Inflatable dummy tanks were a critical tactic in battlefield deception

From their first use on the Western Front in 1916, heavily armed and armored tanks could sway the outcome of a battle with their presence. As such, armies quickly developed techniques to confuse enemies about the location and number of their tanks.

In the later years of World War I, the Allies built wood-and-cloth replicas of British tanks, hauling them into position with horses and using them to draw German fire away from their real tanks.

The uses and permutations of dummy tanks grew rapidly in the interwar years, with Germany in particular using hand-pushed and car-mounted dummy versions for training exercises.

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