The bamboo war: Japanese dummy aircraft of WW2

WW2, WW2 Pacific treasures

By Pierre Kosmidis

Photos: U.S. National Archives

 

Since antiquity, fooling the enemy was an important element of warfare.

1
A four-engined wooden bomber

The Japanese during WW2 used a series of decoy tactics, in order to fool their enemies in targeting dummy aircraft instead of the real ones.

2

Some of their attempts proved to be so successful that after the end of WW2 in the Pacific, the US Army photographed as many such bamboo and wooden planking aircraft as possible for examination.

3
A camouflaged dummy aircraft

 

Camouflaged "dummy" planes on Japanese airfield on Okinawa, April 16, 1945. (AP Photo/Charles Gorry)
Camouflaged “dummy” planes on Japanese airfield on Okinawa, April 16, 1945.

 

5
A dummy soldiers guarding the dummy aircraft