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
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.