following was taken from the January 1945 issue of The
Intelligence Bulletin. This publication was
issued by the U.S. War Department to military
personnel with the intention of providing helpful
information concerning the enemy.
A set of
German training instructions covering various methods
of deceiving Allied soldiers appears to have been so
successful with German troops in Russia that Field
Marshal Kesselring thought it worth adopting for the
German Southwest Command. Most of the tricks
suggested in these instructions apply to troops on the
defensive or in retreat. While some of the
methods are old stand-bys, others are fresh little
masterpieces of enemy cunning. The instructions
certainly do not leave much to the student's
imagination, but go straight to the business of
teaching him how to be barbarous by the numbers.
Here they are:
Divert the enemy's attention in the opposite
direction, so that you can approach him silently from
the rear and make your kill, or so that you bypass him
unnoticed. Make a noise by throwing stones.
Use small parties to attract attention while the main
body carries out the envelopment.
Draw mines across the road just in front of
a hostile vehicle, and kill the crew from
ambush as they climb out.
If a member of your ambush party who has been hit and
who has moved away from cover calls for help, do not
go to his aid immediately. The man who does so
will also be exposed to enemy fire.
Noise-making devices in the vicinity of wire
obstacles, as well as the use of dummies, can induce
Allied soldiers to open fire. In this way the
number and location of hostile weapons can be
If it is necessary for you to pretend to be
dead, lie down as close as possible to enemy
dead until the danger is past or until night
has fallen. A helmet pierced by
small-arms fire will lend added realism when
you are feigning death.
Mine deserted trenches.
Cut telephone cables at night, and draw one end into
an ambush so that hostile linesmen can be killed or
When hostile patrols approach, hold your fire until
the last possible minute. This increases your
chance of killing or capturing personnel.
By using single rounds from a 20-mm machine gun in an
armored car, you can make the enemy think you have a
heavy antitank gun.
By warming up your vehicle engines, you can imitate
the sound of vehicles approaching and departing, and
thus can simulate troop movements.
Put up boards with "Danger Mines!"
and a death's head painted on them.
Fence off the area with wire. Make
tracks around the resulting dummy minefield,
and mine them.
Patrols using captured vehicles often can achieve
surprise. Captured vehicles also can be useful
when you are trying to lure hostile soldiers into an
When your patrols approach populated places, they may
find it profitable to stop suddenly, fire a few shots
in the direction of the village, turn, and make a
getaway. The opposition is likely to disclose
itself by firing.
Patrols operating behind the enemy's front lines
should turn sign posts and notice boards to face the
wrong direction or to lead into an ambush.
the enemy locates an observation patrol, the
men should set up dummies, and depart so
that they may be employed to advantage
If a reconnaissance or combat patrol is observed by
the enemy and finds it necessary to withdraw, the
members of the patrol should hang jackets on the wire
or place helmets with the tops showing, to hold the
Cover weapon positions with boards, and camouflage
them to resemble the surrounding terrain. The
occupant of a position then can push the board up with
his helmet, fire at hostile personnel at close range,
and duck back into his hidden position again.
Place piles of straw or wood around gasoline cans in
the vicinity of your positions. If the enemy
approaches you at night, fire on these materials and
thus illuminate the attackers.
In a system of defense based on strongpoints, build a
dummy position between the strongpoints. At
night fire light signals to give the impression of a
continuous line of defense. Put up artificial
cover for the enemy in front of such a position and
mine it. Or else arrange that the exits lead him
into your field of fire.
Prepare dummy fuel dumps out of old cans and barrels,
so as to lure hostile air attacks.
Prepare dummy bivouacs and other concentrations by
using tents, wooden crates, and derelict vehicles.
At night, leave lights in partly blacked-out houses --
or keep small fires burning -- in areas well away from
Deflect bombing attacks by displaying swastika flags
prominently on knocked-out vehicles at a safe distance
from your own positions.