French Soldiers Hid Inside a ‘Dead Horse’ to Get Close to Enemy Trenches
During World War I, opposing sides sat in trenches for years on end, blasting each other to oblivion.
This created a problem: How do you sneak out toward the enemy trenches without being seen when you’ve already obliterated everything around you until the entire landscape is just a flat, barren expanse of charred dirt and corpses? Well, the French army had the perfect solution: Disguise yourself as a dead thing.
The idea came when a horse broke loose, ran wildly toward the enemy trenches and, unsurprisingly, got shot.
“Hmmm,” someone said, “look at that horse carcass — you could almost hide a soldier inside one of those.” Of course, hiding a soldier in the actual carcass would be crazy, but the idea isn’t without its merits.
So inspired by the idea, the French soldiers built a hollow papier-mache replica of the dead horse, with a gun port elegantly situated in its anus.
After dark, a group of soldier sneaked out into no-man’s land, right up near the German trenches, dragged away the dead horse and replaced it with the papier-mache with a sniper inside. He also had a telephone wire that ran back to his own trenches so he could send back reports of German movements.
They kept this up for three days before one German soldier spotted a man climbing out of the dead horse they’d shot a few days before. Of course, the Germans destroyed the decoy, but that didn’t stop the French from trying it again a few more times.