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"Japanese Ruses--Buna Area" from Tactical and Technical Trends

The following report on Japanese tactics on Buna appeared in Tactical and Technical Trends, No. 21, March 25, 1943.

[DISCLAIMER: The following text is taken from the U.S. War Department publication Tactical and Technical Trends. 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.]


The extensive use of deception and ruses by the Japanese is well known. Below are described two which were used in the Buna area (Southeastern New Guinea).

a. "Dummy" Snipers

An American patrol advancing up the coast was fired on by a sniper in a tree. They halted, located him, and apparently shot him down. They then advanced and were fired on again. This happened several times. Thorough investigation revealed that one sniper had been holding up the patrol, and dummies had been placed in other trees. After the Americans had fired sufficient shots, these dummies were dropped by a pulley arrangement. This caused the Americans to suppose that they had cleared the opposition.

In another case, the sniper's dummy was rigged so that it could be pulled back up into place; the sniper made the mistake of pulling it back up too soon, giving away his ruse.

b. "Short" Rounds

The morale and spirit of an Allied unit advancing under covering fire of friendly artillery was seriously affected by this ruse. Every time our guns opened up to provide covering fire for an advance, or fired on any target, the one known Jap 70-mm gun in the Government Gardens area also opened up and placed its rounds among our forward elements. The Japanese timed the activity of their own gun to coincide exactly with that of our supporting artillery. This made the troops imagine that they were being fired on by their own guns.


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