Inflatable tanks tricked Hitler

Megan Garber on how the Allies "saved thousands of lives by embracing the artistry of war." [The Atlantic]



  1. For inflatable tanks in WWII fiction, you might like Connie Willis’s Blackout/All Clear – this is where I first learned about them! :)

      1. It’s mentioned in the World War II series that run regularly on the History or Military channel (brief footage of inflatable tanks, etc.), and the story is certainly worthy of its own documentary.

    1.  Me too.  I had to go fall down a Wiki hole for a while – I thought this was one of her alternate-history pieces of trickery, but no!

  2. One our local artists in STL was a member of the 23rd. 

    Lovely fellow, a great teacher and artist. 

  3. I must have an inflatable tank for my front yard. Now would be good, thank you.

    And when you deliver it, just kind of…put the pen in the hand of the guy at the door, and sort of scrunch the tablet against the pen to get him to sign for it. Please don’t mind his squishiness and total lack of movement. He has a condition.

  4. Decades ago, I worked on a project where we had access to catalogs of ‘training aids’, including rubber tanks/artillery pieces in multiple sizes. My favorite was a suitcase that opened to reveal little tanks moving on tracks around hilly terrain, at which you were supposed to look through anti-tank missile sights for practice.

      1. Joke’s on Hitler again: the city of “Coventry” was actually just paper maché!

        (Seriously, though: death toll from bombing of Coventry estimated at a little over 800, versus ~25,000 dead at Dresden. Both were bad but Dresden was much, much worse.)

  5. The Ghost Army documentary is fascinating – I was fortunate enough to see it when they were taking around the university circuit for fundraising.  Even more fortunate that a few of the vets that are in the movie were on hand to answer questions.  Although it’s linked to via the Atlantic article, I think it’s worth calling out here, as PBS is airing it this weekend in many areas:–The_Film&display=500

    My personal favorite was hearing the vets talk about how they had multiple unit and rank patches sewn one over the top of the next.  As they drove around to different towns to masquerade as various officers making loose talk in public areas, they’d rip off the topmost patchs on the way to the next town and pretend to be four or five different units in a single day.  If I recall correctly, he mentioned it was great fun to start the day as a major and end the day as a private.

  6. Hitler learned a valuable lesson the day he went up against the citizens of Rock Ridge.

    1. Interesting. Something similar at the Boeing B-17 plant:

  7. This is totally wonderful. Looking forward to seeing the doc. But I’m looking forward to seeing the Hitler Downfall exquisitely-subtitled movie that is made in response to this.

  8. A couple books on the 23rd:
    “Secret Soldiers” by Philip Gerard
    “Ghosts of the ETO” by Jonathan Gawne

  9. My boss’ inflatable brain cell (yes, only one) somehow got the attention of upper management and fooled them into offering a senior position. I like the inflatable tanks and their outcome better.

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