Did you know that some D-Day soldiers had their resolve tested by feminine wiles?

American soldiers behaving somewhat inappropriately with young Parisian ladies late in the war
(Photo: J. P. Charbonnier)
Lonely soldiers and sex are never far from each other, whether the latter is provided by local women grateful for their liberation, or more “professional” service providers. One particular unit of British paratroopers preparing to jump before D-Day found themselves at the attention of some lovely ladies… with an unusual purpose.
Lt. Col. Terence Otway
(Photo: British Army)
Soldiers of the British 9th (Eastern and Home Counties) Parachute Battalion were slated to jump behind enemy lines the night before D-Day to take out the German-held Merville Gun Battery. (The 9th Battalion was part of the 6th Airborne Division, the same unit that also famously captured two strategically important bridges on the same night (Read our earlier article – Taking Pegasus Bridge). In fact, the two operations happened a mere 3.5 miles (5.7 km) away from each other, and at roughly the same time.) The unit’s commander, Lieutenant Colonel Terence Otway, was concerned that some of his men might babble before the Normandy landings commence, and that a leak might plunge the operation into disaster. To test the secrecy of his subordinates, Otway recruited 30 of the most beautiful members of the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force to go around local bars in civilian clothes, pretend to be locals enamored with young men in uniform, and try to pry information out of the paratroopers. To Otway’s satisfaction, the ladies’ feminine charms proved ineffective, and all of his men remained tight-lipped about their upcoming mission.

Save 10% with our Independence Day promotion

An Independence Day-related propaganda poster from 1943
(Photo: Office of War Information)

On the occasion of the upcoming 247th anniversary of American independence, we are offering all our available tours, regardless of the year of departure, with a 10% discount until July 4, 2023. Book, pay in full and join us on any of our tours to let yourself be reminded on the battlefields of World War I and World War II that freedom is not for free and honor the sacrifice of the soldiers who fought and died for the noble principles we celebrate that day. Note that this offer applies only in case of new bookings, and it cannot be combined with other special promotions. If you have any questions related to this promotion or our tours, feel free to contact our travel consultants.

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Beaches of Normandy Tours review
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"I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in history that changed the world"D-Day Anniversary Tour, 2023
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