World War II in the News is a review of WWII articles providing thought-provoking collection of hand-picked WW2 information.

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Camouflage during World War II

Use of camouflage (from uniforms and tanks to creating fictional armies) during World War II.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Uniforms, Nazi SS uniform & troubles, Nazi Memorabilia, Nazi Helmets.

OSS sabotage manual from 1944 will make you wonder if you’re being sabotaged today
The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was an intelligence-gathering and paramilitary organization created during World War Two, one that was so successful that it led to the creation of both the CIA and Special Forces after the war. The “simple sabotage manual” was printed in 1944 as a guide for OSS operatives and their agents. Most of the sabotage described is a breakdown of how various industries can be undermined from within. These sabotage operations are not about daring commando raids, but rather about the ways that employees can passively wreak havoc at the workplace.

Why World War II spy planes used pink camouflage
The pink seems bright enough to signal every enemy within five miles. This is certainly true when the Spitfires were seen from above. They stand out brightly against the ground. To make sure they were rarely seen from above, these planes were painted to fly just under cloud cover. Although the planes were ideally meant to fly at sunset and sunrise, when the clouds took on a pinkish hue and made the plane completely invisible against them, they were also useful during the day. Clouds are pinker than we give them credit for.

WWII-era photos reveal how aircraft plants were disguised as suburban towns
World War II-era photographs reveal how aircraft plants were disguised as suburban towns.

Al Albrecht, a member of Ghost Army, takes part in a special screening of the documentary film Ghost Army
The Ghost Army was a top-secret U.S. Army combat deception unit, leading enemies astray with techniques like setting up giant inflatable tanks and playing recordings of an army on the move with 500-pound speakers. "I drove a halftrack. I tell my children that was the biggest boom box you ever heard," recalls Al Albrecht.

Ghost Army exhibit and film shed light on the elusive phantom warriors
The U.S. Army's 23rd Headquarters Special Troops - the top-secret WW2 group nicknamed the Ghost Army - remained phantoms in the shadows. By setting up elaborate illusions the Ghost Army convinced the enemy of deceptions to influence their tactics. The University of Michigan is displaying material created by Ghost Army soldiers, as well as quotes from soldiers and a narrative text. In addition Rick Beyer will screen a rough cut of his documentary film "The Ghost Army." The Ghost Army used 4 main types of deception: The "visual deception" included inflatable rubber tanks, airplanes and other military vehicles.

Photos of camouflaged WW2 tanks and military vehicles -thread in Axis History Forum
Photographs of camouflaged World War II tanks and military vehicles thread in Axis History Forum.

Churchill's Wizards: The British Genius for Deception 1914-1945 [book review]
Nicholas Rankin's argues that the British possess a genius in deception field: camouflage, propaganda, intelligence and special forces. He provides glimpses of the Double-Cross System, by which MI5 fed intelligence to Berlin via made up spy networks in UK. Meanwhile Dudley Clarke became the hero of A Force, as the architect of decoy tank units and dummy airfields full of aircrafts, as well as subtler manoeuvres involving intelligence and signals hoaxes. Sefton Delmer aired "black propaganda" to Nazi Germany under the auspices of the Political Warfare Executive, to demoralize the enemy by telling them stories about the sex lives of the top Nazis.

The Civilian Camouflage Directorate: Team that 'hid' wartime factories
They were landscape painters, set designers and Royal Academy artists. More used to living the London lavishness, these were the people called upon to defend factories, ships, docks and air bases. Posted to Leamington Spa under the name of the Civilian Camouflage Directorate, their secret task was to camouflage key bombing targets. Led by designer Christopher Ironside and Captain Lancelot Glasson, the 250-strong group used a giant turntable at the roller-skating rink to create models that could be viewed in all weather conditions. From this came an array of camouflage techniques to confuse Luftwaffe.

Civilian Camouflage Directorate commemorated
Arts groups in Leamington have been granted £50,000 to celebrate the work of a secret unit which was based in the town during World War II. Sez-U Community Theatre and the Leamington Studio Artists were given the cash from the Heritage Lottery. It will be used to arrange performances, exhibitions, workshops and displays to mark the history of the Civilian Camouflage Directorate. The unit worked in secrecy dealing with military and civilian camouflage. Project leader Fergus Durrant is asking anyone who may have knowledge of the unit to get in touch with him.

Army camouflage battalion during World War II
Louis Dalton Porter was a "ghost soldier" with an Army camouflage battalion during WWII. Required to have an IQ of at least 119, they used their talent to mislead Wehrmacht. They were dispatched to Europe shortly after the D-Day Normandy invasion. A contingent of only 1,100 men, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops pretended to be a much larger, more heavily armed unit. The formidable fighting force the Germans thought they were engaging was actually a group equipped with inflatable tanks and artillery, fake aircraft, cast-iron paratroopers and giant speakers mounted on half-tracks that broadcast the sounds of men, tanks and artillery.

Camouflage: Conference to explore art of hiding in plain sight
What Iowa artist designed U.S. Army artillery camouflage during WW1? Need a hint? He painted the "American Gothic." Answer: Grant Wood. For the casual observer, camouflage --- the art of protective concealment --- is commonly connected with the military and hunting gear --- or fashionistas who aren't interested in "hiding in plain sight," but rather standing out in a crowd wearing a rainbow of camouflage designs. All aspects of camouflage, including artistic, military, scientific, magical, fashion-related and ironic aspects of concealment and deception, will be explored at a conference on the University of Northern Iowa.

1939 UK began to organise a unit of camouflage specialists   (Article no longer available from the original source)
On the outbreak of war in 1939, the British government began to organise a unit of camouflage specialists which would become the Camouflage Development and Training Centre at Farnham Castle, staffed not by regular officers, but artists. In the WW1 British painters had helped develop the art, refining the aesthetic experiments of Vorticism to create visually baffling 'dazzle ships' for the Royal Navy. By 1939, with the new reality of air bombardment, the government built on this achievement and commissioned a broad base of talent charged with devising an effective means of bewildering the enemy.