The Ghost Army of World War II
How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery
Rick Beyer, Elizabeth Sayles
100 color illustrations, 200 b/w illustrations
Publication date: 04/28/2015
|In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs that included 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.
Rick Beyer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and bestselling author. He wrote The Greatest Stories Never Told book series and produced films for PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the Smithsonian Institution.
Elizabeth Sayles is an award-winning, best-selling children's book illustrator. Her father, William Sayles, was a member of the Ghost Army, and she grew up listening to his war stories.