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

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