Ian Bach

Viewing conflicts through the eye of Counterinsurgency COIN – Since 2007

The A Force and the “The Magic Gang”

In January 1941, General Wavell, commander of British forces in north Africa, created a unit called A Force, which was dedicated to counter-intelligence and deception. By this stage, deception was playing a major part in the war effort, following Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s maxim that ‘in war, truth should be accompanied by a bodyguard of lies’. In some cases there would be a concerted effort to mislead the enemy with a single convincing deception; in others, the aim would be to create confusion by suggesting a range of plausible alternatives.

Jasper Maskelyne was posted to A Force, where he was able to apply his skills to the task of concealing British forces from German aerial reconnaissance. He assembled a 14-strong group, known informally as the Magic Gang, whose members had had careers in analytical chemistry, electrical engineering and stage set construction. Maskelyne picked his team both for their skills and for qualities of initiative and imagination – unconventional criteria in the military context. He himself was a hard taskmaster – a dedicated perfectionist to some, an irascible egotist to others.

Applying Maskelyne’s professional knowledge of cheap and lightweight construction techniques, the group produced dummy tanks made of plywood and painted canvas; Maskelyne even devised a means of faking tank tracks after the dummies had been moved into position. Similar techniques were used to disguise real tanks as innocuous lorries.

In 1941, Maskelyne was involved in an elaborate operation which diverted German bombers from the port of Alexandria by setting up a fake harbour in a nearby bay; this involved constructing dummy buildings, a dummy lighthouse and even dummy anti-aircraft batteries which fired thunderflashes. He also made it hard for German bombers to locate the Suez Canal by fitting searchlights with a revolving cone of mirrors, producing a dazzling wheel of spinning light beams nine miles across. – Text above is from the link below.



We all know the story of the Trojan Horse. Magic and deception can win battles. The terrorists have been using deception effectively against its so called enemies. I look forward to the time when the allied forces will again use magic, illusions, and deception more effectively and on a large scale. – Ian Bach

Note: Mr. Jasper Maskelyne also helped Lawrence of Arabia!!!




About Ian Bach

Independent Online Terrorist Hunter I teach people how to hunt down and shut down the Bad guys web sites. I also teach about the various countries and cultures. Like most cases it is a small group of bsd eggs that in this case call themselves Muslims but in actual fact they are more like how KKK call themselves ",True Christisians". But in both cases / groups they preach a perverted and twisted view a religion. In the case of ISIS, all Qaeda, al Nusra, and the rest of the terrorists who claim to be true Muslims most of these groups follow the Wahhabi teachings. They are almost all Sunni and their goal is global domination. Yet they must be very bad at math and history. Since most Muslims prefer a separation of church and state and also mist are against Shari's Law. Esp the twisted and overly exaggerated form of Sharia Law that the Wahhabi and other bad guys use. I have studied terrorism, insurgencies, and the best tried and proven methods that work to fight terrorism. My Blogs have many links and articles that can show you who are the best and most knowledgeable people in the fields or counterinsurgency and counter terrorism. When I find great practitioner's I always listen to them to find out who they learned from and who they respect and admire. Thus I am always learning new stuff from the best and most successful in their fields of knoeledge. I strive to be an open and ethical source of information, I have met many awesome, kind, caring, and loving wonderful people many who I am close friends with now from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran, and many from S.E. Asia which also has a high percent of their populations that are Muslim.We must always strive to be aware people are not any one particular religion via that's what they chose to be, instead most people are a particular religion because that's what their parents and/or county is. I was raised Catholic but because I became Interested in magic ,(illusion - smoke n mirrors) and science which lead me to study many religions, and I would call myself an atheist. Yet sometimes when I lose my keys ZI find myself praying "Hail Marys" and a few "Our Fathers" which most always aides me in finding my keys. My belief is that if I just frantically look around for my krys, good luck it takes me for ever. But by saying these prayers it is like s sort of meditation and my mind becomes more calm, which is why it helps my find my keys.

2 comments on “The A Force and the “The Magic Gang”

  1. Ian Bach
    April 23, 2007

    “The Man Who Fooled Houdini”

    Due to his extraordinary skill at sleight of hand, Dai Vernon is affectionately called The Professor. Harry Houdini (who in his early years billed himself as “The King of Kards”) often boasted that if he saw a card trick performed three times in a row he would be able to figure it out. Vernon then showed Houdini a trick, where he removed the top card of the deck and placed it second down, and then turned over the top card to again reveal the original card. Houdini watched Vernon do the trick seven times, each time insisting that Vernon “do it again”. Finally Houdini’s wife, and Vernon’s friends said, “Face it Houdini, you’re fooled.” For years afterward, Vernon used the title “The Man Who Fooled Houdini” in his advertisements.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ian Bach
    June 6, 2007

    FROM ANON – OMg! How wild!! You must go over to my hubby’s blog and pepper him with questions!! His Dad was in Africa in WWII! Steve’s parents actually met in Paris at an Army hospital. She was his nurse. If there is ever anything you want to know about WWII.. lol.. Steve’s the one to ask! sigh.. I’ve heard so many stories.. I kind of go into “heard that” mode! roflmao!

    Sunday April 22, 2007 – 02:35pm (CDT

    Liked by 1 person

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