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The Ghost Army

The Ghost Army

On DVD: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Running Time: 
68 minutes

There have been hundreds of films and documentaries about World War II, and yet every once in a while you learn something new. The war was just so massive that even more than 60 years later, people are still encountering new viewpoints and stories from soldiers. The Ghost Army is the latest documentary to shed light on the “invisible” battalion of soldiers whose job was solely to dupe enemy forces.

In the midst of World War II, a secret project was formed to deceive the enemy by making them believe that US forces were in certain positions when in reality, they were somewhere else. Dubbed the Ghost Army, these soldiers would use whatever means necessary to set up dummy tanks and convoys in order to fool their opponents.

It was a three step process that involved visual, sonic, and radio deception. The dummy vehicles were part of the visual deception. Massive loudspeakers mounted on trucks that could broadcast sound 15 miles would be positioned near enemy lines and broadcast the sounds of an army squadron moving into position was part of the sonic deception. Lastly, they would send fake radio messages across all channels in hopes that any enemies listening would pick up on the false information. All of these campaigns tied together helped the allied forces in winning some decisive battles because they drew enemy forces away and allowed the real armed soldiers to move or attack unopposed.

The Ghost Army is an interesting documentary that explores these somewhat unsung heroes of World War II. These soldiers weren’t equipped with machine guns or tanks but with inflatable balloons and dummies. Many of the men were artists who could create a convincing mirage. It’s an interesting side of the war that I had never heard of before and is sure to please all manner of history buffs.


Deleted Scenes
Art Show
Name, Rank and Serial Number
George Rebh
Fred Fox
Secret Diary
Sonic Deception

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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Cody Endres's picture

Watched this when it aired on PBS not too long ago and loved it - particularly some of the aerial shots showing how they disguised buildings.