Tracy Wilson

Show Notes: The Ghost Army

Missed in History: The Ghost Army
One of the half-tracks of the 3132 Signal Company Special, the sonic deception arm of the Ghost Army. Photo by Natonal Archives / / Getty Images

We've gotten a ton of requests to talk about the Ghost Army lately, probably because of an article at Mental Floss called "The Most Amazing Lie in History." It is amazing, and today's episode is a totally different angle on the story. During World War II, the U.S. Army formed a top-secret military unit with one goal: Use artistic and theatrical skills to confuse the enemy. And while the inflatable tanks used to this end get most of the publicity, there was a lot more to this (very effective) deception.

For listener mail, we have thank-you note from young listener Penny, who loves our Mary Celeste episode, and from Nikol, who sent us some planners.

For more knowledge: How Military Camouflage Works

Episode link: The Ghost Army

Holly's research:

  • Axelrod, Jim. "World Ward II 'Ghost Army' Used Decoy Art to Dupe the Nazis." CBSNews. May 30, 2013.
  • Garbers, Megan. "Ghost Army: The Inflatable Tanks That Fooled Hitler." The Atlantic. May 22, 2013.
  • "The Ghost Army."
  • Holley, Joe. "Louis Dalton Porter; Used Artistic Skills to Trick German Army." The Washington Post. July 8, 2006.
  • Neary, Lynn. "Artists of Battlefield Deception: Soldiers of the 23rd." NPR. Sept. 23, 2007.
  • Poulou, Penelope. "Fake Tanks, Ghost Army Helped Defeat Germans During WW ll." Voice of America. May 24, 2013.
  • "The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops (World War II)." National Army Security Agency Association.

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