Although German use of dummy tanks in France and Italy has not been extensive, such instances
as have been reported make it clear that the enemy is capable of imaginative work along this
line. For example, a typical enemy procedure is to site dummy tanks and real
antitank guns in such a manner, with respect to the terrain, that Allied tanks maneuvering to engage the
dummies will present enfilade targets to the German anti-tank guns.
It is believed that there are no standard German dummy tanks, and that local improvisation
is the rule. The reproductions have been sufficiently accurate to look like the real thing
when observed from a distance, but have been fairly easy to detect at close range.
Eight non-mobile dummy tanks discovered behind the AH Line in Italy were
particularly notable for the realism of their gun barrels which had been constructed
from telephone poles, with a recoil mechanism of stiff cardboard and a shield at the
point of entry to the turret. However, the general construction of these dummies was
by no means elaborate; for the most part, the Germans simply had used scrap lumber
covered with tar paper. The turrets were of plywood, but no makers' plates, numbers, or
other identification marks appeared on them; evidently the turrets, too, were of
The dummy tank shown in the photographs... was encountered in France, and is a
much better job. In the locality in which this specimen was found, all the dummy tanks
had wooden frameworks, but were covered with different materials, such as sheet metal,
canvas, or wood. The guns on the turrets were lengths of thin-gauge stove piping joined
together. One specimen had a gun made from a felled sapling. Evidently these tanks had
been prepared in sections, so that they could be transported to tactically suitable
points, and assembled there.