THE GHOST ARMY
Artist: Larry Aarons
Writer: Bob Schulman
What a show!
Dummy airfields, portable harbors, tanks, jeeps, trucks, and airplanes inflated by air compressors, deftly “camouflaged.” Bivouacs, complete with fake laundry on clothes-lines, designed to get the attention of the Luftwaffe.
The appearance of entire divisions ready to attack at daybreak.
The idea was simple:
If the enemy were wasting their time on things that didn’t matter, they’d spend less time on things that did.
Ahh, but the execution had to be Cecil B. DeMille in scope, and you needed the right people.
Art schools were raided. So was show business. A talented set designer could create untold mayhem. A proficient sound engineer could conduct an entire battle.
Advertising agencies pitched in. In short, anyone who had a surplus of madness and imagination was called on.
A tactical force of over a thousand men was created to serve after D-Day
From June 1944 to March 1945, this band of fakers staged 20 successful battlefield deceptions, saving tens of thousands of soldiers’ lives.
It took 50 years after World War II for the “nefarious” exploits of “The Ghost Army” to be known.
And now we can all collectively say to their efforts: