Russia is very slick…
Bouncy castles aren’t known as the most effective tools of war, but in Russia, they are just as important as actual weapons worth millions of dollars. That’s because bouncy castles designed to mimic actual weapons cost a hundred times cheaper than the real thing, and can be deployed and moved a lot faster. And if your goal is to deceive the enemy, to appear stronger than you really are, drawing their fire, or simply buying time by forcing them to verify targets, this inflatable army is an important piece of your arsenal.
“If you study the major battles of history, you see that trickery wins every time,” Aleksei A. Komarov, the military engineer at balloon company RusBal, told The New York Times. “Nobody ever wins honestly.”
An inflatable T-80 tank reportedly costs around $16,000, which may sound like a lot for a bouncy castle, but considering that an actual tank costs millions to make, and probably more to maintain for several years, it’s actually a bargain. Plus it can be transported in two duffel bags and deployed using a simple air compressor.
Russia was hardly the first to use an inflatable army – the Allies used a “ghost army” during World War 2, and NATO forces bombed fake Serb tanks during the war in Kosovo – but it is definitely relying on this deceptive tactic more than any other country or military alliance in the world.