Operation Colfax

This was an Allied deception undertaking planned and executed at the request of General the Hon. Sir Harold Alexander’s 15th Army Group, to create the threat of a landing at Gaeta, on the west coast of Italy to the north-west of Naples, in order to pin two major German formations (September 1943).

Designed to reduce the vulnerability of the 'Avalanche' lodgement at Salerno to a counter-offensive from the north-west, 'Colfax' was intended to persuade the Germans to hold back Generalleutnant Eberhardt Rodt’s 15th Panzergrenadierdivision and Generalleutnant Paul Conrath’s Panzerdivision 'Hermann Göring'. Based on false reports from 'Gilbert' and other double agents in North Africa, 'Colfax' was launched too late, however, and thus began only after the two German divisions had begun their movement to the south-east.