Monday, October 18, 2010
MI5’s code name for an imaginative deception operation conducted in 1944 to persuade the enemy that British general Bernard Montgomery had been posted to the Mediterranean prior to the Normandy D-Day invasion scheduled for June. Capt. Clifton James, a British army officer from the Royal Pay Corps, who in civilian life had been a stage actor, volunteered to impersonate the deputy supreme commander and was flown to Gibraltar, where it was confidently believed that the arrival of his entourage would be reported to the enemy. The charade proved a success, apart from a drunken celebration in Algiers, reports of which irritated the teetotaler Montgomery. James later wrote a book, I Was Monty’s Double, which was made into a fictionalized movie in which he himself starred.