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Post Info TOPIC: Dummy Tanks and Troops.


Legend

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Dummy Tanks and Troops.
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A little nugget from the Battle of the Selle, October 1918.

The North Staffordshires launched a feint to divert attention from the main attack. "To further the deception, three Royal Engineer carpenters constructed, at four hours' notice, 90 dummy figures and a mechanism for raising them. These were placed in front of shell holes in which the men operating them could lie. One man could operate nine dummies, tying the line that raised them to a tree stump, and then retiring swiftly.

Three dummy tanks were also provided, one a full-size replica of a Mark V, the other two profiles only."

Of the figures, a footnote says, "The BEF had used such a mechanism before, but these figures were constructed to a new design so that all could be packed in one lorry."

This is all new to me. Does anybody know anything?

 



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Legend

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Well, well. Some hopeful googling, and:

"The effectiveness of the dummies was proclaimed in a letter marked ‘secret’, sent by a Captain L B Kenny to Army top brass in February 1918. He wrote: ‘Last year a certain amount of success was obtained by the use of dummy attacks, either independently or on the flank of an actual attack.’ Up to 250 dummies could be supplied to any corps, and Captain Kenny suggested there should be ‘19 figures (spaced irregularly) per 50 yards, operated by 3 men’."

The diaries also tell how dummies had been used at the Battle of Loos in 1915. In a lecture on the battle Lieutenant Colonel Spencer Edmund Hollond explained: ‘We made several feint attacks, with dummy figures, cheering etc to induce the Bosche to man his trenches and then poured a heavy fire on them.’



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Sergeant

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James H wrote:

A little nugget from the Battle of the Selle, October 1918.

The North Staffordshires launched a feint to divert attention from the main attack. "To further the deception, three Royal Engineer carpenters constructed, at four hours' notice, 90 dummy figures and a mechanism for raising them. These were placed in front of shell holes in which the men operating them could lie. One man could operate nine dummies, tying the line that raised them to a tree stump, and then retiring swiftly.

Three dummy tanks were also provided, one a full-size replica of a Mark V, the other two profiles only."

Of the figures, a footnote says, "The BEF had used such a mechanism before, but these figures were constructed to a new design so that all could be packed in one lorry."

This is all new to me. Does anybody know anything?

 Hi

The book 'Conceal, Create, Confuse - Deception as a British Battlefield Tactic in the First World War' by Martin Davies, Spellmount, 2009, may be of interest if you want to look at the subject in more detail.  It includes images of various types of dummy tanks but does look at the wider context of 'deception'.  

 

Mike


 



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Legend

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Why, thank you kindly. Managed to find an online preview. https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Conceal_Create_Confuse.html?id=nSypDAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button&hl=en&newbks=1&newbks_redir=1&redir_esc=y 

Most interesting. Tanks used in feint at Arras to draw attention from Cambrai! New to me. Many thanks.

 

 

 



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