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.
Get the best of Foreign Affairs' book reviews delivered to you.
More Reviews on Military, Scientific, and Technological From This Issue