Talk:Operation Fortitude

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SecurityFocus cite[edit]

On 01 Nov 2004, this article was cited in a SecurityFocus article on phishing. Securiger 06:49, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm a little wary of the reference to papier-mache aircraft. It just doesn't seem a plausible material for a decoy the size of an aircaft. The instances I've seen photographs of used wood and canvas, and were quite approximate in shape. With the photo-recce cameras of the time, you couldn't see enough to justify detailed fakes. 09:25, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
This article spends way too much time talking about what Fortitude was not, and too little about what it was. DJ Clayworth 15:23, 18 January 2006 (UTC)
To Mr. Holt and Mr. Clayworth
Gentlemen, I thank you both for the clarifications and the updates on whether or not dummy equipment was used. What I find most interesting about reading both or your edits is that they are in the same manner as the conversations I have with my peers in these categories. I have been studying Military Deception for the past ten years and it is interesting that depending on one's perspective is the conclusion one comes to. As we have lengthy discussions on the Gulf War that are surprisingly similar to your discussion on the Bodyguard and Fortitude. As I am currently researching historical deception operations (for an upcoming presentation), I will make an effort to correct the dummy tanks, equipment, etc. should the issue arise in this lecture. I find the Intelligence Community website amusing,they never cease to amaze me. Ss2c2w 02:39, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Part of the strategy was that the Allied air defences only allowed German high-altitude photo-reconnaissance aircraft over the areas concerned, the low altitude ones that might have given photos of sufficient detail to see the dummy 'aircraft', 'tanks', etc, were fake, were all intercepted or otherwise prevented from reaching the areas.
The dummies were quite adequate for fooling medium- to high-altitude (vertical) photo interpretation, whereas they would have been much more detectable by low-level oblique photography, which is exactly what the Germans were deliberately prevented from obtaining. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:27, 12 November 2012 (UTC)

Fortitude and Bodyguard[edit]

This source says that Fortitude was part of Bodyguard. [1]. SO does this [2] (Australian air force). And this [3] (US Joint Chiefs of Staff) And this [4] (US Air Command and Staff College). I've changed the article to reflect this. DJ Clayworth 16:02, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

This [5] is a huge thesis mainly about Fortitude and the overarching deception plan Operation Bodyguard. Please do not make changes to this article without having read this link. DJ Clayworth 18:01, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Please do not change this article to contradict these references unless you can supply other references which indicate why they are wrong. DJ Clayworth 18:13, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

To anonymous contributor: You write when the Germans finally realized that cross-Channel operations were imminent, "the tactical cover plan prepared by Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force will come into force with a view to deceiving the enemy as to the timing, direction and weight of 'OVERLORD.' . But that sentence does not, by itself, mean that Fortitude was not a part of Bodyguard. It may simply mean that a given part of the Bodyguard operation (Fortitude) will begin at a certain point in time. Nor is there any conflict because of the originator. Many organisations contributed to Bodyguard and Fortitude. DJ Clayworth 19:00, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Copied from my talk page:
Hello, Mr. Clayworth.
I've given up correcting the errors--I'm sorry , but that's what they are, I don't mean to seem like I'm flaming--about Plan Bodyguard, Operations Fortitude North and South, and their relationship. I guess it's you that keeps changing them back.
I think the best I can do is encourage you to read my book, "The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War" (Scribner, New York, and Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004), especially Chapter 12 ("Bodyguard") and Chapter 13 ("Quicksilver"). I realize that the book may be heavy going at 1100 pages, but about one-third of that is reference notes, bibliography, appendices, etc. It will lead you to the original documentation, which you might find interesting.
WWII deception is a fascinating subject, but there really is a lot of erroneous misinformation about it and my book is a modest effort to set the record straight based on the declassified sources.
With best wishes,
T. Holt

