Calling all history buffs, documentary enthusiasts, and members of the public. On Wednesday, October 1st, Harvard University will be screening a film entitled The Ghost Army. It is a documentary about a secret World War II military division, known for their emphasis on deception and trickery.
After the film, there will be a discussion with director Rick Beyer. [Editor’s Note: Want more Rick Beyer? Check out his critically acclaimed book The Greatest Stories Never Told here.]
The Ghost Army – An Overview
Rick Beyer, director of The Ghost Army, loves historical fun facts. He collaborated with researcher and U.S. Military expert Roy Eichhorn to bring to light one of the most astonishing war secrets in U.S. history. The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was no ordinary U.S. Military unit. It was assembled during the height of World War II, and its mission was simple: outwit the Germans.
Straightforward enough, but for a division nicknamed “The 603rd Camouflage Engineers,” their methods for deception proved the be anything but ordinary. Using props like inflatable tanks, fake radio transmissions, and recordings of military sound effects, the Ghost Army, as this division is now referred to, proceeded to conduct 20 ploys of deception on the battlefield, all between June 1944 and May 1945.
Their efforts succeeded in confusing enemy forces as to the true location of American troops. As a result, American forces were able to advance across Europe.