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15 October 2014
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Attempted German Invasion

by West Sussex Library Service

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Contributed by 
West Sussex Library Service
People in story: 
Ernest (Jim) Buckland
Location of story: 
London; Dorset
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
18 June 2005

In 1942, I was in the Royal Corps of Signals and was posted to the Chief Signal Officers Staff in London.

Each day we used to receive classified security reports of the German troop movements, aircraft losses and Naval losses. In one of these reports, we received information that train loads of wounded German soldiers with horrific burns were going through Belgium, back to Germany.

We later learned that there had been an attempted invasion on the Dorset coast, which had been beaten back by the use of FIDO — an oil system, which sprayed the sea and was set on fire.

I have never seen any information published on this incident. At the time, we were lead to believe it had been covered by “Picture Post” acting for the War Dept.

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Message 1 - Attempted German Invasion

Posted on: 18 June 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

I am sorry but this is a myth, completely without foundation, which refuses to die.

There never was an attempted invasion in 1942. By then Hitler was deeply committed in Russia and the last thing the Germans wanted was a war on two fronts.




Message 2 - Attempted German Invasion

Posted on: 18 June 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

This myth started in 1941, not 1942. See "The Second World War" volume II "Finest Hour", by Winston Churchill for a full explanation. I give an extract below:

"During August [1941] the corpses of about forty German soldiers were washed up at scattered points along the coast between the Isle of Wight and Cornwall. The Germans had been practising embarkations in the barges along the French coast. Some of these barges put out to sea in order to escape British bombing and were sunk, either by bombing or bad weather. This was the source of a widespread rumour that the Germans had attempted an invasion and had suffered very heavy losses either by drowning or by being burnt in patches of sea covered in flaming oil. We took no steps to contradict such tales, which spread freely through the occupied countries in wildly exaggerated form ..."




Message 3 - Attempted German Invasion

Posted on: 24 July 2005 by Peter - WW2 Site Helper

This myth started in August 1940, not as I said above 1941.

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