Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guest Blog

Today's post is provided by my wife, as I have been commanded to have the car packed for our trip to Moab by the time she gets home, "or else..."

Pictured: Or else.
Dear devoted readers of NU14. Let me first apologize for Adam's severe lack of blogging in the last few weeks. He has been rather busy, what with getting a new job and throwing his back out while inline skating on the Wii (stories to follow soon I'm sure). So to halt the inevitable pitch fork waving mob scene that is sure to ensue if you are faced with one more day of waiting, I have agreed to provide today's post.

As today is April Fools Day, I thought that I would share with you a prank from WWII.

One of the largest scale and most expensive pranks in human history was kept secret for 50 years. The perpetrators were a team of artists in the U.S. Army, and the victim was Hitler. And what they did was more ridiculous than anything the zaniest of movie fraternities could have come up with.

After the American military landed in France after D-Day, they faced a German war machine that by this time was good and mad. Borrowing something straight out of Wile E. Coyote's playbook, they set out to baffle the Nazis with a completely separate army armed with nothing but fake inflatable tanks.

Yes, the tanks were literally inflatable.
What the Germans thought was a 30,000-man armored battalion was in fact a thousand artists (mostly art students recruited for the task) wearing fake uniforms, sending out fictional battle reports over the radio (complete with a war sound effects record playing in the background) all while trying to keep their tanks from getting knocked over by the wind.

They would then intentionally do a mediocre job of covering their tracks, so that German planes and scouts would spot them and report back about this huge army waiting at the location. The Germans had to completely rethink their battle plan each time, while the real American forces were sneaking around, causing trouble somewhere else.

How convincing were they? Well, it's thought they saved up to 30,000 allied lives purely with the power of BS. Oh, and some German units even surrendered to them. Which must have been pretty humiliating when they were marched past an armored division they could have taken out with a sharp stick.

Tune in next week when Adam will have another rousing game of "Guess that...", complete with bonus points and prizes!


Allison Hannon said...

Go Britt! Nice one.

Tiff said...

Love it Britt....write again soon!