U.S. Forces to Storm Beaches at Normandy
"Insides Sources" Tell of Plan to Fool Nazis
Sunday, April 8, 1944
New York- The Roosevelt administration has been carrying out secret reconnaissance missions to learn about German fortifications, airfields, and troops strengths in the French province of Normany in preparation for a possible amphibious assualt there, journalist Seymour Hersh said Sunday.
The effort has been under way at least since last summer, Hersh said on Walter Winchell's radio show.
In an interview on the same program, General George S. Patton said the story was "riddled with inaccuracies."
"I don't believe that some of the conclusions he's drawing are based on fact," Patton said. "That &%$#@* is nothing but a $%@*&amp;amp;% *&^%#$. But don't quote me on that."
Nazi Germany has refused to dismantle its massive fortifications along the French coast facing the English Channel, which it insists are legal and are intended solely for civilian purposes.
Hersh said U.S. officials were involved in "extensive planning" for a possible attack -- "much more than we know." Although the exact timing of the attack is unknown, Hersh said "it looks good for early June."
"The goal is to identify and isolate three dozen, and perhaps more, such targets that could be destroyed by bomber raids and short-term commando raids," he wrote in "The New Yorker" magazine, which published his article in editions that will be on newsstands April 17th. "Meanwhile the Allies are engaged in a plan to fool Hitler into believing that the attack will come at the Pas de' Calais, rather than further south at Normandy."
Hersh is a veteran journalist who was the first to write about many details of the Army's secret plan to build a "super bomb" in the Nevada desert capable of destroying an entire city.
He said his information on the Normandy invasion came from "inside" sources who divulged it in the hope that publicity would force the administration to reconsider.
"I think that's one of the reasons some of the people on the inside talk to me," he said.
Hersh said the government did not answer his request for a response before the story's publication, and that his sources include people in government whose information has been reliable in the past.
Hersh said Roosevelt, Vice President Henry Wallace and Secretary of War James V. Forrestal view Roosevelt's re-election as "a mandate to continue the war on fascism," despite problems with the U.S.-led war in Italy.
Last week, the effort to find concentration camps in Italy -- the Roosevelt administration's stated primary rationale for the war -- was halted after having come up empty.