“Battle of Deception” in the World War

  The two world wars that broke out in the 20th century, as the peak of war in the era of human industrialization, contained many elements of “deception”. When the two sides of the war are at a stalemate in a decisive battle, the deception of “concealing one’s own intentions and making the other party make mistakes in reason” becomes a lever for leveraging the balance of power.
  Since ancient times, “deception” has been a common method in human warfare. Rommel, the famous Nazi German general, clearly stated in his military book “Infantry Attack”: “Deceiving the enemy is the best tactic.” The two worlds that broke out in the 20th century As the peak of war in the era of human industrialization, the war also contains many elements of “deception”. When the two sides of the war are at a stalemate in a decisive battle, the deception of “concealing one’s own intentions and making the other party make mistakes in reason” becomes a lever for leveraging the balance of power.
  Making a fuss on military uniforms to deceive the enemy
  After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, the large number of lives engulfed by industrialized positions built by trenches and barbed wire shocked the participating countries. In the face of machine guns and heavy artillery, no matter how large the attacking group will be destroyed by cross fire. The European armies, accustomed to the naked and angry horses of the Napoleonic Wars, were forced to reform in fear. France, which had the most intense land battles in World War I, experienced the impact of the “Schlieffen Plan” quick-decision battle in 1915, and suffered heavy losses in the counteroffensive after the Battle of the Marne – after all, their bright blue uniforms and bright red trousers made them in The German machine gunners were so conspicuous in the eyes.
  As the war turned all of France’s resources into military service, French artist Lucien-Victor-Girand-Desovira had a whim and began to hand-paint patches of color close to the battlefield environment on military uniforms to deceive The eyes of the other party, since then, the real “camouflage uniform” has appeared.
  In 1915, in the Gallipoli campaign that opened the Dardanelles and established the Black Sea passage to support the Russian battlefield, the camouflage “deception” went to a new level. Under the advantages of the powerful navies of Britain and France, the Turkish defenders of the Gallipoli Peninsula led by General Kemal lacked food and ammunition, and could only use the advantage of the high ground to block the landing troops of the Allies. However, the bombardment of the enemy naval guns and the lack of ammunition on their own side made the Turkish soldiers can only cast cold guns in constantly changing positions.
  In the process, Turkish soldiers began inserting blades of grass, shrubs and branches into their shrapnel-shattered uniforms to avoid long-range viewing by Allied warships. This move brought a nightmare to the Allied troops who were attacking on the beach: in the eyes of them who were ready to charge after the artillery fire was ready, gunshots sounded one after another in the “woods and grasses” of the supposedly dead highlands, and the comrades around them fell in response. The camouflage and cold gun tactics of the Turkish army brought the British and French soldiers who had withdrawn from Gallipoli back to the Western Front. The sniper suit that covered the whole body with camouflage such as gauze and leaves – the so-called “Geely suit” gradually developed and formed.
  The invention of “observation tree”, “canvas painting” and “dazzling camouflage”
  In 1916, the large-scale land decisive battle situation of the First World War was formed again. In the Battle of Verdun and the Battle of the Somme, both sides who suffered from trench warfare began to pay attention to the role of artillery camouflage. How to guide the long-range artillery to destroy the opponent, and avoid being destroyed by the artillery fire by disguising oneself, has become the key. This made it possible to “large-scale” the French army’s creativity in camouflage in 1915.
  In order to be able to observe enemy positions closely, the French army began to use scaffolding, canvas, and wooden boards to create tall “observation trees”, allowing soldiers to climb and hide in the “trees” for a long time to calibrate and correct the coordinates of artillery fire. Large trees at the front of positions will be felled overnight and replaced with “Observation Trees”. This method quickly became popular, and was soon discovered and applied by the German army, so both sides tacitly erected “observation trees” in the “dead zone” between the positions.
  At the end of the First World War, the Allied forces, which were passive on the battlefield and had difficulty in supplying materials, suffered from the baptism of the Allied artillery fire, and the Allied countries, which were richer and richer, began to use aerial reconnaissance, so that the supply lines of the Allied countries far behind were invisible. In order to keep the limited supplies and precious heavy weapons on the front line and deceive the eyes of the Allied reconnaissance planes, the “canvas painting” became a magic weapon for the Allies led by Germany. The Allied armies began to cover their artillery positions, railways and headquarters with a lot of cheap canvas, and by “painting” on large canvases, they created false landmarks such as roads, mountains, and rivers to mislead the reconnaissance heading of Allied aircraft.
  On the sea, the sea attack and submarine warfare initiated by Germany greatly shocked the British maritime hegemony. In 1914, the then Secretary of the Navy, Winston Churchill, proposed to deceive German raiders and submarines by changing the paint of the warships, and to make it difficult for the rangefinders and spirit levels used by the other side to aim accurately through special pattern settings. In the end, Navy Captain Norman Wilkinson invented the “dazzling camouflage” for warships, which misleads the enemy’s judgment with large color blocks and lines with large color difference and high contrast on the side of the warship, thereby gaining an advantage in the attack.
  The “meat-stuffing plan” to lure the enemy to relocate to garrison
  On February 2, 1943, Paulus, commander of the German 6th Army, surrendered. The Allies on the Western Front also prepared to open up a second battlefield and return to the European continent. Before that, the Allied forces after the victory of the Battle of El Alamein were victorious in North Africa. The Italian army’s vulnerability in North Africa gave Churchill the idea of ​​hitting the “soft belly” of the Axis powers in the Apennine Peninsula with an uppercut. However, if the Allied forces in North Africa wanted to attack the Italian mainland, they had to cross the Mediterranean Sea, which could not ignore the 360,000 German troops and more than 1,400 combat aircraft on Sicily. In order to divert the deployment of the Axis forces and reduce the casualties of the Allied forces attacking the island, the Allies started the “meat stuffing plan” to trick the enemy into relocating to the garrison.
  On April 30, 1943, the body of a British major officer was discovered off the coast of Spain. The Spanish military, which was neutral and secretly pro-German, immediately handed over the body and belongings to the German intelligence services. The officer was carrying a top-secret document in his purse, which made it clear that the Allies would launch an attack on Sicily. Of course, the Allies did not go to great lengths to reveal their true intentions to the Germans, and the attack on Sicily was just the skin of the “meat”. The document continued to clarify that this attack was actually a feint attack, aimed at deceiving the German army to concentrate its forces on Sicily, and the Allies could take the opportunity to capture Sardinia and Greece… The ins and outs of the feint plan to attack Sicily were revealed.
  Of course, the overall situation is at stake, and Germany did not believe this “falling from the sky” intelligence. Just when the top German leadership was doubting whether or not to believe it, another “meat” was thrown into the pot: a dead man was also found off the coast of Sardinia, but the drowning soldier in the commando uniform was fully armed. , is undoubtedly the special forces who came to reconnaissance in front of the enemy. In this case, the Germans no longer have time to question. On May 12, 1943, Hitler directly ordered Sardinia and Greece to be the primary focus of defense in the Mediterranean, and used “strong evidence” to persuade Mussolini, who judged that the Allies would land in Sicily, the Western Axis. The army of the heart country began to gather in Sardinia, and Germany even dispatched two armored divisions to defend Greece from the key battlefield of the Battle of Kursk on the eastern front. On July 9, when the Allied forces actually landed in Sicily, Germany and Italy both believed that the intelligence was true: the Allied feint was really coming. In this battle, 227,000 German troops, which were weakened by division, were eliminated, and Italy also fell apart in the subsequent Allied offensive.