‘Truth’ Winston Churchill told Stalin at a wartime meeting, ‘is so precious that it must be protected by a bodyguard of lies’. The Prime Minister practiced what he preached , presiding over an elaborate deception programme, codenamed ‘Operation Bodyguard’ designed to persuade the Nazis that the coming D-Day invasion of occupied Europe would come anywhere but its true target: Normandy.
An entire fake army group was created in Kent, commanded by US General George ‘blood and guts ‘ Patton and equipped with dummy tanks and balsa wood planes to prepare for landings around Calais that never happened. An imaginary network of fictitious Spies fed false reports to their German handlers, and a lookalike actor impersonating General Montgomery toured Gibraltar and North Africa to put the enemy off the scent.
Now the full story of Bodyguard - based on top secret documents held in the National Archives at Kew - is told by historian Nigel Jones. An astonishing tale of double dealing , deception and successful disinformation - this is the real story of the fake news that saved D-day and helped win the Second World War.
Nigel Jones is a historian and journalist with an expert knowledge of Nazi Germany, who has worked in newspapers, magazines, radio and television. He has written eight previous acclaimed historical books and biographies, including ‘Hitler’s Heralds: The Story of the Freikorps 1918-23’ (John Murray, 1987), revised and reissued by Constable/Robinson (2004) as ‘The Birth of the Nazis’ with a foreword by Professor Michael Burleigh. ‘Countdown to Valkyrie: The July Plot to Assassinate Hitler’ (Frontline, 2008); with an afterword by General Count Bertolt ...
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