Jon Latimer, Author . Overlook $35 (356p) ISBN 978-1-58567-204-2

From simple low-tech tricks to the digitized crackle of false data, Latimer, a combat-experienced British intelligence officer, offers a wide-ranging history of military deception. He divides the ruses into their respective warfare modes—"Naval Deception"; "Deception in Air Operations"; "Deception in Counter-Revolutionary and Irregular Warfare," etc.—and analyzes the fundamentals of deception, "always aimed clearly at the mind of the enemy commander." Although the bulk of the book centers on WWII, Latimer also shows how the Hittites lured Ramses II into an ambush, tells the familiar biblical story of the Israelite commander Gideon and how he panicked a much larger Midianite soldiery, then looks at Venetian-Genoese rivalry in the Mediterranean. British decoy aircraft, Operation Bodyguard (one of 36 bluffs covering the allied invasion of Europe in 1944 that is a chapter in itself), and commanders and theorists like Eisenhower, German Generaloberst Franz Halder and China People's Liberation Army commander Liu Po-Ch'eng are all put through their paces, along with the now much talked-about "Hail Mary" maneuver that enabled coalition forces to rout Saddam Hussein's large army in the Gulf War. The end result is a broad study of military bluff and how it has influenced decisive wars, campaigns and battles. Perhaps it should be classified. 10 maps; 35 illus. (Nov. 12)

Reviewed on: 10/22/2001
Release date: 11/01/2001
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