"Cromwell" issued

Deputy Chief of Staff at GHQ Home Forces issues the coded order "Cromwell" to Eastern and Southern Commands; IV and VII Corps (GHQ reserve); and HQ London District. It was repeated for information to all other commands. It took up to four hours to reach troops on the coast.

On receipt of "Cromwell":

  1. Troops were to take up battle stations
  2. Certain civilian telephone and telegraph lines were to be taken over by the military
  3. Liaison officers were to take up their duties with branches of the civil administration

In many cases the order was erroneously understood to mean that an invasion was in progress and church bells were rung.