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Deception in War: The Art of the Bluff, the Value of Deceit, and the Most Thrilling Episodes of Cunning in Military History, from the Trojan Horse to the Gulf War Paperback – April 29, 2003


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Deception in War: The Art of the Bluff, the Value of Deceit, and the Most Thrilling Episodes of Cunning in Military History, from the Trojan Horse to the Gulf War + Strategic Denial and Deception: The Twenty-First Century Challenge + Man Who Never Was: World War II's Boldest Counterintelligence Operation (Bluejacket Books)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Overlook TP (April 29, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1585673811
  • ISBN-13: 978-1585673810
  • Product Dimensions: 1.1 x 6.3 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,453,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From simple low-tech tricks to the digitized crackle of false data, Latimer, a combat-experienced British intelligence officer, offers a wide-ranging history of military deception. He divides the ruses into their respective warfare modes "Naval Deception"; "Deception in Air Operations"; "Deception in Counter-Revolutionary and Irregular Warfare," etc. and analyzes the fundamentals of deception, "always aimed clearly at the mind of the enemy commander." Although the bulk of the book centers on WWII, Latimer also shows how the Hittites lured Ramses II into an ambush, tells the familiar biblical story of the Israelite commander Gideon and how he panicked a much larger Midianite soldiery, then looks at Venetian-Genoese rivalry in the Mediterranean. British decoy aircraft, Operation Bodyguard (one of 36 bluffs covering the allied invasion of Europe in 1944 that is a chapter in itself), and commanders and theorists like Eisenhower, German Generaloberst Franz Halder and China People's Liberation Army commander Liu Po-Ch'eng are all put through their paces, along with the now much talked-about "Hail Mary" maneuver that enabled coalition forces to rout Saddam Hussein's large army in the Gulf War. The end result is a broad study of military bluff and how it has influenced decisive wars, campaigns and battles. Perhaps it should be classified. 10 maps; 35 illus.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Seeming to be strong where you are weak and weak where your force lies ready in concealment, making your intentions seem plain enough to be credible when you're really ready to do something else these have been part of the art of combat since ancient armies fought wars. Written by a former officer in the Royal Welch Fusiliers, this overview of the history of warfare and its various examples of subterfuge describes various tactics, including tying lamps to a herd of livestock to simulate a moving army at night, false bragging at local bars, simulating the sounds of tanks on bivouac, and initiating an entire blizzard of radio communications intended for enemy interception. The examples run right up through the end run used in the Gulf War against Iraqi defenders in Kuwait. Recommended for students of military tactics. Mel Lane, Sacramento

Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Peter Tyson on November 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As an armchair historian I was intrigued when I saw this book on a topic not widely written on or understood in western military thinking. Covering deception from ancient history to the 20th century (and beyond) Latimer examines the theory and practice of deception in war.
Dividing the book into sections dealing with air, land, naval, tactical and operational deception and then providing a detailed look at how deception works at each level has proved an excellent way to break down this complex topic. Each chapter is also full of colorful examples of deception efforts in history (eg. the British in WW2 observed the Germans building a intricate wooden mock-up airfield. On the day of its completion they sent over a lone Lancaster and dropped a large wooden bomb on it!). The lessons from history serve to illustrate each point Latimer brings up and keep the book lively and interesting.
Latimer has excelled at making this a very accesabile book which while it provides the detail a military buff wants is interesting enough to capture readers with a more general interest. I was genuinely disapointed when I completed the book, wishing there was more to read!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of the seminal works for denial and deception (D&D) studies. It is pretty much a must-have for all D&D scholars. Unfortunately, the author Jon Latimer died in January 2009, and this book is out of print. Fortunately, through Amazon, I tracked down this book in excellent used condition through another book retailer.
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By NOYDB on August 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
Obviously written by a professional. Not necessarily thrilling, but a worthwhile look into the history of military deception. Seperation by chapters of deception through the various mediums and modes of warfare is useful. Nevertheless, the chapter on deception in revolutionary and counterrevolutionary warfare (insurgency) is weak in comparison with the book's treatment of conventional/regular war.
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