Operation Copperhead was a small military deception operation run by the
British during the Second World War. Conceived by Dudley Clarke, it was
intended to mislead German intelligence as to the location of General
Bernard Montgomery (pictured) just before the 1944 invasion of Normandy.
The German high command expected Montgomery, one of the best-known
Allied commanders, to play a key role in any cross-channel bridgehead.
Clarke and the other deception planners reasoned that a high-profile
appearance outside England would suggest that an Allied invasion was not
imminent. An appropriate look-alike was found, M. E. Clifton James, who
spent a short time with Montgomery to familiarise himself with the
general’s mannerisms. On 26 May, James flew to Gibraltar and then to
Algiers, making appearances where the Allies knew German intelligence
agents would spot him, but the operation did not appear to have any
significant impact on German plans. James later wrote a book about the
operation, I Was Monty’s Double, which was adapted into a film, with
James in the lead role.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
The Chinese chronicle Records of the Grand Historian recorded
the first confirmed sighting of Halley’s Comet, the first comet to be
recognized as periodic.
Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera H.M.S. Pinafore opened at
the Opera Comique in London.
Employees of the Remington Rand company began an 11-month
strike action, during which time the company executives developed the
notorious “Mohawk Valley formula” to intimidate the strikers.
Abdullah bin Husayn, Emir of the Emirate of Transjordan, was
proclaimed King of the renamed “Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan”.
SpaceX’s Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to
rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
Someone or something, especially a sports team, that defeats a larger
and superior opponent.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
I have been writing & speaking what were once called novelties,
for twenty five or thirty year, & have not now one disciple. Why? Not
that what I said was not true; not that it has not found intelligent
receivers but because it did not go from any wish in me to bring men to
me, but to themselves.
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
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