Inflatable Tanks, Paradummies And More Incredible Fake Objects From WWII

Deception was imperative during WWII, and sometimes to the trickery got very surreal. In order to distract the enemy, militaries would create fake vehicles, weaponry, soldiers, and even entire towns. And they were pretty convincing — if you didn’t look too close.


Inflatable tanks, utilized by a United States Army tactical deception unit (known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops) after D-Day


Paradummies (called Oscar by Americans and Rupert dolls by British soldiers), helped in case of an invasion by air to appear larger.

Rubber trucks, utilized by the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops of US Army to deceive the enemy

A Japanese decoy aircraft in Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, Japan


American fake towns, like this 26-acre one built onto the roof of the Boeing B17 factory near Seattle, USA

Sonic deception, developed by the 3132 Signal Service Company Special with some engineers from Bell Labs. They’ve recorded sounds of tanks and infantry units on wire recorders, and played back with huge speakers mounted on halftracks.


Decoy airfields in the UK, used during WWI and WWII. These included a few unserviceable aircraft, tents and huts in most cases, but some fake fields converted from former RAF ones had a concrete bunker. At night paraffin flares were added, and when Nazis dropped their bombs oil fires were lit to makde them think they were successful.

Artillery guns made of rubber, containing air instead of munition


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Um aren’t the factory rooftop fake towns a direct violation of the Geneva convention?