ROBERT LOBLEY was the guest speaker at this week’s meeting of Henley Rotary Club, talking about the preparations for D-Day which took place in this area in 1944.
Mr Lobley, who lives in Sonning, moved to the area 25 years ago and first lived in Checkendon. While walking in the woods there, he stumbled across a lot of hardstanding concrete bases in the undergrowth.
He learnt that the woodlands had been full of American troops during the Second World War, preparing for the invasion of Europe.
British intelligence set out to convince the Germans that an invasion would take place across the narrowest route of the English Channel. Using double agents, they sent information about troop build-ups in East Sussex and Kent and supposedly indiscreet details from officers and aristocrats about forthcoming attacks on the area around Calais.
It was even leaked that General George Patton would lead the invasion force, another red herring which misled the Germans and caused them to retain their main defensive force near Calais.