Fact Du Jour – September 12, 2019 – Operation Bertram

Remember those old Road Runner cartoons where Wile E. Coyote would put up fake signs making it look like the road extended beyond the sign?

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A scene from a Road Runner cartoon – sadly, Mr. Coyote’s attempts to fool Road Runner always ended badly…

Tuns out the British forces did something like that during warfare! “Dummy” tanks, landscaping, etc. were all used as a means of fooling Erwin Rommel’s German forces in the World War 2’s African theater, which was dubbed “Operation Bertram.”

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Dummy “tank.”

Deception during combat is nothing new. Sun Tzu, a Chinese war general whose writings have been accepted as gospel for war strategies and even corporate “warfare” in The Art of War, wrote about using deception in combat:

He must be able to mystify his officers and men by false reports and appearances, and thus keep them in total ignorance.

Sun Tzu also mentioned making your forces look larger than they are if your forces are small (and vice versa)…

It is the rule in war, if our forces are ten to the enemy’s one, to surround him; if five to one, attack him; if twice as numerous, to divide our army into two.

What are you waiting for? Go read The Art of War now! It might even help with your pub trivial pursuits! The basic “gist” of The Art of War is find the path of least resistance!

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