Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception

Overview

Despite the mighty invasion force the Americans and British mustered in England in early 1944, a top Allied general warned: If the Germans have even a 48-hour advance notice of the time and place of the Normandy landings, we could suffer a monstrous catastrophe! For his part, Adolf Hitler planned to inflict such a massive bloodbath on the invaders that the Allies would agree to a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany.

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Overview

Despite the mighty invasion force the Americans and British mustered in England in early 1944, a top Allied general warned: If the Germans have even a 48-hour advance notice of the time and place of the Normandy landings, we could suffer a monstrous catastrophe! For his part, Adolf Hitler planned to inflict such a massive bloodbath on the invaders that the Allies would agree to a negotiated peace with Nazi Germany.

Hoodwinking Hitler is an action-packed, you-are-there account about a colossal and incredibly intricate deception scheme created and implemented by ingenious and diabolical minds, machinations intended to bamboozle the Germans on true Allied invasion plans. Facets of the global chicanery included electronic spoofing, double agents, diplomatic deceit, whispering campaigns, femmes fatales, camouflage, strategic feints, the French underground, murder plots, phony military installations, misleading bombing raids, sabotage, propaganda, traps, fake codes, and kidnap schemes. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the Allies gained total surprise, mostly because of what Winston Churchill called the greatest hoax in history. But not until two months later, when the Allies broke out of Normandy, did the deception scheme pass into history. By that time, ultimate Allied victory in Europe was assured.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Plan Bodyguard, an intricate scheme designed to deceive the Germans about the date and location of the Allied cross-Channel invasion, was a success: the June 6, 1944 landings on the beaches of Normandy took the Germans by surprise. That such a gargantuan undertaking could be kept secret from the enemy has been difficult to understand. In Breuer's suspenseful, detailed narrative he shows how ``the greatest hoax in history,'' as Winston Churchill called it, was accomplished. A major element in the complicated plan was a ruse encouraging the Germans to believe that massive formations under General George Patton were preparing to land at Pas de Calais. Another aspect was the bogus radio traffic of the fictitious Fourth Army, supposedly assembling in Scotland. Still another was the performance of an actor who impersonated General Bernard Montgomery so convincingly during an ``inspection tour'' at Gibraltar that the Germans concluded that Montgomery was about to lead an Allied invasion into southern France. Breuer ( Retaking the Philippines ) describes the D-Day invasion itself, the hard fighting that followed and the Allied breakout from Normandy that marked one of the turning points of WW II. Illustrations. Military Book Club main selection. (May)
Library Journal
In this account of the deception about the timing and locale of the June 1944 Normandy invasion of Europe, there is plotting galore intertwined with agents, double agents, code-breakers, intelligence, counter-intelligence, camouflage, and diplomacy--all dedicated to masking the route of the actual invasion. Each plan is treated meticulously and in depth up to the assault waves on Normandy, D-Day, June 6. The Allies achieved complete surprise with ``the greatest hoax in history.'' Breuer seems to have made a career of World War II, with 12 books now out in paperback, eight of which became main selections of the Military Book Club--including this one. Although much of the material is old hat, with the D-Day story massively covered, Breuer keeps the story moving despite bombarding us with minutiae. For libraries with a World War II clientele.-- Ralph DeLucia, Willoughby Wallace Lib., Branford, Ct.
Roland Green
Prolific and popular World War II chronicler Breuer here turns to the two years of Allied efforts to deceive the Germans about the time and place of the invasion of Europe. These involved the OSS, contacts with German opponents of Hitler, extensive work with European underground movements, codebreaking, and, in due course, the deployment of a complete fake army group including, among other things, rubber tanks with a real and frustrated George Patton commanding it. Because Breuer has chosen to paint a large picture upon a comparatively cramped canvas, readers will need to bring a background in World War II to the book in order to enjoy it fully. For larger military collections, though, it's a solid addition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780275944384
  • Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Pages: 298
  • Lexile: 1440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.11 (d)

Meet the Author

WILLIAM B. BREUER landed with the first assault waves in Normandy on D-Day, then fought across Europe. Later, he founded a daily newspaper on a string in Rolla, Missouri, and after that, a highly successful public relations firm in St. Louis, Missouri. He has been writing books full time since 1982, twelve of which are now out in paperback, and eight of which have become main selections of the Military Book Club.

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Table of Contents

Maps
1 A Plot to Murder President Roosevelt 1
2 An Ingenious Stratagem is Unveiled 9
3 The "Santa Clauses" Duel with the "Blacks" 18
4 Machinations at Herrengasse 23 24
5 Istanbul Intrigue 34
6 Eavesdropping on the Fuehrer 42
7 A Conspiracy in Lisbon 51
8 A Flip-Flop by the Russian Bear 58
9 "Wild Bill" and His OSS 65
10 The Old Fox is Trapped 74
11 Illusions in the Balkans 80
12 Focus on the Atlantic Wall 90
13 The Double-Cross "First Violins" 99
14 Behind the White Cliffs of Dover 109
15 A Ghost Army Threatens Norway 120
16 Connivances in Stockholm 128
17 Tightening the Security Lid 136
18 A High-Level Epidemic of the Jitters 144
19 Behind Enemy Lines 153
20 Vendetta and Copperhead 163
21 Electronic Spoofing 173
22 Invasion Fever 180
23 Threshold of a Mighty Endeavor 190
24 D-Day Decoys and Deceptions 198
25 Bombs, Bullets, and Broadcasts 209
26 The Invasion Remains in Jeopardy 217
27 Rommel Seeks a Secret Peace 224
28 A Monstrous German Debacle 232
Notes 241
Bibliography 253
Index 259
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