Secret camouflage tips of the WWII Allies: inflatable tanks and rubbish heaps

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9 Responses to “Secret camouflage tips of the WWII Allies: inflatable tanks and rubbish heaps”

  1. Harleymcc says:

    And Bill Blass the fashion designer

    In 1942 Blass enlisted in the army. He was assigned to the 603rd Camouflage Battalion with a group of writers, artists, sound engineers, theater technicians, and other creative professionals. Their mission was to fool the German Army into believing the Allies were positioned in fake locations. They did this by using recordings, dummy tanks, and other false materials. The US Camouflage Battalion proved to be more successful than the European Camouflage Battalion.

  2. angusm says:

    During the war in Kosovo, the Serbs created decoy tanks and artillery pieces out of plastic and plywood, which NATO then bombed. I don’t know how much it costs to build a decoy, but I’ll bet it costs more to bomb one.

    I’m sure there’s some Wacky Warfare Lab somewhere in the US that’s busy working on backpack-portable inflatable tanks. Issued at a scale of one per man, you just set them down, pull the toggle, and voila! Instant armored regiment!

  3. Flying Squid says:

    My grandfather worked at the DeHaviland aircraft factory in Britain during the war. It had bomb damage painted on its roof. I always thought that was cool.

  4. porn for creative souls says:

    Haha! Hilarious, while they were at it…

    Why not have cardboard tanks?!

    http://scophy.com/2007/10/30/art-tuesdays-cardboard-sculptures/

  5. kmoser says:

    Many of the inflatable decoys were made by the Patten Company:

    http://www.pattencompany.com/pt_history.htm

  6. 8runner says:

    In Switzerland they made their bunkers look like quaint chalets:

    http://www.museum-gestaltung.ch/Htmls/Ausstellungen/Archiv/2004/falsche_chalets/chalets_e.html

    …or alpine rocks:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Panzerturm.jpg

    So don’t trust that idyllic scenery…

  7. dave hutchinson says:

    Flying Squid@4 – that was because of the exploits of double-agent Eddie Chapman, who got himself out of jail in Jersey by agreeing to work as a spy for the Germans and was parachuted into Britain to sabotage the DeHaviland factory in Hatfield. As soon as he landed he turned himself in to the authorities and wound up working for MI6, radioing false information back to the Germans.

    To make the Abwehr believe he was still working for them, damage was mocked-up on the factory, I believe by a team led by a former set designer for the English National Opera.

  8. dakial says:

    You like camouflage? Here is how the english managed to make an entire plane factory disappear:

    http://www.katize.com/2007/09/06/how-to-hide-an-airplane-factory/

    What about that?

  9. Crash says:

    In the same vein is the remarkable case of the Abraham Crijnssen, a WWII minesweeper that manged to escape from the Japanese Navy by disguising itself… as a tropical island.

    One wonders what setting on the screws constitutes “island speed ahead”.

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