Victory and Deceit: Dirty Tricks at War

James F. Dunnigan, Author, Albert A. Nofi, With William Morrow & Company $25 (384p) ISBN 978-0-688-12236-2
By the authors of Dirty Little Secrets, this useful compendium argues that deception is the soldier's most potent weapon. The book's short entries reveal how military leaders from Ramses II to Saddam Hussein have made use of concealment, camouflage, ruses, feints and misinformation. Probably the most common use of deception in warfare is the ambush; Dunnigan and Nofi offer several interesting examples, including Crazy Horse's 1866 massacre of the Fetterman cavalry column. WWII saw more deceptions than any other conflict in history: the authors describe how the war's greatest tank battle, Kursk, was won through deception and how the creation of a phantom army (Patton's ``First U.S. Army Group'') kept the German 15th Army pinned in position away from the Normandy invasion beaches. The major deception of the Cold War, according to the authors, was the Soviet Union's ability to look more formidable than it actually was. Finally, Dunnigan and Nofi explain how electronics and the growing influence of the mass media have combined to change the practice of military deception in the 20th century. ``Deception,'' they conclude, ``looks to be a growth industry.'' (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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