Operation Lurcher One

This was an Allied deception and diversion plan associated with the ‘Shingle’ landing at Anzio in the west coast of Italy (21/22 January 1944).

The operation involved the creation of a simulated landing at Civitavecchia, to the north of Rome. Here Allied naval coastal forces, primarily the PT-boats of the US Navy’s PT-Boat Squadron 15 carrying units of the US Psychological Warfare Service and operating from the ports of La Maddalena and Bastia in Sardinia, as well as the British motor gun boats MGB-657, MGB-658 and MGB-663, and British motor torpedo boats MTB-640, MTB-655 and MTB-659, cruised close to the shore at the designated location between Giglio and Giannutri islands, 55 miles (88 km) to the north of Anzio and broadcast at maximum volume the sounds of an amphibious assault being launched just off the coast. Other boats fired flares and launched fireworks to simulate the firing of heavy shore bombardment guns, and the British light anti-aircraft cruiser Dido bombarded Civitavecchia.