Monday, June 26, 2017

In Support of the Invasion

‘A landing against organised and highly trained opposition is probably the most difficult undertaking which military forces are called upon to face.’ General of the Army George Marshall

‘Confusion now hath made his masterpiece.’
Shakespeare, Macbeth

Whatever its outcome, the invasion of northern Europe in June 1944 was bound to have decisive importance. Should it fail, Allied losses would almost certainly be so great that Adolf Hitler need not fear for his western territories for a considerable time to come. If it succeeded, the end of the Third Reich would be in sight. Those were the issues, and they were important enough to warrant the preparation of the most elaborate programme of radio counter measures ever devised. If the invasion was to achieve tactical surprise, the first priority was to destroy as many as possible of the radar stations erected along the coasts of France and Belgium as part of the formidable German ‘West Wall’. Along the northern shores of France and Belgium, no fewer than ninety-two radar sites
kept watch out to sea. These sites operated the menagerie of German ground radars – the long range Mammut and Wassermann sets, the Giant and the standard Würzburg, the Freya and the naval Seetakt. For the invaders, that multiplicity of ‘radar eyes’ made the jamming problem more difficult than anything previously attempted. Yet the problem of deception promised to be even more formidable.

Instruments of Darkness
The History of Electronic Warfare, 1939–1945

A Greenhill Book

First published in 1967 by William Kimber & Co., London
Expanded edition published in 1977 by
Madonald and Jane’s Publishers, London

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