Another favorite ploy: When the Greeks needed to withdraw in the face of a numerically superior enemy force, Alexander ordered his armorers to forge huge breastplates and helmets fit for men 7 to 8 feet tall. During night retreats, the Greeks would leave the over-sized armor in their camps for their opponents to find - and ponder.
Another favorite tactic: On the field of battle, the Mongols would rapidly maneuver their armies so that the size of the force would appear larger than it actually was.
The Mongols also concentrated on disrupting their opponents information network, tasking a special cohort of horseman with the job of capturing and killing enemy messengers to cut off communications between commanders of the opposing forces.
A photograph taken in 1940 of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini in Munich, Germany. Under Josef Goebbels, the Nazis broke new ground in perfecting a slick propaganda machine to complement Hitler's foreign policy objectives until war broke out in Sept. 1939 with Germany's invasion of Poland.
The rest of the leaflet continues: "An enthusiastic YES was the answer of the Nazi-Meeting. Today Germany knows what total war means, better than Goebbels and his yes-shouters foresaw. The total war, wanted by the Nazis, will be continued with ever increasing weight and effectiveness, until Germany capitulates unconditionally."
One of the more impressive psy-op operations conducted by allied forces came during the prelude to the Normandy invasion. The Americans constructed an impressive number of mock airfields and ports, complete with phony men and material. During the evening of the invasion, Allied bombers selectively jammed German radar so as to allow it to recognize ships headed toward Calais. The movement of the ships, which blared out recordings from the American invasion at Salerno, temporarily confused German intelligence as the real invasion of Normandy got underway.
In one of the more storied instances of psy-op broadcasts by the BBC, an announcer made the following announcement to German troops then preparing for the invasion of England.
"Attention Jerries (British slang for the German soldier).
Since you are preparing to invade our country
it is important that you learn some English phrases.
Please Repeat after me, The Channel Crossing, The Channel Crossing.
Very good, now some words you will find helpful
while you are on the boat.
"The boat is sinking", "The boat is sinking".
Again very good! Now, let's practice the conjugation of verbs.
Now repeat after me.
"I am burning", "You are burning", "We are burning".
After the war, British Intelligence found out that the broadcast had convinced the German High Command that the English had invented a way to light the English Channel on fire and decided to postpone their plans.
But do psy-ops work both ways? Rolling Stone magazine recently published a piece claiming that the army ordered a special unit to "manipulate visiting American senators into providing more troops and funding for the war" in Afghanistan. The army denies the report's accuracy.