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Remembering The Ghost Army that Saved US Lives in WW II

Remembering The Ghost Army that Saved US Lives in WW II

March 1945 after months of bitter fighting the Germans have retreated behind the Rhine River their natural frontier to mount their final defense across the river from Dusseldorf the view from the air reveals hundreds of American vehicles intercepted Allied radio transmissions confirm the presence of two American divisions German observation posts hear them moving in across the river only nothing of what the Germans heard or saw was real it was an elaborate ruse one of many that a small group of American soldiers staged to distract the enemy they were called the ghost army filmmaker Rick Meyer says the operation on the Rhine was a great success the thousand men in this unit were basically pretending to be two divisions of 30,000 men and trying to convince the Germans that they were attacking across the Rhine in one place where the real attack was going to take place ten miles away in the documentary some of those veterans relate how using sounds and special effects staged their deceptions there's a little bundle of stuff or compressed before you open the bundle spread the nozzles around and inflated it the artillery piece was good but that m4 tank that was the union that was a piece of work I tell my children was the biggest boom box you ever saw but it played sounds of Tanks and activity buyer says getting the radio transmissions right was crucial it's always the scene setter it's always the first information that you're going to get to the enemy because they're going to hear the radio broadcasts long before the troops arrive or whatever else you want them to believe is going on so you have to get radio right you can't skip the other parts usually because if you hear a radio that says an armored division is moving in and then you never see any tanks or you never hear them at night moving in you're going to not believe the radio where ever they were stationed the ghost army impersonated real units they must crated as generals and set up phony command posts to deceive enemy spies we were turned loose in town go to the pub order some almonds and talk loose the people who came out of this unit is in itself a fascinating story they were artists and designers who got their start in the ghost army on their downtime they painted to escape the horrors of war like at d-day the Allied invasion of Normandy to be in the middle of this incredible adventure world war in a foreign country I just had to put it that we were sleeping in hedgerows and foxholes but nothing kept us away from going someplace to do a watercolor among those artists our fashion designer Bill Blass painter and sculptor Ellsworth Kelly wildlife painter arthur singer photographer art kane very famous for that picture of all the jazz musicians on the stupid Harlem's rig buyers ghost army underscores the bravery of the men who went to the frontlines with fake weapons that only could make noise to attract the enemy so lives were spared somewhere else vanellope bulu VOA news washington

Reader Comments

  1. Just learned about this in school. If I ever get into the film industry- I’m definitely making a movie about this

  2. My P:E teacher has a son in the military she came from the locker room for the teachers crying then she told us her son died in combat

  3. When everything is on the line America can make you believe anything so we can't lose.. Thus we were losing the Space Race to the Russians then all sudden we were on the Moon… Hollywood helps us again..

  4. I found out about a year ago that my father was in this unit. He never talked about it. From what I understand, everything was kept top secret for several years after the war. I wish I’d had the opportunity to talk to him about it. (He’s even included in the book, “The Deceivers”.) There should definitely be a movie made about it.

  5. I watch Hogan's Heroes, and can't help but find it a touch disrespectful to actual prisoner's of war. A few high notes buried in a slew of low notes. Unlike MASH which had a better go of showing you could do it, be disrespectful, and yet showcase an understanding of the severity of what you're actually watching, as they almost use humor as a coping mechanism.

    And then I remember that there was an actual Ghost Army active during WW2. How much better would Hogan's Heroes have been had they been a detached group of "Ghost Force" trying to confound the enemy behind enemy lines, and regroup with the rest of "Ghost Force"!

  6. Thank you Rick Beyer for bringing the Ghost army 23 headquarters to our attention. Those Vets deserve many many awards for what they did to save other men and for keeping it secret for 51 years. Amazing

  7. They got so good at deception they were all hired by the American news media and went on to provide ideas to networks like Fox and CNN as how to best trick their viewers into believing things that were or are not true.

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