"Rupert" Dummy Paratrooper, National D-Day Museum, New Orleans LA
from the display:
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. 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.