II -- including Barbarossa, Pearl Harbor, Stalingrad, and the Ardennes offensive of December 1944 -- was more complex, more difficult, more important, or more successful than Overlord. To fool Hitler and his generals in the battle of wits that preceded the attack, the Allies had to convince them not only that it was coming where it was not but also that the real thing was a feint. This was done through a variety of methods, of which none was more important than the use of radio signals.____________________