General Patton was removed from command in Sicily and secretly brought to England. General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied forces, had two jobs for Patton to do. Eisenhower had selected Patton to command the Third Army, which was still in the United States. He was to make the Third Army combat ready for deployment in France after the invasion. Patton’s command of the Third Army was kept secret. Eisenhower also wanted General Patton to be the commander of the First United States Army Group (FUSAG), a fictitious army built to fool the Germans.
From 1943, a skilled team worked to create the illusion of a large invasion force being massed in Kent. Dummy tanks and aircraft were built of inflatable rubber and placed in realistic looking "camps". Harbours were filled with fleets of mock landing craft. To German reconnaissance aircraft, it all looked real, even down to attempts at camouflage. Knowing that German intelligence would be trying to find out more, double agents planted stories and documents with known German spies. US General Patton was supposedly commander of the non-existent force. Pretend radio transmissions were broadcast, just as if a large army were busy being organised. The hoax was successful beyond the Allies wildest hopes. German forces were concentrated in the Pas-de-Calais. The deception continued during and after D-Day. While the real invasion force landed in Normandy, Allied planes dropped silver foil to give the impression of massed planes and ships crossing from Dover. The Germans thought the Normandy landings were a diversion, and kept back reserves of tanks and troops in the Calais area - to counter what they thought would be the "real" invasion. By the time they realised, it was too late. The Normandy bridgehead had been secured, and Allied troops were fighting their way across northern France.
Diary January 26
Called on Ike at office and found I am to command Third Army. All are novices and in support of Bradley's First...
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