War Illusionist | 2000
During World War II, British magician Jasper Maskelyne turned the North African desert into a stage on which he outfoxed the infamous Desert Fox, Nazi Field Marshal Rommel. Maskelyne may have never fired a bullet, but he helped win a war through trickery. Using the basic concepts of magic, such as misdirection, Maskelyne made British tanks appear out of nowhere and made landmarks vanish without a trace. He devised a way to hide Alexandria Harbor, a vital British supply port, from Luftwaffe. Flashing refelective lights into the night sky, he made the Suez Canal disappear into an ocean of light and shadows. His greatest deception was creating the illusion that the British were massing troops from the south to strike the Germans at El Alamein. His decoys were so effective that the main German army was poised against this dummy force, even as the real British troops moved north unnoticed.