Strategy, Sabotage and Spying

The strategy element of this theme is addressed in two case studies, one on the technological innovations of the First World War and another on the Mulberry Harbour initiative of World War II. Images included in this theme but not part of a case study are several Fougasse leaflets from the “Careless Talk Costs Lives” series. They warned that spies might be anywhere. There is also a poster size reproduction of one of the Fougasse leaflets. Finally, there are seven posters which warn of the dangers of "careless words" and "loose talk" and emphasize the need for "sealed lips".

In addition to these two case studies, there are several related case studies which can be found in other themes: the innovative technology of the First World War is discussed in relation to trench maps, aerial photography and trench raids in the three case studies included in the theme Mapping and Photographing the First World War. There are two other case studies relating to spying: C.K. Ogden was spied upon during World War I -- see A Voice of Reason: C.K. Ogden and the Cambridge Magazine included in the theme Telling the Truth. Also, four women were executed as spies -- see Shot at Dachau: Four Young Women Who Died for Their Country under the theme Women and War.

Pigeon Post to Lewis Gun; Cavalry Charge to Mark VIII Tank: Evolving Technology in World War I

The warplane, barbed wire, the submarine, the tank, the machine gun and poison gas first saw battle implementation during the 1914-1918 war, and yet it is evident that many of the elements of nineteenth century wars continued to play a significant part in this twentieth century conflict.

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“The difficulties will argue for themselves”: Mulberry Harbours and the D-Day Landings

The allies determined that Normandy would be the best location for a landing: it was a less-defended area at which an attack would be unexpected, and was close to the deep-water port of Cherbourg, which they hoped to capture once they had gained ground. Since the flat, open Normandy beaches offered no natural harbour, the forces would have to bring their own: man-made structures on which troops, equipment, and munitions could be safely landed, then reinforced by the regular arrival of fresh supplies and men.

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