Solving the puzzle

In the build up to long planned invasion of Nazi occupied Europe, Operation Overlord, nervous tension dominated the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) headquarters. When a series of crossword clues appeared in the Daily Telegraph with answers that were closely guarded operational codewords, the spooks were spooked. Had the whole plan been blown by a puzzle?

The clue seemed innocuous: Red Indian on the Missouri. But the answer, Omaha, was the codename for the Normandy beach to be stormed by the 1st US Assault Division. On its own, this wouldn’t have raised any eyebrows. But it was far from an isolated example.

The innocent crossword puzzle. Or is it? By yoohoojuju (click for details)

In the weeks building up to D-Day, the Telegraph’s crossword puzzle had featured a series of answers taken straight from the codebook at SHAEF headquarters. Utah, Juno, Gold and Sword all appeared, all four codenames for other targeted Normandy beaches. These would be followed on 27 May 1944 with Overlord, on 30 May 1944 with Mulberry (the name of the artificial harbours to be floated on to the beaches) and on 1 June 1944 with Neptune – the codename for the naval assault on France.  

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