Operation Skye

This was an Allied deception programme based on the broadcasting of false radio traffic in Scotland in support of the ‘Fortitude North’ deception plan associated with ‘Overlord’ (22 March/summer 1944).

The undertaking was designed to convince German radio traffic analysts that the Allies were planning an invasion of Norway, and its success was attested by the fact that German forces which could otherwise have been moved to France were kept in Norway to guard against what was never anything more than a phantom threat.

‘Fortitude North’ was based on the concept of persuading the Germans that the British had a 4th Army, based in Edinburgh, which was being prepared and readied for operations against the German forces in occupied Scandinavia. ‘Skye’ was the radio deception component of ‘Fortitude North’, and as part of this effort radio operators transmitted fake radio messages between various locations to simulate the radio traffic that would be created by the real unit. ‘Skye I’ was the 4th Army’s headquarters, ‘Skye II’ the fictional British II Corps, ‘Skye III’ the genuine US XV Corps stationed in Northern Ireland (but with fictional units added to its order of battle), and ‘Skye IV’ was the fictional British VII Corps.

The wireless programme began on 22 March 1944 and was fully operational by 6 April. The British media co-operated with this effort by broadcasting fake football scores and personal announcements for non-existent troops.