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60071.  Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:42 pm Reply with quote

Question: In WWII, why did Britain routinely blow up its own tanks, ships and paratroopers?

Answer: Because they were inflatable dummies.

One of the most elaborate deceptions ever undertaken was staged in the months leading to June 1944 - the D-day landings in Normandy. From 1943 onwards, inflatable dummy tanks, aircraft and ships were amassed on the Kentish coast opposite Pas de Calais to trick German reconnaissance into thinking that the attack would take place there. Pretend radio transmissions and stories planted by Double Agents helped to reinforce the deception.

The decoy was prodigiously successful, tying up thousands of German troops 100 miles from the actual landing site, and continued alongside Normandy landings themselves. On June 6th a number of aircraft first flew over the channel towards Calais, dropping bundles of tinfoil which created confusion on German radars, and even dropping fake Paratroopers on Calais beaches.

It was not the first time that dummy paratroopers had been used, the Germans had used the same tactic when attacking the Benelux, to give the impression that more troops had actually landed. However on this occasion, the fake paratroopers were accompanied by small SAS teams who would play recordings of machine gun fire and make small attacks on German Troops, all intended to make the landing appear real.

While dummy paratroopers were made of a number of different materials, including American inflatable dolls, the D-day dolls were made of simple stuffed burlap sack cloth. They were filled with sand, straw, or wood shavings and were attached to small scale sized parachutes. They were small, only about 3 feet tall, and could be dressed in actual small uniforms.

Finally, another decoy used by Britain in the second world war, was the building great fires to simulate entire fake cities. By January 1943, over 200 Starfish sites had been built; most effective was on the night of 17/18 April 1941, when the decoy for Portsmouth, Sinah Common, drew more than 200 bombs and parachute mines intended for the city.

By June 1944, decoy sites had been attacked on 730 occasions.
lengthy web address
another lengthy address
To Fool A Glass Eye - Col Roy M Stanley
The Decievers - Thaddeus Holt

60241.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:35 am Reply with quote

If the Germans came anyway, they would pay a bloody price. The English countrysde had been transformed into a lethal trap. The precious few real heavy weapons had been carefully concealed behind the plywood walls of hastily constructed "country pubs" and "thatched roof cottages".

Sheep grazing in meadows suitable for glider landings were in reality packages of high explosives stuffed into sheepskins and pulled about on wires. Other potential landing fields were mined or hidden beneath artificial forests... seemingly innocent "berry patches hid elephant traps... false signposts were erected to make prewar maps useless and innacurate new maps were circulated [in which] major roads would suddenly end in overgrown woods [or] bogs.

The War Magician, David Fisher.

60251.  Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:50 am Reply with quote

Good to know that we were ready for anything, even elephants.

And I don't think they ever got round to sorting out the misleading signposts round here.

62398.  Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:11 am Reply with quote

Question: Why might the US Army blow up its own food?

Answer: To tenderize it.

John B Long, a retired mechanical engineer was lying in his pool, wondering about what would happen if a bomb was dropped in the water. He wondered how the shock-waves produced might effect his body, or even a piece of meat.

With the help of some of his friends, he constructed a 50 gallon drum of water in which he placed half of a tough cut of beef steak, they then lowered some explosives into the water and retired to a safe distance.

Long tells that “The drum totally disappeared. There were just little pieces of paper fiber all over,” after 15 minutes of searching, the steak was found on a nearby hill and cooked. It was found that the steak had been perfectly tenderized when compared to the un-shocked meat - and an idea had been born.

Long patented his idea in 2003 (6669546), and attracted the attention of the US military. By law the Army must use purchase the least expensive cuts of meat, which, along with the fact that it is processed to make it suitable for transportation, makes it extremely tough. Obviously they carry a lot of explosives anyway, so are currently testing the technology.,6903,220679,00.html
long link

62422.  Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:36 am Reply with quote

Link to Dad's Army


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