Tuesday, December 04, 2007


"Trompe L'oeil"!

Def; Trompe l'oeil - A French term literally meaning "trick the eye." Sometimes called illusionism, it's a style of painting which gives the appearance of three-dimensional, or photographic realism. It flourished from the Renaissance onward. The discovery of linear perspective in fifteenth-century Italy and advancements in the science of optics in the seventeenth-century Netherlands enabled artists to render object and spaces with eye-fooling exactitude. Both playful and intellectually serious, trompe artists toy with spectators' seeing to raise questions about the nature of art and perception.

Well, Clive sent me another "good one". As you may well know, I am fascinated by D-Day and "Operation Overlord", the invasion of Normandy. Prior to the invasion, Eisenhower tricked the Nazis into believing the seaborne assault would happen at the Pas de Calais, across "The Channel" from Kent. To deceive the German observation planes, the local estuaries, creeks and harbours were crammed with dummy landing craft, made out of "odds and ends". A giant oil pumping head made from "papier mâché" was erected near Dover, while large numbers of inflatable rubber tanks, made by Hollywood special effects people, were positioned in the fields. Plywood vehicles and guns lined the roadsides. At night, convoys of trucks ‑ always the same ones – drove back and forth across the region. For the benefit of the Germans, a team of technicians maintained constant radio traffic between totally fictitious units.

This deception, a style of "trompe l'oeil", succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Long after June 6th, Hitler remained convinced that the Normandy Landings were a diversionary tactic to induce him to move his troops away from the Pas de Calais, so that a decisive attack could then be launched there. He therefore kept his best units in readiness there, until the end of July, desperately scanning an empty horizon, while the fate of the war was being decided in Normandy.

Hitler, Himmler, Goering, what a "bunch of losers", on a "par" in history with "dog shit". Anyways, back in the Good Old U.S. of A., this style of "trompe l'oeil" was used to deceive the Japanese into thinking some of our aircraft factories were....."well, elsewhere"! Check it out!

"How To Hide An Airplane Factory"

During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.












"Only in America!" Good one, Clive!


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