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World War II Spy Kit:
The Great Nazi Intelligence Coup

Description of Documents



The documents used in this project are from the holdings of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and were part of the files created by General Eisenhower and his command when they planned Operation OVERLORD. These formerly highly classified documents have, with the end of World War II and the passage of time, lost their sensitivity and have been declassified as a result of agency representatives or Eisenhower Presidential Library staff members applying agency declassification guidelines. The documents may be innocuous now, but they reflect part of the history of World War II. In the spring of 1944, these were some of the most sensitive documents in the world and their release at that time would have had disastrous consequences.



1. Message, SHAEF to AGWAR, signed “Eisenhower,” dated January 23, 1944 [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 130, Cables (C.C.S.October 1943-July 1945) (2)]

General Eisenhower relayed his views on the OVERLORD plan to the United States War Department (AGWAR), the British War Office (TROOPERS) and the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Eisenhower emphasized the importance of conducting a successful operation and urged that the size of the initial assault be expanded to five divisions, specifying locations for expanding the assault.

2. Message, signed “Eisenhower” to USFOR [US Forces in London], October 3, 1943 [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 22, Churchill Winston (6)]

General Eisenhower talked about Anglo-American and inter-service teamwork and commented favorably on Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery’s visit to Eisenhower’s headquarters. Eisenhower also relayed a message to Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

3. Message, General [George] Marshall, [Chief of Staff, US Army] to General Eisenhower, January 1944 [Walter Bedell Smith's Collection of WWII Documents, Box 27, Eyes Only Cables 1944 Incoming (2)]

General Marshall commented on developments on the Italian Front and expressed concern over possible measures that the Germans might take to crush OVERLORD. Gave force levels and indications of possible German capabilities. Contains reference to MAGIC, a term referring to intelligence gleaned from the United States’ breaking of Japanese diplomatic and naval codes.

4. Message, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, signed “Omar Bradley,” to Marshall for Eisenhower [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 83, Montgomery Bernard (14)]

Montgomery reported on OVERLORD and recommended that the initial assault area is widened and five divisions are sent in on first assault. Also commented on ANVIL.

5. COSSAC (44) 10, January 11, 1944. To Commanding General, First Army group (Omar Bradley), signed “F.E. Morgan,” Chief of Staff to the Supreme Commander (Designate) [Walter Bedell Smith Collection of WWII Documents, Box 21, Overlord-Anvil Papers Dec. 1943-April 1944 (4)]

This document outlined the OVERLORD plan developed in 1943 by COSSAC. Although the plan was revised, it contained basic information on the locations of the landings along with objectives to be attained and indicated a target date of May 1, 1944, or shortly after for the assault.

6. Memorandum, Lt. Col. Donald F. Hall to Commanding Officer, PWB, AFHQ (Psychological Warfare Branch, Allied Forces Headquarters), December 19, 1943 [Charles Hazeltine Papers, Box 1, P.W.B. (3)]

Includes attached reports in French. This is a “trick” document with no relevance to Operation OVERLORD whatsoever. See if students can figure out that this document was prepared by someone in Allied Force Headquarters in the Mediterranean Theater with a sense of humor. It was prepared as a military intelligence report on the birth of Christ.

7. Letter from G.C. Marshall to General Eisenhower, March 15, 1944, plus attachment [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Miscellaneous File, Box 20, George C. Marshall Letters re use of ULTRA intelligence March-May 1944]

This letter and attachment outline the basis upon which the ULTRA intelligence was provided to field commands. Note that even now, small portions of this document have been excised for national security reasons.

8. Memorandum, Robert E. Baker for Chief of Staff (General Walter Bedell Smith was Chief of General Eisenhower’s staff at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force), February 3, 1944 [SHAEF SGS Records, Box 56, 381 Bodyguard Operation Bodyguard (971-1010)]

This memorandum outlined Plan BODYGUARD, the overall deception plan used against Germany in conjunction with OVERLORD.

9. Operation OVERLORD Cover Operation — (Pas De Calais) Appreciation, November 20, 1943

This document outlined in detail the Allied plan for deceiving the enemy into believing the main assault would come in the Pas De Calais area and thus was intended to divert enemy forces away from the Normandy beaches.

10. Message, General Marshall to General Eisenhower, April 29, 1944 [Eisenhower's Pre-Presidential Papers, Principal File, Box 91, Patton George S. Jr. (2)]

This message referred to political and diplomatic difficulties resulting from public gaffe made by General George Patton before a club sponsored by a British women’s organization. Patton asserted the “. . . it is the evident destiny of the British and Americans to rule the worlds. . . .” Marshall talked about Patton and his value as a commander.

11. Minutes of Plenary Session at Eureka (Tehran) Conference, November 30, 1943 [Combined Chiefs of Staff Conference Proceedings, Box 2, The Sextant and Eureka Conferences November-December 1943, pages 557-561]

This is a portion of the record of a high level meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Marshal Joseph Stalin, along with the Anglo-American Combined Chiefs of Staff. These minutes contain information on probable date for OVERLORD and supporting operation in Southern France and discussion of coordinating OVERLORD with Soviet offensive.

12. First US Infantry Division assault map dated April 1944, showing obstacles and defenses on OMAHA beach




Leaflet in French with English translation
(Le général Eisenhower s'adresse aux peuples des Pays Occupés)

Leaflet in Dutch with English translation
(Geallieerde troepen landen!)

Leaflet in Norwegian with English translation
(De allierte Troppers landstigning er begyndt!)

Leaflet in German with English translation
(Sternenbanner, London, den 23, August 1944)

Leaflet in Spanish
(Carta de América)


Situation in Europe, 6 June 1944 (Eisenhower, Dwight D. Crusade in Europe. Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1948)

Order of Battle OB West, 6 June 1944 (Harrison, Gordon A. U.S. Army in World War II, European Theater of Operations, Cross-Channel Attack. U.S. Army, 1951)

Overlord Area (Harrison, Gordon A. U.S. Army in World War II, European Theater of Operations, Cross-Channel Attack. U.S. Army, 1951)

The Final Overlord Plan (Harrison, Gordon A. U.S. Army in World War II, European Theater of Operations, Cross-Channel Attack. U.S. Army, 1951)

Allied Assault Routes (Harrison, Gordon A. U.S. Army in World War II, European Theater of Operations, Cross-Channel Attack. U.S. Army, 1951)


No caption (depicts Hitler and Mussolini)

Fascisti Repubblicani

Fuori i tedeschi

No caption (depicts the Allies)


OVERLORD commanders meeting, January 1944. L-R: Omar Bradley, Bertram Ramsay, Arthur Tedder, General Eisenhower, Bernard Montgomery, Trafford Leigh-Mallory, Walter B. Smith.

American GIs during practice run for D-Day, January 1944, England, Slapton Sands. Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3