A while back I posted on the unintended consequences of too secret a secret codeword. Here’s a bit from Jonathan Gawne’s “Ghosts of the ETO: American Tactical Deception Units in the European Theater, 1944 – 1945” on an operation that was perhaps a little too clever:
There were a number of small feints as the Allies moved up the Italian peninsula. Operation ZEPPELIN tried to make the Germans believe that the American Seventh Army would attack from Italy over to the Dalmatian Coast. This was part of the strategic operation to keep German reserves in France from responding to Operation OVERLORD. Operation NUTON helped pin down German reserves so that the Cassino line could be broken. Operation OTTRINGTON was unusual, consisting of an attempt to portray a badly executed deception and then attack from where the Germans had spotted dummy formations. It was found to be difficult to develop a deception that could be seen through, but not appear as if that was actually what the Allies had intended.