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What is your favorite “history is stranger than fiction” fact?(r/AskReddit)
During the Second World War the British secret service pulled a dead Welsh tramp out of the morgue, create a huge back story for him, put him on a submarine and then ditched his body off the coast of neutral (but Nazi sympathising) Spain. He was decorated as a high ranking officer with secret plans detailing the Allied invasion of South Europe (NOT Normandy). That, along with several other ruses, convinced the Germans that the Normandy preparations and eventual invasion was itself a ruse, and as such they concentrated a massive portion of their defence force in the wrong part of Europe.
Some brilliant misinformation and one dead welsh tramp helped save a countless number of lives.
If you’re interested, I strongly recommend you read Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre
EDIT – I am corrected, it was to deceive the Axis powers of plans to invade Sicily, not Normandy! Also I’m amazed how much attention this has received. Buy and read the book!