The Long Night ( *Spoilers* )

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Sun Feb 2 06:11:06 EST 1997

Subject: The Long Night ( *Spoilers* )
 No. | DATE        |  FROM
s  1: Jan 30, 1997: mbusse at (Marty Busse)
+  9: Feb  1, 1997: Adam Queler <queler at>
* 10: Feb  1, 1997: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)


From: mbusse at (Marty Busse)
Lines: 141

Spoilers for The Long Night

In article <19970128234927843.AAA271 at BBARRETT.SPEEDLINK.COM>,
 <bbarrett at> wrote:
> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> The following posts may contain SPOILERS for
> upcoming Babylon 5 episodes.
> Continue at your own risk.
> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> S
>  P
>   O
>    I
>     L
>      E
>       R
>         P
>          R
>           O
>            T
>             E
>              C
>               T
>                I
>                 O
>                  N
> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
> Note that JMS has expressed his public permission 
> that all of his messages may be reproduced freely.
> I give permission for my summaries to be reposted in
> any form, however I reserve all rights to them and
> the right to revoke this permission at any time.
> [ Summary: Love "The Long Night" as was moved by the sacrifice of the White
>   Star ship and her crew. ]
> #: 642510 S6/Babylon 5: Spoilers
>    28-Jan-97  11:55:02
>Sb: #642421-<<The Long Night>>
>       Thanks.  The White Star mission in that ep has definite roots; during
>WW2 to convince the Germans we weren't going to land at Normandy, our own
>agents were fed incorrect information, set loose...and then info was leaked to
>the Germans allowing them to pick up the agents and torture the information out
>of them.  This wasn't quite as bad as that, the crew at least knew what they
>were getting into...but there are often no good choices in war.
>                                                                       jms

Where did this info about Normandy come from?  It is true that there was
extensive deception before the invasion, but I am unaware of any
*deliberate* attempt to have people tortured to authenticate information.
The deception consisted of several elements. 1.  Every German agent in
Britain had been rounded up, and most of them had been turned.  The only
active agents of German intelligence in the British Isles at the time were
feeding the Germans information prepared by the Allies to decieve.   2.  A
phony American army, commanded by General George S. Patton, was created to
decieve the Germans into thinking the attack was going to be aimed at the
Pas de Calais area.  The code name for this operation was "Fortitude
South," and it was supposed to be combined with an invasion of Norway
("Fortitude North") performed by another non-existant army, this one
British.  Numerous signals deception (phony radio messages, etc.), as well
as extensive dummy forces and concealment measures that were deliberately
flawed, were used to convince the Germans.  3.  German air elements were
able to "evade" Allied air cover and perform recon missions over the area
where these phantom forces "existed."  4. Leaks of information,
facilitated by the resistance in France and by meager help from Soviet
intel, occurred that let on that the invasion was coming in the Pas de
Calais. 5.  Ultra signals intercepts confirmed the success of this

(sources: John Keegan's "The Second World War," 373-374, and 379, and
Richard Overy's "Why The Allies Won," 150-152.)

Examples of 4. where the individuals leaked information, but were killed
or tortured, may have confused you.  These were *NOT* planned by the
Allies to improve the effectiveness of their deception operations.  They
were already quite aware from Ultra that it was very effective.  

This is the second time you've thrown out something about WWII that is
untrue: both honest mistakes, I'm sure.  The first time, of course, it 
came out of the mouth of Capt. Sheridan, about Coventry, and can be
excused by his lack of knowledge on this particular subject.  The second time is your mistake:
there are plenty of examples historically of men being sent to their
almost certain deaths for very compelling reasons.  But this is not one of

I heavily recommend John Keegan's book if you want more info on the war:
it is well written, well researched, is informed by newer information
recently released, and is eminently readable to boot.  The Coventry story,
incidentally, is discussed on page 500 of that volume, and, due to
information that had been unavailable at the time the story first started 
circulating, is proven false.  Sheridan must have just skimmed that
chapter in Keegan's book, which I am firmly convinced will be (along with
his other books) read well into the future.

"A story to me is like a line on which I hang little baubles of incident"-Al


From: Adam Queler <queler at>
Lines: 36

Spoilers for The Long Night

Was the Sheridan explaining the Churchill-Coventry Scenario in "In The
Shadow of Zhadum" foreshadowing the sacrifice in TLN or is it just a
Adam Queler


From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Lines: 27

:I am unaware of any *deliberate* attempt to have people tortured to
authenticate information. The deception consisted of several elements."

That you may not be aware of it does not mean it's incorrect.

I ran across this information in an article in The Los Angeles Times about
8 years ago.  It was something of a big deal because the situation had
been kept secret ever since the war, and when it came out it caused a
great deal of distress (and discussion) about the ethics involved.

I called a couple of other people who I talked to when the article first
came out, and their recollection of it is the same as mine.

I'll try and get around to doing a search on the LA Times database, to see
if I can find the exact references, though I don't know if their search
engine goes back that far.


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