The Diamond Jubilee Procession itself was inspired by Canaletto’s famous painting, ‘River Thames with St. Paul’s Cathedral on Lord Mayor’s Day’, but the flotilla of boats is a persistent image in British history – the Spanish Armada, the evacuations of Dunkirk (and the Jubilee included a number of boats that participated in that maritime event), and a monumental event remembered yesterday, the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
Another fine story from Robert Greene’s ’33 Strategies of War’ comes out of this pivotal date in history. It turns out that when the Allies identified German agents operating in England during World War II, they didn’t round them up. Instead, they fed them false information. One of the biggest successes of this misinformation campaign (embracing your failed patriots) contributed to the successful subterfuge about the timing and location of the D-Day invasion in a rather bold way…
- “[The British] identified a double-agent, a colonel in Algiers. But he was a bit incompetent and the Germans were so often deceived by him that they ended up treating all his information as valueless. But they kept in contact, for it is always useful to know what the enemy wants you to believe. Allied Intelligence, with great boldness and truly remarkable perversity, had the colonel announce that the Invasion would take place on the coast of Normandy on the 5th, 6th or 7th June. For the Germans, his message was absolute proof that the invasion was to be any day except the 5th, 6th or 7th June, and on any part of the coast except Normandy.”