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on December 2, 2002
I'm a big fan of this topic area, yet had to force myself to keep reading this one until I finally gave up. The problem is that the author writes this as really an "after-action report" to his superiors, so the prose is extremely heavy on orginizational details. Just to give you a flavor, here are passages from two pages chosen at random:
(1, p. 91): "It now became necessary to provide FUSAG with armies of its own. This wa done on the one hand by fictitiously detaching the First Canadian Army from 21 Army Group and putting it under the command of FUSAG"
(2, p. 275):"Under the new scheme, Three would be at the head, 7(2) would be called in to act as freelance, taking the place of Seven in that respect. The territory of 7 (4) would be enlarged to include Kent as well as Sussex, thus filling the gap caused by 7 (2)'s departure. 7(7) and 3(3) would continue as before, the former in the Eastern counties and the latter in Scotland".
I hope you get my point - authoritative and detailed, but not exactly a page-turner.
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on October 20, 2002
For WWII buffs this book will prove to be invaluable. The level of detail (specifically quotes from actually documents and interviews with captured German generals)will intrigue anyone who has ever wondered how we managed to get a foot hold in Europe in 1944.
The only negatives associated with this book are the lack of writing style (this man was, actually, not a professional writer) and a certain amount of data overload concerning formations, locations, and dates.
My suggestion is to read it slowly and don't mind if you find yourself skipping of a an Armoured Division here or an Infantry Division there. Just keep track of the narrative and you will be surprised at how 'tight' the story ends up being. Also, don't forget to skim the appendicies for some interesting perspective on how experts 'thought' the war in Europe would go.
Overall this is an excellent book for interested parties. If you don't have a strong interest in WWII or spycraft I would consider lighter fare.
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on July 16, 2001
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.
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