Ghost Armies

Ghost Armies

Top of Mind with Julie Rose

Nepal, Ghost Armies, Myths of Meritocracy, Opting Out of Tests

Episode: Nepal, Ghost Armies, Myths of Meritocracy, Opting Out of Tests

  • Apr 30, 2015 9:00 pm
  • 24:37 mins

Guest: Rick Beyer, best-selling author and filmmaker. His latest work is “The Ghost Army of World War II,” which he co-wrote with Elizabeth Sayles, a children’s book author and daughter of one of William Sayles, who served in the Ghost Army The one thousand men assigned to the US Army’s 23rd Headquarters Special Troops in 1944 had a single mission—deception. They were painters, sculptors, sound engineers and actors. Their assignments were often so secret and so well-executed, they fooled high-ranking German commanders, civilians in towns near where they operated, and even American military personnel from other units. Their very existence was highly classified and largely untold for some 50 years after the War ended. But when their story came to light, it came not just in words, but in a trove of paintings and sketches from these artist-soldiers who seem to have spent every spare minute with their noses buried in sketchbooks and paint boxes. The adventures of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops are now on full display in a just-published book by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles called “The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Infalatable Tanks, Sound Effects and Other Audacious Fakery.”

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