Operation Quicksilver – So Silly, It Worked!

Hitler was thinking deep one spring afternoon. He knew that the Allied Forces were going to create a second front in Europe … but where exactly?

Where indeed?

He figured that a good location would be East of Anglia and southeast England. This would be where troops could threaten the Port of Calais in France. And that’s just what it looked like was happening. Yes, Hitler was a genius, a brilliant strategist.

general patton operation quicksilver
However, George Patton was there, along with thousands of troops, tanks, trucks, aircraft, and other war stuff that would make your average Joe pee in his pants. This massive buildup forced Hitler to keep troops stationed at Calais, even if more than a hundred miles away, the Allied invasion of Normandy has began.

Was Patton’s army that strong to make Hitler ignore the invasion of Normandy? He thought so. Little did Adolf know that good old George had a very big secret.

One fine spring morning in East Anglia, a British farmer has found out the real strength of Patton’s army. That farmer woke up to find a column of American stationed on tanks on his land. He noticed one of his bulls size up a tank and then lunge for it. The farmer, expecting a sad end for his bull, was more than surprised when, after impact, the tank started deflating.

operation quicksilver fake tank
All the tanks were fake! Along with the aircraft, trucks, and most of the troops. It was all part of Operation Quicksilver — a military plan that was made up to assemble an imaginary army group of set designers, artists, and actors pretending to prepare for attack. The tanks were inflatable rubber, the airplanes were canvas, and the soldiers were made out of wood. Soldiers (real ones) even used rolling tools to create fake tread and tire marks on the dirt roads. Quicksilver was so convincing (including hours and hours of fake, scripted radio traffic) that Hitler kept his panzer divisions in place across from the fake army long after the Allies stormed Normandy on June 6.

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