Operation Solo II

This was a British deception plan to support ‘Torch’ by persuading the Germans that the troopship convoys departing the UK late in October and early in November indicated not an Allied assault on French North-West Africa but rather an operation in the Middle East using these forces, which would also attack Dakar in West Africa as they were shipped round to Egypt (1 August/November 1942).

One of eight decoy and deception plan to shield 'Torch', 'Solo II' can therefore be regarded as a Middle Eastern counterpart to the Norwegian 'Solo I', and was accordingly planned and executed by Colonel Dudley W. Clarke’s Egypt-based Force 'A' rather than the London Controlling Centre.

The troops to be loaded on the ships steaming from the UK were given the impression that they were destined for a tropical area and allowed to believe that the ultimate objective of the operation was the Middle East, seizing Dakar en route. The men were informed that tropical kit and mosquito nets would be issued once they were on board ship; that they would be inoculated against cholera; and that they must not buy unwashed fruit at ports of call. The men were also lectured on the dangers of lice, malaria and dysentery, and the cooks were given special instructions on the preparation of Middle Eastern foodstuffs.