Being deployed in the warzone is no joke at all. You fight natural enemies with real guns and grenades. All moves must be planned and mastered accordingly to ensure that the results would be favorable. However, some instances proved how these soldiers sometimes had to incorporate their prankster bones to gain an advantage over the enemies or maybe to annoy them (or even their allies). These were three instances.

Wood for Wood

Panzer-attrappen of Reichswehr ; German dummy tanks ; attrappen or Tankattrappen. (IWM, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

What else is left to do when you find your side losing in the raging battle that didn’t seem to have an ending but pretending to look more powerful than you already are in hopes of intimidating the enemy forces?

That was what the Germans did during World War II, in the heat of the war in Europe. Their ingenious solution was to set up fake airfields with planes made of plywood, wood, ropes, and canvas called Attrappen. This sounded like a stupid idea as one could differentiate a wooden, nonfunctional plane from real things. However, it would be so much different if the observer were from 30,000 feet above. As Lt. Col. Werner Thiel, who was a young Luftwaffe pilot back in 1943, recalled,

“At the end of October 1943, there was a general warning that we activated the light beacons and moved the aircraft from the fictitious airfield. We had a dozen fake planes made of wood, plywood, canvas and ropes. “

The Allied forces did not immediately realize the decoy, but when they did, their response to let them know that they were not fooling anyone was equally devastating.

They flew bombing raids over the German’s fake wooden airfields and dropped bombs of the same materials. The Germans hid for cover and waited for several minutes. When nothing happened, the Germans came from their hiding spots and inspected the “bombs” only to realize they were also made of wood. Many had the phrase “Wood for Wood” painted on them.

Some were skeptical about whether such an event happened or not, although it wasn’t the only instance that such a psychological approach was made. For example, before the Normandy Landings, the US Army formed a unit called the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops composed of artists and show business people to confuse the Germans.

Pranking the Marines

The rivalry between units on the same side is pretty rare. However, during World War II, there was an instance when the US Marines had a friendly rivalry with the elite group of Navy sailors known as the frogmen, who were the Navy SEALs of WWII.