I’ve wanted to post about this for a little while, simply because I’m a big fan of history, and an even bigger fan of fighting battles without drawing blood. This whole story epitomizes that:
I like to feel the base when I ride to battle!
I know what you’re thinking: you can’t simply rock your way into Mordor, but that’s totally what they did. Just with the sound of an army instead of amazing guitar riffs. Oh and the tanks they had with them on this super dangerous & secret mission? Inflatable. These folks must have had the nerve of steel to do this, and they carried it out without a hitch for a full year.
I can’t even imagine the guts that would take. On top of that, their 20 operations throughout the war are estimated to have saved 15,000 – 30,000 U.S. lives, not to mention the lives of other nations.
There’s just so much I love about this concept: a high-stakes situation being played on a bluff. I know there are plenty of stories like this in history, including the fake movie in the Iranian hostage crisis, the cleverness of spies during the Civil War, among countless others; but it’s great to see what a mixture of ingenuity, artistic talent, and guts can accomplish. It’s a testament to the fact that big problems can be solved with a little bit of smoke and mirrors. Sometimes I think it feels easier to take the obvious action instead of betting on a dangerous side-route, especially when you’re dealing with something as big as World War II.
In plenty of stories that I write, I tend to lean toward characters that are not at all what they appear to be. I’ve made a werewolf pretend to be the victim of a vampire to fool an old man, and turned a cute baby into a coarse detective’s worst partner. It’s important to see that there are plenty of things that shouldn’t be taken at face value in life, but it’s also necessary to imagine: What if?
You never know if you’ll be cherry picked to paint the super top secret project of creating an inflatable tank.