One woman was going and cleaning through her grandparents’ belongings in a garden shed when she chanced upon a rare find – a parachute dummy used on D-Day as an enemy mix-up strategy.
The 3-foot tall dummy parachutist made of canvas sandbag that unnamed woman found was just one of the 500 dropped over France on D-Day as a ploy used by the Allied Forces to compel the Germans to get to the location where the dummies were dumped, thereby, diverting their attention away from the real landings. It didn’t matter that they were almost half-short the height of real people as they would have appeared to be real when looking up from the ground especially since it was dark when they were dropped.
As the dummies – nicknamed Ruperts – were dropped in four various locations over Normandy, six SAS men came with them and played recordings of battle noises to attract the enemy’s attention.
That very same time, thousands of real Allied airmen were also released at the right drop zones in the wee morning hours of June 6, 1944.
The tricky move was called Operation Titanic and was featured in the 1962 production about D-Day entitled Longest Night.
How it got from Normandy, France to that garden shed in Britain remains a mystery, though.
“It is quite rare to come across previously unknown paradummies now. Back in the 1970s a whole batch of them were found on an airfield and some of them are in museums now. The woman vendor was having a bit of a clearout of her grandfather’s shed when she found it,” said Kevin King of Marlow’s, a Buckingham-based auction house.
The said auctioneer had sold the dummy for 900 pounds.
It was auctioned in company of a set of maps and orders used by Royal Air Force (RAF) squadron which was tasked with spotting the results of the bombardment against German defenses done by the Royal Navy on that same day.
-Article based on Mirror News