Thursday, June 5, 2014
The German D-Day Hero
June 6, 2014 is the 70th anniversary of the successful D-Day landing that doomed Nazi Germany to defeat. We rightly honor the thousands of veterans who contributed to the success, but many people are unaware that D-Day could have resulted in much higher casualties or perhaps defeat if not for the actions of one German, Johnny Jebsen.
Johnny Jebsen was an German Abwehr agent who secretly helped the allies. He was responsible for recruiting and running Dusko Popov who was set up as a German spy in England but was immediately turned into a double agent. The English used Popov (code name ¨Tricycle¨) to feed the Germans with believable but false reports with the goal of tricking the Nazis into believing that the invasion would come at Calais instead of Normandy. Jebsen knew that Popov had been turned, but he did not tell his superiors.
Two months before the Normandy invasion, Jebsen was arrested by the Gestapo. The English were concerned that he would blow Tricycle's cover and ruin the Calais invasion deception. Despite being tortured, Jebsen did not give up his secrets and the Germans remained fooled. As a results, veteran German divisions that could have been committed to driving the allies back into the sea remained uncommitted until it was too late.
No one knows what happened to Jebsen. He was never released by the Nazis from prison and was likely executed during the final months of the war.
For a great book on efforts to trick the Germans into not taking the D-Day landing seriously, I recommend Double Cross - The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben MacIntyre.
During June 2014, enter to win a free copy of Inherit the Wind Overturned by Design. This is an update of the Scopes Monkey Trial for the 21st century. This time, instead of basing the over-the-hill politician turned prosecutor on William Jennings Bryant, he looks a lot like Al Gore. Instead of Clarence Darrow, the feisty defense attorney is based on Ann Coulter. It's conservatives debating liberals, intelligent design vs evolution. It shares the message that intelligent design should be taken seriously, and not dismissed without any debate.
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