Amock Comedy Magazine 1
But as he lay in his comfortable, and free, bed that night Tom worried that his memory
not being what it was, it was more than likely that he would forget the true story and every ver-
sion that derived from it. Best to write it down, he thought.
Centuries passed and Tom’s script, which Tom had been paid millions of dollars to write
down, came to a cinema multiplex near you.
So, learn this wisdom, dear budding writers, fiction is not fact, it is exaggeration of the
worst sort and if Tom could do it, so can you.
Both sides, the allies and the Axis, used deception during their conflict in World War 2 and some of these have
become well-known through the medium of film. Best known, perhaps, are The Man Who Never Was, I Was
Monty’s Double and The Wooden Horse. Less well known is the tale of the Allies building a fake airfield out of
wood to divert Luftwaffe bombers from bombing the nearby real one. It obviously didn’t pass muster as the
Germans responded by dropping a wooden bomb on it. Also possibly apocryphal is the story of the RAF’s efforts
to disguise the fact that
they had radar by
claiming their pilots’
unerring ability to
track down enemy
bombers was their
incredible night vision
caused by eating
But all of these pale into insignificance
when the truth behind the true deceptions
of World War II are revealed.
Who would have believed, for
instance, that the British tried to let the
Nazis know that they had recruited a
battalion for their army from the Waniga
tribe of Northern India. These animist
natives were said to have mastered the
art of killing their enemies just by
shouting at them. The truth was that the Waniga were a very small tribe and would never have been able to
muster the numbers to form a battalion. Also, only one of their number could actually perform the claimed feat
and he had to be drunk to manage it.
The Italians tried to get in on the act by claiming that they had a device which turned their battleships invisible.
This was to explain the successes of their midget submarine operations against the Royal Navy.
Not to be outdone the Japanese said they were giving the Imperial Army hydraulically powered stilts which
allowed them to march at 35 MPH, and were especially useful in the boggy Burmese terrain. This is thought to
have been a reaction to boost Japanese soldiers’ morale as they were mostly of smaller stature to their foes.
America tried to inspire its GIs by telling them each and every one would get the personal attention of a pneumatic
nurse if they were wounded. War may be hell, but it would have been a lot less fun without a healthy dose of
deception. It’s the kind of soldiering that would suit us just fine.