The Ghost Army

By Alvin

The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops

This elite force was made up of actors, artists, and real soldiers. They mastered the art of "tactical deception". During the war, they gained the label "The Ghost Army". (Megan Garber)

What they did

The ghost army made most of their illusions happened within 400 yards of the front line. They put all of their weight on atmosphere, making the impression that there was a big military force coming. Some pretended to be members of different units that were actually off fighting in another battle. They tricked the enemy by sewing divisional patches onto their uniforms and painting them onto their vehicles. The Army would have a few of its members to drive canvas covered trucks in loops to make the enemy think that a lot of soldiers were being transported. (Megan Garber)

Insignias and Tanks of the Ghost Army

The Rubber Army

The rubber army staged series of traveling shows intended to intimidate and confuse the Axis Powers. They made rubber planes, tanks, cars, and more to make them look a lot bigger. The members used many skills like acting, disguising, and using sound tracks. They were sent out to cafes near the war front and told to spread gossip so that any spies who were there would here false plans and sightings. One member said they were to "order some omelets and talk loose." These actors went as far as dressing up as Allied generals to mislead the Axis Powers. (Megan Garber)

The Ghost Army's Role

The "Ghosters", as they were called, were in the war to cause chaos and confusion. They not only used visual trickery to their advantage but used "sonic deception." With help from engineers at Bell Labs, a team recorded sounds of armored and infantry units onto wire recorders. That was cutting-edge technology at the time. On the battle front, they played those sounds from speakers mounted on half tracks. This tactic was so effective, it could be heard over 15 miles away. (Megan Garber) One of the Major things that the ghost army did was distract the Axis Powers and they made them think a big attack was going to come from a more western part of France like Calais. The ghost army was very important in D-Day and that was a huge turning point for WWII, so it was a huge part of WWII also.

Citation

Garber, Megan. "Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler." The
Atlantic. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 May 2016. <http://www.theatlantic.com/
technology/archive/2013/05/ghost-army-the-inflatable-tanks-that-fooled-hitler/
276137/
>.