"X" and "Y" forces?

Discussion in 'Trux Discussion Area' started by BC610E, Jul 3, 2014.

  1. BC610E

    BC610E Junior Member

    Hi All,

    I've been gradually tracing the movements of 5 Wireless Group in the run up to D-Day. This outfit simulated the radio traffic of several British formations as part of Op Fortitude. The war diaries I have had from TNA show a number of signals exercises and simulations but finish at the end of May 1944, when some sections of 5 WG joined with the 179th Fd Co (Cam) Royal Engineers as part of "X and Y Forces" and the RE unit would continue with the war diaries, which do not seem to have survived.

    I have the text of an article by a former head of the Royal Signals Museum which mentions 5 WG departing from Portsmouth and landing at 0815 on D-Day, does anyone know the landing beach (Sword?) and any other details, like the composition of X and Y Forces and their objectives? The article further states that 5 WG set up immediately on disembarking and simulated traffic of the 7th Armoured Div. I have no more diaries from May 30th until October 44 when 5 WG were in Holland/Belgium and no longer engaged in radio deception.


  2. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    I never really got to grips with these special groups. There are passing references.

    X and Y were used in more than one sense. I some cases Y referred to Operation Fortitude which was to deceive the enemy into thinking the real attack would be on the Pas de Calais. X referred to Operation Bodyguard designed to deceive the enemy into thinking the attack would not be in France at all but in Norway.

    Two decoy groups of engineers landed on D day, though not as early as 0815. These were to establish dummy landing beaches and river crossings to lead enemy air attack, at night, away from the real ones. I do not know if wireless deception was a part of this.

    Y intercept teams were in action on D Day, both Army and RAF, both afloat and ashore.

    There are 'special wireless sections' listed but not further identified.

    All too confusing for my poor brain.

  3. BC610E

    BC610E Junior Member

    Thanks Mike, glad to see it's not just me who gets confused with all these special groups! When I got a recent batch of files there was one labelled "3 Special Wireless Gp" that actually had 5 WG stuff in it, so the archivists had similar problems.

    I'll try and reduce the photos of the last two pages of the 5 WG war diary, at the moment they are just too big to post here. I did notice the references to different "Forces" in various books, especially around the time of Bodyguard and Fortitude North, I think "W" was the spoof traffic for Norway, largely generated by the RN and codenamed "CLH". Your guess that the teams of engineers were involved in setting up dummy beaches and crossings and also included a radio deception team might hold some water, though. If the object of the radio team was to spoof 7th Armoured they would have needed only the "Playback" truck, it's wire recorder/player and a WS-19 HP radio, plus a minimal support team. I take it you don't have the unit number for the beach engineers?


  4. Trux

    Trux 21 AG

    No specific unit is mentioned. I Corps orders include a mention that engineers would set up dummy beaches on Band, to the east of the River Orne and between Sword and Juno. They would also set up dummy bridge sites on the Orne and Caen Canal. We know they did not set up the beach on Band as it was occupied by the enemy ling after D day. We know that sites were established at the western end of Sword as other units mention it in their records.

    One of the several small units known to exist but remain a mystery.

    I have not yet studied all of Gold documents.


Share This Page