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Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War (edition 2017)

by Paul B. Janeczko (Author)

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116820,536 (3.8)None
Member:hermit
Title:Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War
Authors:Paul B. Janeczko (Author)
Info:Candlewick (2017), 256 pages
Collections:Your library
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Tags:History, Military Tactics, Military History, Deceptive Techniques

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Double Cross: Deception Techniques in War by Paul B. Janeczko

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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The topic of this book is far from my areas of expertise. I chose to read it because I thought it would be interesting- and it was. I liked that this book was easy to follow and understand. Much of the information provided was new to me and sparked an interest in history that I did not know I had. I liked that there were examples from our distant past as well as examples from more recent times. I would have liked to check out the maps and pictures while reading, but understand that they might not be available in advanced readers. After reading this book, I appreciate the intelligence and courage of military leaders. Overall, this book was an interesting read especially for those of us who are not history buffs. Thank you! ( )
  KWROLSEN | Jun 13, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
"Double Cross" is a introductory effort which aims to trace the evolution of deception techniques throughout military history. The book looks at examples dating back to the conflicts of Biblical times through the Vietnam War. Janeczko uses narratives to illustrate successful uses of deception in combat and covers campaigns of various levels of complexity.

The book is well written and presented in an easy-to-understand format. The simplicity makes the complexity of the military history accessible. It does work as an introductory work but lacks the substance and analysis to satisfy more than casual readers. This is an ideal work for students in middle and high school perhaps. The text is informative and entertaining and strive to avoid excessive terminology.

It is an easy book to pick up and read in part or in whole. Perhaps finding some more modern examples would bookend the subject matter and addressing the increased role/challenges of technological updates would also be useful. ( )
  loafhunter13 | Jun 9, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
“Double Cross” is a book that takes a leisurely chronological view of various deception techniques in warfare. A total of ten major wars are covered. Ancient wars covered are the Biblical battle between Gideon and the Midianites and the famous Trojan War between the Greeks and the Trojans. The lone medieval event covered is the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. The next war covered is the Seven Years’ War, also known as the French and Indian War, which featured the Battle of Quebec in 1759. The craft of ‘Stonewall’ Jackson is reviewed during the American Civil War. Upon entering the modern era, the World Wars 1 and 2 are covered, as are the Korean, Vietnam, and first Gulf War.

As a bonus, separate sections covering various tools and organizations used to aid the craft of deception in warfare is included. Although these sections are interesting I question the editorial decision to insert these sections often in the middle of Chapters rather than after the chapter, or as a part of an Appendix, or a separate Chapter. It was a bit disconcerting to have the flow of the chapter interrupted by these informative inserts. This copy is an advanced copy though and this may be changed in the official print version.

Overall, this book is enjoyable and informative. “Double Cross” will make a good purchase for those interested in military history in general, or spy and deception craft.
  MusicforMovies | May 31, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Double Cross is an engaging look at how armies have deceived their opponents in a variety of ways. Janeczko covers a few early biblical and literary examples as he sets the scene and helps readers to understand the variety of deception methods.

As the book progresses into more modern history - examples come from world wars, Korea, Vietnam and into the First Gulf War - the deceptions become more multi-layered and complex. The author's writing style is clear and easy to understand, even as the number of groups involved in each deception increase, as in the committees and multiple targets preceding D-Day.

The book is heavily sourced but, by using endnotes, the text remains easy to read. There are occasional in-text references but the substantial endnotes are a treasure trove of additional reading.

This book is an excellent reference in many ways. I had an 11 year old (who was conversant with the military history from the 1800s on) read the book as well and we both found the stories enjoyable and off the beaten path. In particular, anyone with an interest in camouflage and theatrical staging will find the World War I (tree observation posts) and II (costumes for tanks) sections fascinating.

Janeczko does a good job of avoiding duplication. He included Rommel's deception in Africa, for example, which mimics Magruder's Confederates in front of Williamsburg, which was not included. The author's selectivity from each period limits overlap that would have felt repetitive. The book is also strong for not veering too far into the espionage of the cold war, but staying close to the kinetic battlefield and the deceptions involving large numbers of soldiers and equipment.

This text is a great read for 5th grade and up, although probably ideal in a junior high school library or young adult non-fiction section in a public library. The subject is uncommon and can be a bit challenging without having some historical context for the various armies or countries involved. But for students reading about a particular time period, it is easy to drop in on those chapters and still come away with a solid understanding of military deception tactics.

[based on advanced review copy] ( )
  davidpwhelan | May 16, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I had mixed feelings about the book. In some ways it was a bit trivial and not very illuminating. However, I did find the sections on Gallipoli and Palestine during World War I and the World War II Fortitude North (Allied operation to deceive Nazis that Norway would be invaded) interesting. When telling stories the book is a lot better than some of technique descriptions. Unfortunately this preview edition had placeholders for many of the tantalizing maps and figures, but the final edition should be great.
Writing is good - clear and concise (perhaps too succinct in some cases). This would probably make a good airplane flight read. ( )
  rhbouchard | May 13, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763660426, Hardcover)

How does deception factor into fighting wars, and is it effective? In an intriguing companion to The Dark Game, Paul B. Janeczko reveals the truth about the strategic lies of war.

The biblical account of Gideon. The ancient story of the Trojan horse. Deceptive techniques have been used in war through the ages. But while the principles have changed very little, the technology behind fooling the enemy has evolved dramatically. Paul B. Janeczko’s fascinating chronology focuses on the American Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Gulf Wars to reveal evolving attitudes toward the use and effectiveness of deceptive operations. Find out the secret plan behind the invasion of Normandy and the details of General Schwarzkopf’s "Hail Mary play" during the Gulf War, among many other strategies and maneuvers designed to pull the wool over enemies' eyes. Back matter includes source notes, a bibliography, and an index.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 03 Apr 2017 20:07:32 -0400)

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