In the month leading as much as the Allied invasion of Normandy in world War II, a collection of very certain words started appearing in the crossword section of a renowned British newspaper.

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Starting around May 2, 1944, code words for specific parts of the “D-Day” operation — which would kick turn off in earnest June 6 — began popping up together answers in the day-to-day Telegraph’s crosswords. The strange coincidence, understood by some the Crossword scare of 1944, led British intelligence to question the puzzles’ creator.


According come an write-up from the Telegraph in 2014 and also a brothers online background magazine, the answer included the code names the the beaches where Allied forces would ultimately go ashore, consisting of the U.S. sectors code-named Utah and Omaha, and also other parts of the invasion. One puzzle included the prize “Mulberry,” likely after the synthetic harbors the were to be anchored turn off the coastline of France to aid move devices to the beaches. On May 27, another question’s solution was the code name because that the whole invasion: overlord.


It is unclear which puzzle caused investigators to monitor down that was composing them, yet according to historic UK, two police officers were sent out to Surrey, England, in might or at an early stage June to question Leonard Dawe. Dawe, 54, to be headmaster of the Strand boys’ school. He denied any type of intent come disclose classified information and also was never ever charged. MI5 chalked it approximately coincidence. In one appended note to the post in historical UK, however, a previous student at Strand readily available a potential explanation because that Dawe’s consist of of the codewords.

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“Mr. Dawe was a compiler that puzzles because that the daily Telegraph and also it was often his practice to speak to in 6th formers and ask them because that words for inclusion,” Richard S. Wallington wrote to the british site. “At that time, the U.S. Forces were liberally strewn with Surrey, an especially in the Epsom area, and there is no doubt that boys heard these password words being bandied about and innocently passed them on.”


Operation Overlord, or D-Day, together it has involved be known, was among the pivotal moment of civilization War II and also was extended in a shroud that secrecy to maximize the facet of surprise. Much more than 100,000 ally troops jumped from planes, landed in gliders and trudged ashore indigenous landing craft onto the fields and also beaches of northern France. Lock faced heavy German resistance and had to contend with thick hedgerows the impeded their advance and provided a organic bunker mechanism for German troops. By the end of July 1944, an ext than 300,000 native both sides had been wounded or killed.