I tend toward the latter prejudice against believing in false flag operations because it’s easy to disappear down the rabbit hole as soon as you start to say, “Well, maybe it was all just a hoax to make us blame somebody 180 degrees in the wrong direction.” Popperian falsification becomes practically impossible as we allow ourselves to consider Mission: Impossible-style layers of deception.
Yet that doesn’t mean they never happen. False flag hoaxes were a regular aspect of World War II’s launching. On August 31, 1939, the Nazis implemented Operation Himmler, a series of bogus attacks on German border sites intended to justify invading Poland. But it didn’t do much to persuade international opinion, since Hitler had publicly signed a deal with Stalin a week before. Three months later, the Soviets shelled their own village of Mainila to rationalize invading Finland, which apparently reassured communists.