Military deception
Military deception is an attempt to amplify, or create an artificial fog of war
Fog of war
The fog of war is a term used to describe the uncertainty in situation awareness experienced by participants in military operations. The term seeks to capture the uncertainty regarding own capability, adversary capability, and adversary intent during an engagement, operation, or campaign...

 or to mislead the enemy using psychological operations, information warfare
Information warfare
The term Information Warfare is primarily an American concept involving the use and management of information technology in pursuit of a competitive advantage over an opponent...

 and other methods. As a form of strategic use of information (disinformation
Disinformation is intentionally false or inaccurate information that is spread deliberately. For this reason, it is synonymous with and sometimes called black propaganda. It is an act of deception and false statements to convince someone of untruth...

), it overlaps with psychological warfare
Psychological warfare
Psychological warfare , or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations , have been known by many other names or terms, including Psy Ops, Political Warfare, “Hearts and Minds,” and Propaganda...

. To the degree that any enemy that falls for the deception will lose confidence when it is revealed, he may hesitate when confronted with the truth.

When referring to military deception in military doctrine
Military doctrine
Military doctrine is the concise expression of how military forces contribute to campaigns, major operations, battles, and engagements.It is a guide to action, not hard and fast rules. Doctrine provides a common frame of reference across the military...

s of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 and Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, the Russian loanword maskirovka (literally: camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

, concealment) is sometimes used.

Large scale examples

Before Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on 22 June 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a front., the largest invasion in the history of warfare...

, the German High Command masked the creation of the massive force arrayed to invade the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and heightened their diplomatic efforts to convince Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

 that they were about to launch a major attack on Britain.

Before D-Day
D-Day is a term often used in military parlance to denote the day on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D-Day" often represents a variable, designating the day upon which some significant event will occur or has occurred; see Military designation of days and hours for similar...

, Operation Quicksilver
Operation Quicksilver (WWII)
In World War II, Operation Quicksilver was a sub-plan of Operation Fortitude, the 1944 deception plan designed to induce the Germans to hold troops away from Normandy in belief that the Normandy landing was only a feint and that the major invasion would come in the Pas-de-Calais...

 portrayed "First United States Army Group" (FUSAG), which was merely a skeleton headquarters commanded by General Omar Bradley
Omar Bradley
Omar Nelson Bradley was a senior U.S. Army field commander in North Africa and Europe during World War II, and a General of the Army in the United States Army...

, as a genuine large army group commanded by General George Patton. In Operation Fortitude South, the Germans were then persuaded that FUSAG would invade France at the Pas-de-Calais. British and American troops used false signals and the messages of double agent
Double agent
A double agent, commonly abbreviated referral of double secret agent, is a counterintelligence term used to designate an employee of a secret service or organization, whose primary aim is to spy on the target organization, but who in fact is a member of that same target organization oneself. They...

s to deceive German intelligence organizations and radio intercept operators. Contrary to popular myth, dummy equipment played a negligible role in the operation, for the Germans were unable to mount reconnaissance over English territory in the face of total Allied control of the air. This had the desired effect of misleading the German High Command as to the location of the primary invasion, thus inducing them to keep reserves away from the actual landings. Erwin Rommel
Erwin Rommel
Erwin Johannes Eugen Rommel , popularly known as the Desert Fox , was a German Field Marshal of World War II. He won the respect of both his own troops and the enemies he fought....

 and Hitler himself were the primary targets of this operation: convinced that Patton would lead the invasion, Rommel was caught off guard and unwilling to react strongly, as Patton's illusionary FUSAG had not yet landed. The Germans awaited this landing for many crucial weeks, finally concluding that it would not take place because of Allied success in breaking out from the Normandy bridgehead. Confidence and speed was reduced enough that the German response to the beachhead was weaker than it would otherwise have been.

During World War II, The London Controlling Section
London Controlling Section
The London Controlling Section was established in June 1942 within the Joint Planning Staff at the offices of the War Cabinet, which was presided over by Winston Churchill as Prime Minister. The purpose of the LCS was to devise and coordinate strategic military deception and cover plans. The plans...

, a British organization, and the Joint Planning Staff, the US counterpart, were responsible for devising and coordinating cover and deception plans.

Opinions on the value of military deception

The value of military deception is subject to a difference of opinions among military pundits. For example, the two books that are usually considered the most famous classics on warfare Sun Tzu
Sun Tzu
Sun Wu , style name Changqing , better known as Sun Tzu or Sunzi , was an ancient Chinese military general, strategist and philosopher who is traditionally believed, and who is most likely, to have authored The Art of War, an influential ancient Chinese book on military strategy...

's The Art of War
The Art of War
The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise that is attributed to Sun Tzu , a high ranking military general and strategist during the late Spring and Autumn period...

and Clausewitz' On War
On War
Vom Kriege is a book on war and military strategy by Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz , written mostly after the Napoleonic wars, between 1816 and 1830, and published posthumously by his wife in 1832. It has been translated into English several times as On War...

seem to have diametrically opposed views on the matter. Sun Tzu greatly emphasizes military deception and considers it the key to victory. Clausewitz on the other hand argues that a commander has a foggy idea of what is going on anyway and that creating some sort of false appearance, particularly on a large scale, is costly and can only be acceptable from a cost-benefit-analysis point of view under special circumstances.

As a more modern example, the British military writer John Keegan
John Keegan
Sir John Keegan OBE FRSL is a British military historian, lecturer, writer and journalist. He has published many works on the nature of combat between the 14th and 21st centuries concerning land, air, maritime, and intelligence warfare, as well as the psychology of battle.-Life and career:John...

seems to come close to Clausewitz' opinion in this particular matter, despite normally being highly critical of Clausewitz. In his book Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda he gives several historical examples of situations where one side held a great information advantage over his opponent and argues that in none of these cases was this decisive in and of itself for the outcome.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.