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See Also: German Tank Ruse

"Tank Ruse to Deceive Artillery" from Intelligence Bulletin, September 1943

[Intelligence Bulletin Cover]  
The following report on a German ruse in Tunisia in WWII was originally printed in the September 1943 issue of the Intelligence Bulletin.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department Intelligence Bulletin publication. As with all wartime intelligence information, data may be incomplete or inaccurate. No attempt has been made to update or correct the text. Any views or opinions expressed do not necessarily represent those of the website.]


U.S. artillerymen—and forward observers, in particular—will be interested in a ruse which was employed by a German tank unit in Tunisia. This tank force was located by a U.S. observer, who immediately prepared fire data to rout the enemy. Fire promptly got under way. At the second volley, the Germans put into operation a plan designed to confuse our artillerymen:

The Germans calculated the time of flight of the projectiles, and then listened for the report of the third volley. When it came, they shrewdly took the time element into account and fired their own tank pieces to conform with the strike of our own artillery fire. The Germans directed their fire first to one of their flanks and then to the other, at various ranges. Since our own artillery fire fell simultaneously in the same general area, our forward observer was unable to distinguish our fire from the enemy's and therefore could not register.

This continued for several minutes, with the artillery observer frantically trying to figure out the correct deflection and range. Then, by means of close observation, he discovered the technique that the Germans were using, and soon had them on the run.

As a U.S. soldier who took part in this action expresses it, "There's one thing we've always got to remember: in fighting the Germans, we're up against a cunning, imaginative enemy!"


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