This was on Fark, so you guys have probably seen it, but I found it so extraordinary I didn’t want anybody to miss it.
In World War I, evidently they’d send people forward to sketch enemy fortifications and such, since it was more reliable than photography. This guy Len Smith was incredibly talented at it, but he was never decorated for it, didn’t really tell anybody about it, and died in the 1970’s after spending the bulk of his life as a commercial artist. Dude snuck up into No Man’s Land as close as possible to the enemy under cover of darkness, drew a dead tree in incredible detail, and then came back so they could make a hollow fake dead tree, replace the real one with the fake one, and use it as a listening post. Isn’t that insane?
Anyway, the artwork and the story is pretty amazing.