The Musuem
Floor Plan

The Dennis Wheatley 'Museum' - World War II

November 1943 on : Deception Planning for the Normandy Landings ...

Unhappy with the draft plans, DW waits for Bevan ...
(Drawing by 'Mauro')

The members of the London Controlling Section
in 1944. The table, carpets, and the dancing faun
on the table all belonged to DW.

Click on the image to enlarge
Click here for a brief biography of each member

When Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin took the decision at the Tehran Conference in November / December 1943 that the invasion of Normandy would take place the following summer, LCS swung into action to create cover plans. DW described the following six weeks as among the most interesting in his life.

Taking his lead from a comment of Churchill's that 'Our intentions must be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies', Bevan gave the operation the codename Bodyguard.

Operation Bodyguard had many subsidiary plans. One was to persuade the Germans that the Russians were about to launch a major offensive against Finland - something Bevan journeyed to Moscow in January 1944 to arrange. Another (Operation Graffham) involved discussing with Sweden what they would do in the event of an Allied invasion of Norway, in the knowledge that the information would almost certainly be fed back to Germany.

Perhaps the most famous of LCS's schemes was the creation of FUSAG - the fake First US Army Group that was supposed to be stationed in Kent under General Patton in preparation for an attack on the Pas de Calais, while the real Expeditionary Forces destined for Normandy were being assembled in Hampshire.

DW told the story of how, when they were crafting their plans for submission to the Chiefs of Staff, they became increasingly long and set about by caveats. DW was worried they had become so cautious and long winded that they would be rejected, and set about persuading Bevan to shorten and simplify them.

To read the amusing story of how he achieved this, click here.

As DW modestly concluded :

'I was undoubtedly highly incompetent in the matter of staff duties. I took long lunches from which, at times, I returned slightly tight. I spent hours coffee-housing with my friends in the mess and the Air Ministry. I was lazy and indifferent about all minor problems to do with deception. But at least I saved dear, brilliantly capable but over conscientious Johnny from being given a bowler hat by pushing him into redrafting plan Bodyguard'.

References :'The Deception Planners' Chapter 14-16
Phil Baker pp 422 -3.
Craig Cabell Chapters 26 - 27.
Tina Rosenberg Chapter 9

Provenance:Private Collection