Wavell is generally regarded as bit of a flop: an old-fashioned soldier. He was not a charismatic war leader and was replaced by Montgomery before the crucial battle of El Alamein. Wavell might have been an awkward stick and his taste in poetry uninspiring but he had one flash of pure genius: on 23 April 1941, he had scribbled a note, a facsimile of which is preserved in the War Office files:
Is it a wild idea that a tank could be camouflaged to look like a lorry from air by light canvas screens over top? It would be useful; during approach march etc
Please have it considered.
This was more than considered it was implemented as the Sunshield and hundreds of them were used in elaborate decoys before the great battle of El Alamein. Sunshields were erected and at night tanks moved into position under them. Where the tanks had been, they were replaced by dummies. Churchill didn’t have much time for Wavell: meeting him was like “being in the presence of the chairman of a gold club”. But when the battle was won, Churchill paid tribute to “a marvelous system of camouflage”: “The 10th Corps, which he [the enemy] had seen from the air exercising fifty miles in the rear, moved silently away in the night, but leaving an exact simulacrum of its tanks where it had been, and proceeded to its points of attack.”
The story of Wavell and the Sunshields and other war ruses is told in Dazzled and Deceived.