One of the military deception devices of WWII was the "Rupert", or as the Americans knew them "Oscars."

A Rupert was a 1m tall canvas dummy dressed to look like a soldier being dropped by a parachute. 

The dummies would be dressed in uniform complete with helmet and boots. They would be dropped in their hundreds, equipped with recordings of gun fire and exploding mortar rounds to make it sound realistic They were designed to  burst into flames when they landed and were fitted with self igniting explosive charges on their backs so that the enemy never found the "invasion force".

Ruperts were used to draw the enemy away from the beaches to be used in Normandy for the D-Day landings. They were dropped in the early hours of the morning east of the landing zone. From a distance they looked hundreds of parachutists being dropped by aircraft, convincing enough to draw some of the enemy away from the beaches.

The Rupert in the museum is a replica, but the parachute is genuine.



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