Mr Holt. Thanks for your information. My apologies for what seemed to be rudeness on my part - I think I probably need to explain. Let me first say something about how Wikipedia works.
There is, unfotunately, no way to know who it is that is making contributions to Wikipedia, especicially when they are done anonymously. We get many kinds of contributors here, from academics well-versed in the field to arrogant contributors who have read one website and think they know everything. I'm afraid the latter outnumber the former by many times. Without knowing who you are there is no way for me to know that you are the former. I conducted a survey of all the sources I could find and without exception they stated that Fortitude was part of Bodyguard. This includes degree theses and papers published by intelligence sources. I really had to take their word for it rather than the word of someone about whom I knew nothing. Had you cited the book even as a reference, whether or not youwere the author, I would have been much more inclined to accept your contributions.
Incidentally the 'myth refutation' is probably not the best approach to writing an article here. A lot of people coming to the article won't know the contents of the myths, so there is probably little point in refuting them. Stating the facts would probably be a better approach.
I would be interested in knowing exactly what was the relationship between Bodyguard and Fortitude. Obviously they were related, since they had the same objectives. Did they have entirely separate command structures who coordinated with each other? Did Bodyguard stop when Fortitude started? Did they divide responsibility for different kinds of deceptions? Presumably you make all these things clear in the book.
Thanks for your note. My apologies for the bad start - lets see if we can make this a great article. DJ Clayworth 23:11, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Dear Mr. Clayworth:

Thanks for your nice response. I'm traveling, and something has come up that will have me swamped for a while, so I will respond here and then sign off of this topic at least for the time being.

The significant source material on this subject was only declassified in the middle 1990s. Earlier writings, other than Sir Michael Howard's excellent official history published about 1990, depended too much on a truly dreadful book, sensationalist in tone, called Bodyguard of Lies, by one Anthony C. Brown. It has been said of this book that there is an error on every page, and I believe it. Howard's review of it in the TLS is one of the most withering reviews I have ever read, and justly so. (Among many other errors, I believe this book is responsible for the canard that Ultra gave Churchill advance notice of the Coventry raid but he ordered nothing to be done, so as to protect Ultra.) As I said, I'm traveling, so the following comments are from memory. Brown as I recall had heard of Bodyguard and little else. He cited some limited American files about Fortitude that had been rather accidentally declassified (but which may have never used the name "Fortitude"--I'm not sure about this and can't check at the moment), and he interviewed a few people, and that was it. He had evidently never heard of Dudley Clarke or of David Strangeways. I think (can't check at the moment) that he was also responsible for the misconception that Fortitude South involved dummy tanks, planes, etc. For a long time Brown's book, and a slender volume by an Oxford don named Cruikshank that depended on partially declassified tangential material, were all there was. So stuff got repeated, mistakes and all.

Since you are obviously genuinely interested in WWII deception I encourage you to get hold of my book (you can get it cheap through Amazon)--I immodestly think it will answer all your questions and tell you more than you want to know! Among other things, it will I hope answer the matter of Fortitude being "part of" Bodyguard (a question that only arises I think because Bodyguard was the only name Brown had heard so he applied it to the cross-Channel operational deception). In a nutshell, Bodyguard was an overall strategic policy blueprint prepared at top level, laying down the policy that the thrust of deception operations would be to induce the Germans to worry about other fronts in addition to northern France, and to act on the belief that the invasion would not come until later than its actual planned date. It explicitly did not include the operational, as opposed to strategic, deceptions to cover the landings (both cross-Channel and in southern France); these its paragraph 14 expressly left to the respective commands. (The full text of Bodyguard is printed as an appendix to Howard's history.) It's an inexact comparison, but you might say that implementing operations like Turpitude or Graffham bore the same relation to Bodyguard as a law bears to a constitution. The US Constitution gives Congress authority to regulate commerce, and pursuant to that authority Congress passed the Sherman Act, but you would not say that the Sherman Act was part of the Constitution. And in fact Fortitude South (and Ferdinand) were one step further removed than that.

I'll sign off, because I have to turn to other things. And when I can get back to the subject I'll know more about Wikipedia procedures and etiquette!

Best wishes.

