Some folks over at VIF2NE discovered a wonderful invention, a Maxim gun hooked up to a record player and a battery. Really? Really really.
Later on, an explanation emerged. A book called "164 Days of Combat" describes how the Hanko (Finnish: Hangon) naval base was defended while cut off from the mainland. As winter approached, the base was gradually evacuated. Remaining soldiers had to somehow hide their numbers from the opposing Finns. From the book:
"On the morning of December 2nd, during the last day of the defense at the Hanko peninsula, a day of psychological warfare against the enemy began. Only 100 men remained in defense by then, two for each machinegun nest of utmost importance, each of which was connected to the command center by telephone. Wire was stretched between the nests, with helmets hanging off it. When a soldier tugged on the wire, it would shake the helmets, creating an illusion of activity in the trenches. There were also wires with tin cans. They were shaken three times per day, during breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and the cans made a noise like spoons hitting plates.
The machineguns should periodically fire short bursts at the enemy, even after the soldiers were gone from the peninsula. Here is where the Hankovites got creative. Five record players were found in the empty houses. The record players and the machineguns, armed with an additional device, were connected to truck batteries. The player and machinegun were connected in series. When the record spun, the needle would touch a contact, and the machineguns would fire a short burst. These machineguns could operate independently for almost half an hour.
Dogs were tied to machineguns in ten pillboxes. Chunks of fresh horse meat hung some distance from them. When the dogs would run to the meat, their chains would pull the trigger. The dog would run and hide from the noise, but repeat the process, firing in short bursts.
The craftsmen also came up with other methods. For example, soldiers from the 335th regiment received permission to leave five mined machineguns in pillboxes, each of which was loaded with a very long belt. Five car batteries were taken out, and connected to alarm clocks with contacts every 10-15 minutes. The minute hand, touching the contact, would close the circuit and fire. The machinegunners were gone, but their machineguns, aimed at the enemy positions, kept firing."
The ruse was successful. The Finns did not notice an evacuation until a day after the peninsula was empty.