Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception

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Hoodwinking Hitler: The Normandy Deception

By William B. Breuer
Praeger, 1993
274 pp. $24.95
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Operation Fortitude was the Allied deception plan to fool the Germans as to the location and time of the 1944 invasion of France. It was critical to the D-Day victory. According to William Breuer, the author of a baker's dozen popular histories of spies and action in World War II, it was the "greatest hoax" in history. It was not. Pearl Harbor, the German invasion of Russia, and the German offensive at the Bulge were all successful surprise offensives on a larger scale. The "greatest" hyperbole is typical of Breuer's writing. Operation Fortitude deserves a good book, but this is not it: the research is inadequate, the errors far too many, the breathless writing inappropriate to the subject. A pity that the author, a D-Day veteran himself, did not take as much care in writing about Operation Fortitude as the men who executed the operation in doing their work.