T. Holt

P.S.--I hope I'm doing this right. I hit the Edit button and added it on.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:27, 22 January 2006

Mr Holt: yes you are doing this right. Thanks again for the info. If you have time it would be very helpful to have you expand the articles on bother these operations. For example, what tasks actually were carried out as part of Bodyguard? Which offices were actually responsible for running each one? And would it be fair to say that other recent authors such as Hesketh and Howard agree with your conclusions about Bodyguard and Fortitude, or is there still some disagreement here? A few sentences about how they related, organisationally, to each other would make the article creation a lot simpler.
Incidentally it would also simplify communication a lot of you were to create an account. Please do - we really need people who know their subjects thoroughly. DJ Clayworth 17:54, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Mr. Holt,
To what extent was Roenne responsible for German fears of a Pas de Calais invasion? I just finished an extensive research paper at my university, and am now troubled by reading your stinging criticism of Brown's book (I cited Howard, Harris, Hesketh, and yourself far more than him, though). The Deceivers does include a bit on Roenne's frustration and exaggerated efforts to have his estimates accepted. Were Roenne's projections buttressing Garbo and Brutus' reports, vice versa, or were they really a non-factor as much was already being gobbled up by the Abwehr and OKW by late Spring? Furthermore, shouldn't there be some mention of Masterman and Hesketh in addition to Strangeways and Bevan. Men like Hesketh and Harris had much more of a hand in the operations, didn't they?
I really can't thank you enough for your book. It was such a great source for my research, and helped me shape what argument I could from the comparably limited sources on Fortitude.
A Bezdek AlexanderBezdek 00:10, 20 December 2006 (UTC)

Consistency with other articles[edit]

The article regarding Operation Quicksilver (WWII) and this one disagree about the 'myth' of inflatable tanks and vehicles. I am by no means an expert and do not plan on changing one to be consistant with the other, but this discrepancy makes one of these articles clearly incorrect. As the article cites Mr. Holt and the discussion includes comments from DJ Clayworth, I can only assume the two of you remain at impass. Tofof 25 May 2006

It's not really an impasse. Mr Holt seems to have left Wikipedia, and I'm waiting to acquire a new reference book on the subject before adding to this article. Feel free to add to the article if you like. (For your information I've also seen references that talk about mock-up tanks) DJ Clayworth 13:04, 26 May 2006 (UTC)

All the research I've done, including work by Mr. Holt, very much downplays the role of inflatable and dummy craft in the operation. 00:18, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Actually, there is even an inconsistency regarding dummy trucks within this article:


Contrary to popular belief, there was no use of inflatable tanks, or other decoy equipment
as part of Fortitude, with the exception of dummy landing craft and dummy aircraft. The
inflatable tanks, artillery, and trucks were only used on the continent as part of
operational and tactical deceptions.

Operation Quicksilver[edit]

To facilitate this deception, additional buildings were constructed; dummy vehicles
and landing craft were placed around possible embarkation points.

It has to be one or the other. Dick Kimball (talk) 15:29, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Op Fortitude Inflatable Tank.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:Op Fortitude Inflatable Tank.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 06:47, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Note Re: Maps[edit]

If anyone does get around to creating maps, the only information regarding the Fortitude Pas de Calais target area is a brief note in Hesketh that describes the landing areas as:

"...beaches exclusive River Somme to inclusive Boulogne..."

Graham1973 (talk) 23:02, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Fortitude North[edit]

Footnotes 19 and 20 are incompatible: the article should explain. Deipnosophista (talk) 09:59, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Not at all; or rather, the information is accurate but the article could be more clear about it :) In short; Fortitude North *was* successful in convincing Hitler to re-inforce Norway BUT the wireless/visual deception used in Fortitude North is not judged to have been the cause (rather, double agents fed most of the information back). --Errant (chat!) 10:05, 26 February 2015 (UTC)

Closed Loop Deception[edit]

The article references a "closed loop" deception system but the link is too an article of electronic circuitry that has nothing to do with deception. (talk) 17:35, 28 June 2016 (UTC) [28 June 2016]