Original U.S. WWII Paradummy Gummipuppen Paratrooper Decoy Rupert Doll

Item Description

Original Item: This is an extremely rare U.S. WWII produced Paradummy. A paradummy is a military deception device first used in World War II, intended to imitate a drop of paratroop attackers. This can cause the enemy to shift forces or fires unnecessarily, or lure enemy troops into staged ambushes. The devices were called Rupert dolls by British troops and Oscar by American troops. In the film The Longest Day you can hear the German troops call them Gummipuppen which roughly translates to rubber dolls or dummy dolls.

This example is unlike the simple burlap sacks which were developed by the British forces. In fact, we've only seen a few examples like this and we found an original WWII photo of this style.

The head and feet are constructed of cast heavy dense rubber which has been painted in full color. the Uniform is cotton/canvas, the harness is web, the parachute is white silk and comes complete with all lines and hooks. The feet have two steel static line connections which prevented the feet from flopping during the drop. The dummy measures 48" tall and is in very good solid condition. This is an extremely rare and unusually part of World War Two D-Day History!

Military deception refers to attempts to mislead enemy forces during warfare. This is usually achieved by creating or amplifying an artificial fog of war via psychological operations, information warfare, visual deception and other methods. As a form of strategic use of information (disinformation), it overlaps with psychological warfare. To the degree that any enemy that falls for the deception will lose confidence when it is revealed, he may hesitate when confronted with the truth.

The Paradummy is a device first used in World War II that, used with other artificial paratrooper units, is meant to cause an invasion by air to exaggerate appearance, to appear larger than it actually is. Paradummies can also be used to lure enemy troops into staged ambushes. They were called “Rupert dolls” by British Troops and “Oscar” by American. When some of these dolls hit the ground, they explode and the pieces fly in every direction.

One of the most unusual deception operations for D-Day involved hundreds of these dummy paratroopers, known as “Ruperts.” Early on D-Day morning they would be dropped with several real paratroopers east of the invasion zone, in Normandy and the Pas-de-Calais. The dummies were dressed in paratrooper uniforms, complete with boots and helmets. To create the illusion of a large airborne drop, the dummies were equipped with recordings of gunfire and exploding mortar rounds.

These dummies led the Germans to believe that an additional airborne assault had occurred. The real troops would supply additional special effects, including flares, chemicals to simulate the smell of exploded shells, and amplified battle sounds. This operation, code-named “Titanic,” was designed to distract and confuse German forces while the main airborne forces landed further to the west.

While enemies are distracted, real paratroopers will safely land at a strategic location or the Allies could secretly drop weapons. These parachutes were very popular among the population because in the wartime period textiles were scarce: the material was used to make clothing.

The dummies were less popular and often ended up in a ditch. Not a totally unnecessary measure, because often the charges only partly ignited and might still go off. For that reason, Rupert dolls with their explosives were hardly preserved in their entirety. Components from the collections of the South Holland Resistance Museum and the Frisian Resistance Museum have made it possible to exhibit a Rupert doll in its entirety.
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