The Incredible Story of the Fake Allied Military Unit that Fooled Hitler Ahead of the D-day Invasion of Normandy

“In wartime, truth is so precious it should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies,” Winston Churchill told Joseph Stalin.

By Taylor Downing at Air Mail: General Hans Cramer was a German officer of the formal, Prussian school. Strict, proud and rigid, he did not take kindly to surrendering. Forced to admit defeat in Tunisia in May 1943, his army disintegrating around him, he insisted on wearing his finest dress uniform to the last. He and the general accompanying him when they surrendered to a British officer were dressed immaculately in long-waisted tunics, green breeches and highly polished boots. When asked to hand over their pistols they contemptuously threw them down at the officer’s feet.

However, on arrival in Britain some weeks later Cramer was in a rather better mood. Senior Wehrmacht commanders were sent to Trent Park, a magnificent Georgian mansion to the north of London, and lived in some luxury while incarcerated there. They were served good food, were permitted to take walks in the spacious grounds and allowed a ration of whisky every evening. Cramer had his own bedroom, sitting room and a batman to attend to him. The grandeur of the surroundings played on the general’s sense of self-importance. No wooden huts and barbed wire for him.

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