- The art of the Con
As they say, “anything is far in love and war”. Propaganda,
true or fictional has been used successfully to win battles and wars.
During World War II it was used to great success when the Allies were
planning their invasion of the European Continent. The Germanâ€™s had to
be thrown of course and countless methods were conceived to do the job.
The most interesting was the way they went about creating an entire phony
army in the northern part of Great Britain. Patton was the general of
this imaginary force, which consisted of rubber tanks, cardboard barracks,
wooden planes, paper anti-aircraft guns and fabricated communications.
While this ruse worked to perfection, the intelligence people
put together and even more complex strategy by taking the body of a recently
killed soldier, dressing him as a rather senior officer, and then loading
the corpse with carefully crafted documentation that showed the invasion
taking place elsewhere. Part of the plot had contained an element that
the Allied Commanders had to be convinced that the manâ€™s papers had not
fallen into the wrong hands when he died. This required infinite precision
and care. The body was then dumped into the Channel and allowed to drift
with the current. Oenologists had predicted where and when the Germans
would find it and they were exactly right.