"The storm lashes us, out of the confusion of grey and yellow the hail of splinters whips forth the childlike cries of the wounded, and in the night shattered life groans painfully into silence. Our hands are earth, our bodies clay and our eyes pools of rain. We do not know whether we are still alive.“ –Erich Maria Remarque
During World War II, there was a large push for recruitment of some of the best art students across the country to join the United States Army. They formed a “deception unit”, or a “ghost army” that appeared to look like a huge mass of soldiers, tanks, trucks and artillery. However, it was all smoke and mirrors, consisting of inflatable tanks, sound design, and clever applications of fake tank tracks overnight. Actors also met in pubs, planting false information. This distracted the enemy from the real troops who were gathering.
To learn more about this fascinating undertaking, which was only de-classified fairly recently, check out the podcast on the subject from 99% Invisible. (Photo from Retronaut/Mashable, England, c. 1939)