Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War

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The underlying premise of deception is to convince the “other” of something that is not true. During battle, it is more clear who the “other” is. However, some contemporary deception tactics are so complex that, to be successful, they must blur definitions of who is the “other.” Of course writing on contemporary deception techniques has its challenges, as the most elaborate and effective techniques are likely to be guarded for a very long time. Fortunately, military deception has a long and rich history. While its tactics have evolved to work in contemporary times, its general strategies have remained unchanged arguably since antiquity.

This book focuses on some deception tactics during the two World Wars. There are short takes on military deception before and after the World Wars (such as the US Civil War, as well as US engagements in Korea, Vietnam, and the Arabian Gulf), but the majority of the narrative is drawn from WWI and WWII. These are reported as stories – something more akin to a history lesson than lessons for a strategist (although there are elements of both). The stories themselves are engaging and written so that they can be read and understood at a middle-school level – perfect for inspiring young minds. Adult readers may feel that they would want more, and the book has only two-and-a-half pages of references. WWII has the greatest concentration of references in the bibliography, and most of the references have more of a historical reporting perspective rather than lessons for strategists.

From the perspective of historical reporting – especially for events during the World Wars – this book is an excellent primer. Its presentation can be used to spark interest in the subject matter. However, readers more interested in learning how deception and the strategy to carry it out is actually crafted will find this book wanting. Overall, an excellent book for younger readers, and a good primer for adults.


Reviewed By:

Author Paul B. Janeczko
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Candlewick
Publish Date 2017-May-23
ISBN 9780763660420
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue July 2017
Category History
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