Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The piece of paper that proved Hitler was fooled

It was an audacious double-cross that fooled the Nazis and shortened World War II. Now a newly-released document reveals the crucial role played by Britain's code-breaking experts in the 1944 invasion of France.

All the ingredients of a gripping spy thriller are there - intrigue, espionage, lies and black propaganda.

An elaborate British wartime plot succeeded in convincing Hitler that the Allies were about to stage the bulk of the D-Day landings in Pas de Calais rather than on the Normandy coast - a diversion that proved crucial in guaranteeing the invasion's success.

Now fresh documentary evidence has come to light showing how Britain's army of code-breakers received advance word that the Nazis had been fooled - meaning Allied troops had the go-ahead to attack.

An intercepted memo picked up by British agents and decoded by experts at Bletchley Park - the decryption centre depicted in the film Enigma - revealed that German intelligence had fallen for the ruse.

It was an insight that saved countless Allied lives and arguably hastened the end of the war. But the huge role played by Bletchley Park remains under-celebrated.

Now archivists at the site of the code-breaking centre hope that a new project to digitise and put online millions of documents, using equipment donated by electronics company Hewlett-Packard, will uncover further glimpses into an extraordinary past. ...

via BBC News - The piece of paper that proved Hitler was fooled.

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