Operation Fortitude – Fortitude North, Edinburgh Castle, City of Edinburgh.

AddressEdinburgh Castle, Castlehill, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh EH1 2NG
Location typeHeadquarters Site
AccessPublic Access
Site Ownership and Access Information?The site can be visited as a tourist destination.
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Fortitude North was designed to mislead the Germans into expecting an invasion of Norway. By threatening any weakened German defences in Norway, the Allies hoped to prevent or delay German reinforcements from moving to France following the Normandy invasion. The plan involved simulating a build-up of forces in northern England and political contact with Sweden.

After the simulation of the so called ‘British 4th Army’ arriving at Edinburgh Castle, the British were using fake radio traffic to make the plan even more believable as it was too far away for German reconnaissance planes to reach without being intercepted.

False information about the arrival of troops in the area was reported by double agents Mutt and Jeff to the Germans, whilst the British media co-operated by broadcasting fake information, such as football scores or wedding announcements, to non-existent troops.

In the early spring of 1944 British commandos attacked targets in Norway to simulate preparations for invasion. They destroyed industrial targets, such as shipping and power infrastructure, as well as military outposts. This coincided with an increase in naval activity in the northern seas, and political pressure on neutral Sweden.

Fortitude North was so successful that by late spring 1944, Hitler had thirteen army divisions in Norway.

Photograph courtesy of: www.visitscotland.com

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