1st Army Camouflage Section, North Africa April 1943

Discussion in 'British Army Units - Others' started by Mike Selcon, Jan 22, 2019.

  1. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    While researching a Royal Engineer Service Record from WW@ I found that he had been posted to 9 Corps Camouflage Section and then to 1st Army Camouflage Section in February and April 1943. Can anyone tell me exactly what Camouflage Sections did? Pre war he had been a carpenter and joiner and I am wondering whether his pre war skills were being utilised to build dummy vehicles, tanks etc??


  2. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

  3. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    From my fathers notes just prior to Alamein he was with 5 RHA.

    In the evening we began to move, not a word to us of what we were
    about, as we moved a coloured Battalion’s troops erected a decoy in the
    position we were situated ,they put up canvas mock-ups in our place.

    From Wiki.
    The British Middle East Command Camouflage Directorate (also known as the Camouflage Unit or Camouflage Branch)[2] organised major deception operations for Middle East Command in the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War. It provided camouflage during the Siege of Tobruk; a dummy railhead at Misheifa, and the largest of all, Operation Bertram, the army-scale deception for the decisive battle of El Alamein in October 1942. The successful deception was praised publicly by Winston Churchill.
  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Jasper Maskelyne - Wikipedia

    2 books I have read covering this are:

    Masquerade (The Amazing Camoflage Deceptions os WW2) - Seymour Reit

    Trojan Horses - Martin Young & Robbie Stamp

  5. Mike Selcon

    Mike Selcon Member

    Thank you all this is fantastic
    Best regards

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    I was watching a programme the other evening about the US equivalent - Ghost Army

    Ghost Army - Wikipedia
    This is the trailer to the programme I watched -

  7. Chris C

    Chris C Canadian

    It's really interesting to think that Mike's father might have been one of those who constructed the screens to disguise tanks as trucks (or to create dummy tanks) for Operation Bertram!

    P.S. there are some aerial photos of a Crusader and a dummy Crusader tank on my blog - found them in the Canadian archives - Dummy tanks
  8. Aixman

    Aixman War Establishment addict Patron

    From the War Establishment point of view:

    XII/200/1 Camouflage Section, North Africa
    Effective date 7th January, 1943
    Notified in A.C.Is. 31st March, 1943

    Section headquarters
    1 Captain
    1 Subaltern
    1 Staff-serjeant
    2 Carpenters and joiners
    1 Clerk
    1 Draughtsman, architectural
    1 Pioneer, R.E.
    1 Batman

    3 Sub-sections, each
    1 Serjeant
    2 Carpenters and joiners
    3 Pioneers, R.E.

    The 21 rank and file include 4 corporals.

    2 Pistols, .38-inch
    25 Rifles, .303-inch

    no transport

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