The Magician That Helped Defeat Rommel- True Story

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Psycho Mike
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The Magician That Helped Defeat Rommel- True Story

Post by Psycho Mike » 05 Feb 2004 17:09

http://www.channel4.com/history/microsi ... asper.html

EXCERPT:
Jasper Maskelyne is no longer a household name but, when Tom Cruise plays him in his forthcoming film, The War Magician, that might change. In 1930s Britain, Maskelyne was a star magician, and, when the Second World War broke out, his sleight of hand techniques came in useful during the campaign to beat the German army in north Africa. The Channel 4 programme, Magic at War, part of the Secret History series, tells the astonishing story of how one magician helped defeat Rommel.

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Vesper
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Post by Vesper » 05 Feb 2004 18:15

I've seen a program about that chap on the discovery channel, I've often wondered why his methods were not implemented into the defence of London. Surely those lights would have blinded the Luftwaffe when they tried to bomb London. It would have been a great weapon to use in the cold war against the Soviet bombers too.

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Tom Houlihan
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Post by Tom Houlihan » 05 Feb 2004 18:20

I caught most of that episode as well! Amazing is all I can say! The man was brilliant, or at the very least, quite inspired!!

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 05 Feb 2004 18:38

Interesting man! He wrote a book about some of his wartime duties and exploits. Among them, creating fake ground positions and airfields to deceive enemy flyers. Maskelyne also instructed agents slated to parachute into Axis territory in escape techniques (how to slip free from bindings, etc.) in the event they were captured and restrained.

Magic: Top Secret- Jasper Maskelyne. Stanley Paul Co. Publishers. London, 1948.

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 05 Feb 2004 18:42

Surely those lights would have blinded the Luftwaffe when they tried to bomb London.


The bombers might have crashed, causing just as much or more damage on the ground in populated areas. A great technique for the desert war or other rural areas.

It would have been something if they could have rigged up something on the chanel. Better for the planes to crash in the water than in the cities.

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hauptmannn
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Post by hauptmannn » 06 Feb 2004 17:12

I think this is made up. Another guy trying to get publicity. I doubt the figures he gave about the casualties were true.

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Eden Zhang
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Post by Eden Zhang » 12 Feb 2004 06:11

He received no decoration or honour in recognition of the part he played; official accounts of the war in north Africa made little or no mention of him


That sucks. I wonder why though...

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 12 Feb 2004 13:29

>>He received no decoration or honour in recognition of the part he played; official accounts of the war in north Africa made little or no mention of him <<


That sucks. I wonder why though...


Well, he was working with S.O.E. Maybe that has something to do with the omissions. Was there a chronicle of S.O.E activities in North Africa?

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Post by vonzhou » 09 May 2004 15:04

hauptmannn wrote:I think this is made up. Another guy trying to get publicity. I doubt the figures he gave about the casualties were true.


This is not made up. I saw a program on the history channel regarding this and many other ruses the Brits set up for Rommel. Interseting nonetheless too

Richard Stokes
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Post by Richard Stokes » 24 Oct 2004 23:38

Are you interested in the real wartime career of Jasper Maskelyne?
Most of the stuff on Maskelyne regurgitated in the Axis Forum is ridiculous bunkum.
For example, I would challenge anyone out there to give me solid supporting evidence that Maskelyne's war record can't be released til 2045.
(It's already been released, I've seen it, and it contains no earth-shattering information. Alistair Maskelyne, Jasper's son has a copy. )

I've launched a new website on Jasper Maskelyne.
The url address is:
http://www.maskelynemagic.com

I examine in detail David Fisher's error-ridden
concoction, "The War Magician"(1983) and Maskelyne's
own tainted ghost-written memoirs, "Magic Top
Secret(1949).
I also interview in depth Alistair Maskelyne, Jasper's
son who lives in Queensland, Australia. He worked with
his father for a short period after the war.

David Fisher is about to re-release the War Magician
in hardback this month.
And Paramount and Tom Cruise still claim they are
planning to make a movie about Jasper based on
Fisher's account.
But inside sources, Alistair Maskelyne and his
wife,Bettina, tell me that Peter Weir, the director,
has read my material in its original printed form and
has now pulled out of the project.

Please, let's be more serious about these matters.

Yours sincerely

Richard Stokes

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White Leopard
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Post by White Leopard » 10 Nov 2004 18:34

Interesting man! He wrote a book about some of his wartime duties and exploits. Among them, creating fake ground positions and airfields to deceive enemy flyers


Much of this work was the British turning some of Rommel's own stunts against him. He had constructed wooden covers for trucks and small vehicles that made them look tanks. This was dubbed the "Cardboard Divison". Another ruse was having trucks drag tarplins behind them to create dust clouds which would make the British think that on-coming forces were greater in number than they actually were.

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Gerry Chester
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Post by Gerry Chester » 12 Nov 2004 18:49

Richard Stokes wrote:Most of the stuff on Maskelyne regurgitated in the Axis Forum is ridiculous bunkum.
For example, I would challenge anyone out there to give me solid supporting evidence that Maskelyne's war record can't be released til 2045.


Agreed, indeed rubbish - so much ill-informed conjecture, which hopefully will cease when the details that are locked in the bowels of the Record Office, under the Official Secrets Act, are released in 2020.

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red devil
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Post by red devil » 01 Jan 2005 10:55

Is this the story of the theatre folk who assisted Montgomery? They had stagehands, scenery experts etc who "built" a phoney army way south of the real 8th Armies positions to fool Rommel into thinking the push would be on two fronts and thereby splitting his forces. Even phoney radio traffic took place over the airwaves between the two "amies". The actors, played out their roles in disinformation exercises and "accidental" sightings by Axis Forces.

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Michael Emrys
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Post by Michael Emrys » 17 Jan 2005 04:38

White Leopard wrote:
Interesting man! He wrote a book about some of his wartime duties and exploits. Among them, creating fake ground positions and airfields to deceive enemy flyers


Much of this work was the British turning some of Rommel's own stunts against him. He had constructed wooden covers for trucks and small vehicles that made them look tanks. This was dubbed the "Cardboard Divison". Another ruse was having trucks drag tarplins behind them to create dust clouds which would make the British think that on-coming forces were greater in number than they actually were.


Another trick that Rommel used just before the battle of the Gazala position May-June 1942 involved aircraft engines and propellors mounted on Volkswagen chassis. He wanted to create the impression that he was massing his armor in the middle of his line, so he had these vehicles drive towards the line, blowing up huge dustclouds in the day time, while his actual armor was moving at night towards assembly areas on the southern end of the line.

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Benny C.
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Post by Benny C. » 14 Feb 2005 15:34

Jasper was a very clever man but I think his wartime contribution is greatly over-rated.

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