WWII Sherman balloon tank

Discussion in 'Off Topic Lounge' started by blake7, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. blake7

    blake7 Member

    I came across an article on the news about dummy tanks used for the D-DAY invasion to miss lead the enemy forces as to where the allies were going to land. I did a little more research and found out dummy decoys were used as early as WWI. So I know there are a lot of modelers here that know a lot of military history, but I thought that this might interest them as well as those of us who are not as knowledgeable. Besides the picture I included blows your mind till you see that it is a balloon. I found a Chinese website that sells yard balloons including tanks for a price. Imagine these at Halloween, or Christmas. Here is an article about the decoys for the wars: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dummy_tanks

    Sherman Blow up  balloon.png
  2. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    I can imagine guys tying off huge tube balloons to make these things like you see clowns do at kid's birthday parties. It worked though, they used to have a few guys get under neath them and walk around shifting their positions to make them look like they were moving. They probably had balloons of Blimps!! :)
    blake7 likes this.
  3. blake7

    blake7 Member

    You almost caught me off guard. "Balloons for Blimps". :rolleyes: Thanks for giving me a smile. You know out of all the war movies I have seen (new and old), I have not heard of decoy balloons. Maybe they should make one, at least it would be something different.:)
  4. Revell-Fan

    Revell-Fan Co-Administrator Administrator

    INDEED! There is a very interesting documentary in six parts called "The World Wars". It showcased these decoys for the very first time on German TV (afaik). They were used to lead the German army away from the true place of the attack when the troops were landing in the Normandy. And guess who was hired to guard the endless rows of ballon tanks? Right - GENERAL PATTON! The Allied Forces knew that the Germans knew that they were about to attack but the Germans didn't know for sure where it would happen. So it was decided that a high and very well known (and dreaded) officer should patrol the field (better: parking lot ;) ) in order to convince the Germans that this was the place where the attack would happen. The Germans took the bait and assembled the majority of their troops around Patton's balloon fleet. When the real attack began a few hundred miles away from that place the Germans were very - puzzled, to say the least. :) It is said that without the decoys the united attack might have been unsuccessful.
    blake7 likes this.
  5. zathros

    zathros -----SENIOR---- Administrator

    They should have filled some with Helium and really have made the Nazi's poop n their pants, hovering tanks! Gen. Patton had to fill each one by mouth for smacking that kid who had shell shock. His cheeks looked like "Satchmo's" when he was done!!! Black Men were not allowed to inflate rubber tanks in WWII segregated America***;)


    ***I have no idea if that is true.

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