History of War

DECODING D-DAY

At the end of May 1944, the headquarters of the Luftwaffe’s signals intelligence regiment at Asnières, outside Paris, issued a direct invasion warning, “All preparations by the British and American air forces are complete. Two British and two American Close Support Corps for the support of four armies are available. The embarkation of Air Force Staffs has begun. The beginning of a large scale landing must now be reckoned with any day.”

At midnight on 5 June, a young Luftwaffe signals officer called Lieutenant Martin Ludwig, and his men, were awake and on full alert in their headquarters at Deauville, 15 miles east of the Allied invasion beaches. Ludwig was one of the signals evaluation officers based in northern France from the OKL, or Oberkommando der Luftwaffe. In 1942 he’d helped provide ‘sigint’ about the disastrous Allied landings at Dieppe as the operation began.

Now, in June 1944, the entire signals intercept and radar apparatus of the Luftwaffe in the whole of northern France was going mad. German radio discipline was falling

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from History of War

History of War2 min read
Cartoons From Korea
War cartoons have a distinguished history in the British Army. During WWI Bruce Bairnsfather delighted his fellow troops with his satirical depictions of life in the trenches for the Bystander magazine, particularly the curmudgeonly soldier ‘Old Bill
History of War7 min read
The Grand Captain
Mounted French knights thundered towards the Spanish position at Cerignola on 21 April 1503, but had to reign in their horses when they reached an unseen ditch bristling with sharpened stakes. As the French gendarmes paused dumbfounded before the dit
History of War3 min read
Vickers Vimy
The Vimy was designed for a bombing campaign against Germany, but it would make its name as a trailblazer, opening the world’s skies to long-range flights. As the RAF’s main frontline heavy bomber it would serve in the UK and the Middle East from 191