Surveillance sketches by WWI soldier published

The fascinating surveillance sketches by a British WWI trench soldier have been compiled for a new book being released this week. Made when he crawled behind enemy lines, Private Len Smith’s drawings were so detailed that the British army was able to secretly replace a real tree near German trenches with a fake one that could conceal an observer. The book can be purchased at

Another notable figure whose detailed drawings contributed to British intelligence was Robert Baden-Powell, founder of the Boy Scouts. In the late Nineteenth Century, Baden-Powell gathered intelligence throughout the Mediterranian posing an a butterfly collector. He disguised his drawings by incorporating them into his sketches of butterfly wings.   

Explore posts in the same categories: Books, History, WWI

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