Letter shows D-Day training plans of Nazis in Normandy

Soldiers from Company E, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division wading onto the Fox Green section of Omaha Beach on the morning of June 6, 1944

Firing exercises were planned on the Normandy coast on the day of the Allies' invasion of Europe

A letter revealing that Nazi forces in Normandy had no idea that the Allies would launch their invasion of Europe on June 6, 1944, has been discovered in the archives of the Mairie de Longues-sur-Mer, Calvados.

The letter was written by the Prefet of Calvados and is dated June 2 that year.

It says: “I am writing to inform you that shooting exercises will be carried out by the coast on June 6, 1944, from 7-9 o’clock in the direction of the sea between Grandcamp-Les-Bains and Manvieux.

“Local inhabitants must stay indoors and farm animals must be taken out of the fields. Fishing boats are banned from going out to sea.”

The present-day mayor of Longues-sur-Mer, Roland Tirard, told broadcaster France 3 that, though it seems the Nazis were preparing for an eventual attack from the sea, the letter shows they did not know that the largest amphibious assault in history would take place on that day, as otherwise they would have organised something more serious than a training exercise for June 6.

It shows, said the mayor, that D-Day plans were, indeed, a well-kept secret.

The Mairie’s office confirmed to Connexion that the letter was found five years ago, by chance, by the mayor’s secretary, Jean-Pierre Poulet, who has now retired.

He was looking for other documents he needed at the time and when he found the letter, he realised its significance.

The local population who lived in the village at the time, have no recollection that the warning was in fact passed on to them, but remember D-Day itself.
Seventy-five years after the letter was received, the Mayor of Longues-sur-Mer intends to send it to the Departmental archives of Calvados to take its place among the records telling the story of D-Day.

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