[LMB] OT: Re: A military question

Harimad harimad2001 at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 22 14:25:05 BST 2011

TZ> --- On Mon, 9/5/11, Tony Zbaraschuk> <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote:
TZ> While the Allied deception effort before D-Day was immense
TZ> and multifaceted (fake airfields and landing craft, deceptive
TZ> radio transmissions, etc.), the most important part of it
TZ> was probably the double agents in England feeding false
TZ> information to the Nazis.

B> --- On Thu, 9/22/11, BOB!! <robtjwms at yahoo.com> wrote: 
B> The double agents were useful, but most military
B> intelligence people will disagree with the level of
B> importance you've attributed to them.  Military
B> intelligence generally considers their own observations (and
B> those of friendly forces) to be more reliable than
B> information from "traitors & turncoats".  

I have found this to be true as well.  Not to say that there's no place for disinformation.  The morning of D-Day, the Brits had double agents tell Hitler's intelligence group that Normandy was a feint to distract the Nazis from the real invasion at Calais.  Believing this, the Nazis kept their extra forces near Calais for a while, depriving the Nazi Normandy forces the backup they needed.

B> (note to those who haven't read about the subject: every
B> single spy that the Germans attempted to infiltrate into
B> the UK during WWII was caught & turned into a double agent
B> & only fed the Germans information that the Brits wanted
B> them to pass)

Specifically, this was true for the period after the Germans kicked the British forces out of continental Europe, and before D-Day.  During the period Britain was sufficiently isolated that it was practically impossible to slip into the country, gather information, and regularly meet one's handler.  Before and after there was too much normal daily contact between Brits and others, for British intelligence to identify and control such meetings.

If you're interested in this operation, I highly recommend JC Masterman's "The Double-Cross System."  Masterman was chairman of the Twenty Committee that ran the operation.  In 1945 he wrote a report on it: successes, failures, lessons learned.  It was publicly published in 1972 and is absolutely fantastic (although the writing style is outdated). 

- Harimad

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