The Discover blog reports on a Potemkin army:
Russian balloon maker Rusbal is working on an order from the country’s defense ministry to supply full-scale inflatable military models. The realistic-looking hardware is used in battlefield positions and to protect Russian strategic installations from surveillance satellites, distracting snoops and protecting real combat units from strikes. They can look like real vehicles in the radar, thermal, and near infra-red bands, so they’d even look right through night-vision goggles.
And now from Shakespeare’s Macbeth (Act V Scene IV — you know, the cool part where the incoming army disguises itself as the Birnam forest):
Let every soldier hew him down a bough
And bear’t before him: thereby shall we shadow
The numbers of our host and make discovery
Err in report of us.
Nothing much new, then. Simple visual misdirection is the magician’s greatest asset.