Volume 8, Issue 5
Friday’s failed plan was not the first ‘Operation Fortitude’ in history. For some, Border Force’s proposed operation conjured images of a 1940s Orwellian dystopia. By coincidence (and by a poor appreciation of history on behalf of Border Force) the first ‘Operation Fortitude’ actually took place in 1944.
In the months leading up to the Allies’ invasion of occupied Europe, the Allied command hoped to keep the Germans guessing about when/where the invasion would come, D-Day. They devised a plan, called ‘Operation Fortitude’, which involved creating entire dummy armies—inflatable tanks, dummy straw soldiers, and wooden airplanes. They placed these dummies all over the south of England, at key towns and intersections, so German aerial surveys would confuse the actual strength of the Allied forces.
Unlike Friday’s Operation, the original Operation Fortitude worked—the Germans were confused, and Europe was liberated. But the two Operations do share at least some things in common: both Operations confused a whole lot of people, and both were the product of a whole lot of dummies.
Matt Psycharis is a third year JD student