Recent experiments by Kiritani et al.  have revealed a surprisingly high rate of vacancy production during highspeed deformation of thin foils of fcc metals. Virtually no dislocations are seen after the deformation. This is interpreted as evidence for a dislocation-free deformation mechanism at very high strain rates.<br/><br/>We have used molecular-dynamics simulations to investigate high-speed deformation of copper crystals. Even though no pre-existing dislocation sources are present in the initial system, dislocations are quickly nucleated and a very high dislocation density is reached during the deformation.<br/><br/>Due to the high density of dislocations, many inelastic interactions occur between dislocations, resulting in the generation of vacancies. After the deformation, a very high density of vacancies is observed, in agreement with the experimental observations. The processes responsible for the generation of vacancies are investigated. The main process is found to be incomplete annihilation of segments of edge dislocations on adjacent slip planes. The dislocations are also seen to be participating in complicated dislocation reactions, where sessile dislocation segments are constantly formed and destroyed.