In just a few weeks, the largest amphibious invasion in the history of the world will have its 70th anniversary. Operation Overlord turned the tide of World War II when more than 160,000 American, British, and Canadian troops landed on Normandy beaches (supported by more than 195,000 naval personnel in 5,000 ships) and began pushing into the European continent.
While you’ve probably heard of the D-Day Normandy invasion, you may not have heard of its partner invasion, Operation Quicksilver. That’s because the Quicksilver invasion didn’t actually occur; it was a spectacular deception.
In Operation Quicksilver, the Allied command took their most famous general, George S. Patton—the general whom the Nazis respected and feared the most—and put him in command of the 1st U.S. Army Group (FUSAG) stationed in Dover, England, just 21 miles across the English Channel from Pas-de-Calais, France.
FUSAG had no troops, except on paper. Its artillery units consisted of rubber inflatable tanks. Its transport trucks were likewise inflatable and useless for any real combat purpose. The group’s mission was to convince the Nazis that the Allied invasion would land at Pas-de-Calais, and not at Normandy, hundreds of kilometers to the southwest.
Nazi agents undercover in England bought into the deception and fed wrong information back to Berlin. The Nazi high command was so bamboozled that they continued reinforcing their defenses at Pas-de-Calais for days after the landings at Normandy. They were convinced that the Normandy nuisance was merely a diversionary force, and that the real threat lay with General Patton’s imminent attack at Calais.
Proverbs 7 and the Forbidden Woman
But you were expecting a post about Bible study and not military history, right? What does Operation Quicksilver and the fictitious FUSAG have to do with Proverbs 7?
We, like the Nazi forces occupying France, are under threat of imminent assault. “The forbidden woman” is not our friend, as wisdom ought to be (Prov 7:4). The forbidden woman seeks to slay a mighty throng (Prov 7:26), and her headquarters leads nowhere but the grave (Prov 7:27). Her mightiest invasions are assisted by the spectacular deceptions of smooth words (Prov 7:5). Be on your guard.
Remember that “the forbidden woman” in Proverbs is not any particular person, but she represents every enticement to sexual immorality that you and I, whether male or female, experience. If we don’t understand her true tactics, we’ll fall for her misdirection and continue reinforcing the wrong defenses.
Thus, in Proverbs 7, Solomon unmasks her deception. He exposes her true battle plan. He details her aggressive and seductive tactics so we might be ready to fend them off. Will you listen? Are you ready to engage?
The logic of the passage flows as follows: To prepare for battle, you must lock and load with Scripture (Prov 7:1-5). Know that those who look for trouble will always find it (Prov 7:6-9). The enemy’s tactics involve all five senses and few extra tricks, but they’re not hard to recognize if you have the sense to do so (Prov 7:10-20). Make no mistake, this battle is for death or life. Which of the two do you want (Prov 7:21-27)?
Over the next few weeks, I’ll unpack each section in more detail.