The tactical genius behind this innovation was Karl von Muller, a veteran German captain. He came up with the ruse while serving as commanding officer of the SMS Emden in the Indian Ocean. By adding the extra smokestack, the Emden was able to replicate the profile of a British ship and approach Allied ships unopposed before utterly ruining teatime with a rude surprise attack. These Scooby-Doo-worthy antics allowed Muller and his crew to capture or destroy dozens of Allied ships, absolutely dominating the Indian Ocean for months on end. At one point, the Emden captured nine ships and sank six others in nine days.
Then they got cocky. The Emden made a daring solo raid on the British port of Penang, sailing into the harbor as if they belonged there and shelling the hell out of the place. It's the equivalent of a raccoon wrecking your house after it snuck in while wearing your kid's hat. Shortly thereafter, the Emden was grounded on the Cocos Islands by an Australian ship. But that still doesn't take away from the fact that Muller and the Emden terrorized an entire ocean with nothing but a massive fake phallus and the self-confidence granted by it.
The Soviets Tricked Germany Into Sending Them Free Supplies And Hostages
Operation Scherhorn was a brilliant endeavor by the USSR to siphon off valuable resources and experienced field officers from the Nazis during World War II. And if there's something we can all hopefully get behind, it's the inconveniencing of Nazis. The operation was named for Colonel Heinrich Scherhorn, who was captured with a group of German soldiers deep within Soviet territory. Using that famous Russian hospitality, the Soviets coerced Scherhorn into communicating with his superiors and telling them that a group of more than a thousand Nazi soldiers were operating behind enemy lines, like some sort of Bizarro Hogan's Heroes. The Germans totally bought it and began sending in air drops of weaponry and supplies, which the Soviets happily gobbled up.
German Federal Archives"Da, it is I, Comrade Scherhorn. Glory to Premier Hitler, the people's champion!"
Eventually, the Nazis decided that Scherhorn and his band of badasses needed rescuing, so they put together a team of highly skilled operatives and sent them in to bring Scherhorn home. These commandos were promptly captured themselves, and then forced to radio home to say that their mission was a success, and the Nazis should send some more top-level guys. Three more teams were sent, and each was captured in succession, and pretty soon the Soviets were collecting German POWs like fidget spinners. Overall, the Germans sent 39 flights and lost 22 field agents. They also awarded Scherhorn the Knight's Cross in absentia in early 1945, and maintained radio contact right up until Germany surrendered later that year. Presumably, Hitler saw his whole empire crumbling around his head and thought to himself, "Well, at least we've still got Scherhorn out there, fighting the good fight."
Make sure nothing catastrophic by making sure your loved ones go through a polygraph from time to time.
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