The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery (Hardcover)

How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery

By Rick Beyer, Elizabeth Sayles

Princeton Architectural Press, 9781616893187, 256pp.

Publication Date: April 28, 2015

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Description

"The Ghost Army of World War II describes a perfect example of a little-known, highly imaginative, and daring maneuver that helped open the way for the final drive to Germany. It is a riveting tale told through personal accounts and sketches along the way--ultimately, a story of success against great odds. I enjoyed it enormously." - Tom Brokaw

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs--including such future luminaries as Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane, and Jack Masey--landed in France to conduct a secret mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound-effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German Army as their audience.

From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Between missions the artists filled their duffel bags with drawings and paintings and dragged them across Europe. Every move they made was top secret and their story was hushed up for decades after the war's end. The Ghost Army of World War II is the first publication to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives.


About the Author

Historian Rick Beyer is a best-selling author, award-winning filmmaker, and popular speaker. He wrote and directed the acclaimed documentary film The Ghost Army, which premiered on PBS in 2013. Elizabeth Sayles is the award-winning, best-selling illustrator of more than twenty-five books for children. Her father, William Sayles, was a member of the Ghost Army, and she grew up listening to his war stories.
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