Operation Euphrates Plan

This was a British strategic deception plan created to deter any German ambition for an advance into Turkey from north-eastern Greece and south-western Bulgaria (July 1941).

The plan was posited on persuading the Germans that the British had substantial armoured strength positioned in northern Syria and north-western Iraq along these countries' borders with Turkey.

The 'story' promulgated by the 'Euphrates Plan' was that Canadian armoured units, equipped with the new US M3 General Grant medium tank, had reached Suez after shipment from Canada, then moved by rail to Palestine, and then entered a tightly guarded training area in the desert around Palmyra. As part of the overall scheme, the standard array of 'leaks' and rumours was circulated; Palmyra was cordoned off as a prohibited area to which access could be gained only by means of specially printed passes; soldiers wearing Canadian insignia appeared in various towns; money-changers in Jerusalem and Haifa were suddenly faced with the need to handle a large number of Canadian dollars; and passes and identity cards were carefully 'lost' in useful places.

The pro-Vichy French security forces in Beirut were also requested to watch for and arrest an (imaginary) French-Canadian deserter believed to be trying to escape to France by stowing away on a ship repatriating Vichy French personnel after 'Exporter'. Other elements of the undertaking were the deployment of dummy tanks, and trains of other dummy tanks loaded on flatcars under tarpaulins were routed through highly populated areas of Palestine.