The attached Wikipedia article describes how key D-Day Code words - Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha, Utah, Mulberry, Overlord suddenly appeared in the Daily Telegraph crosswords in the weeks prior to the Normandy invasion in June 1944.

It would seem that soldiers from a US base close to a boys' boarding school used to mix with the kids and were reasonably free with these kinds of words.

MI5 were deeply concerned about a possible security breach. Were the American authorities similarly concerned, and was anyone disciplined?

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    It sounds apocryphal to me. The whole point of a code word is that will mean nothing to the enemy. Code words are not secret. – Tyler Durden Dec 28 '15 at 12:58
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    The Allied forces sold the Germans a massive bluff. Almost up to the event itself Hitler and his Generals were expecting the assault to come via the Pas de Calais. Normandy took them by surprise and they were ill prepared. You don't think that the fact that some school-kids had the code names of the invasion beaches (albeit not the real names of the beaches) and that they had appeared in crossword puzzles, wouldn't have caused some concern to the senior military staff? – WS2 Dec 28 '15 at 14:01
  • @TylerDurden but if you see an unusual code word in the crossword it is just natural that you begin to wonder if there is some other information attached (in the crossword solution, the definitions, etc), in plain view or coded. Imagine a crossword including "Overlord", "Sex", "Janus" & "William I". – SJuan76 Dec 28 '15 at 21:27
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    The Telegraph crossword was and is a cryptic (telegraph.co.uk/history/world-war-two/10789884/…) - a form ubiquitous in Britain but rare in North America, and much more difficult than a regular crossword. It is not impossible that the U.S. authorities were unaware of the feared breach until informed by the British. – Pieter Geerkens Dec 29 '15 at 13:32
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From my memory, the guy collecting crossword words was a teacher who asked his class for possible words. A kid lived near some barracks housing a portion of the invasion force and eavesdropped on them, and told his teacher the code words(albeit not knowing that they were code words, and not telling the teacher were he got'em). The British intelligence guys roughed up the teacher but eventually found out about the mix up. They didn't tell the American intelligence people as far as I know. The kid got a very stern warning and the teacher never asked his class for words again.

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    Got a Source for that memory? – FiringSquadWitness Aug 3 '16 at 2:00
  • I believe he is talking about Ronald French – NSNoob Aug 3 '16 at 10:05
  • I don't believe there was any need for eavesdropping. Accounts that I've read indicate that the US soldiers were free and easy with security codes when chatting with the kids. – WS2 Aug 4 '16 at 0:02

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