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on December 22, 2013
I grew up with my father giving us kids only sketchy and mysterious information about his time in the U.S. Army during WWII. As was typical of our generation with dads who had been GIs, we traded our fathers' war stories and, of course, everyone wanted their own dad to have the most grand, heroic tale so that we could boast about it with our friends and classmates. His stories were strange, though, and rather unsatisfyingly technical - such as, the time he and his platoon set up a fake bivouac in the woods and the Luftwaffe actually bombed and strafed it, and how they would repeatedly march through liberated French villages, change their shoulder patches when they reached the woods on the other side, and then march back through the same town again (to inflate the troop strength being reported to the Germans by spies), etc... Rather hard to explain and not the kind of stuff a kid can put up against the gripping tales of other kids' dads having tossed grenades into machine gun nests, being wounded and pinned-down while on forward reconnaissance missions, or single-handedly capturing almost a whole enemy division (there was, naturally, quite a bit of exaggeration)!

But now, with "The Ghost Army" it all comes together - things that veterans of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, such as my Father, could not reveal because they were ordered at the end of the war to keep them secret: the amazing sonic and radio deception operations that, combined with the rubber tanks, spoof unit insignia and fake division headquarters, created an integrated system of battlefield deception used effectively to fool the enemy, gain tactical advantage, and save lives.

It may have come too late to get me any props with my (former) classmates, but it's very satisfying to finally know the whole story!
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on May 27, 2013
I sort of stumbled upon The Ghost Army on PBS by accident. Since the word "ghost" almost always catches my eye anyway, I was intrigued to find out what The Ghost Army was all about. When I discovered it was about WWII history, another area that interests me, I stopped channel surfing and tuned in. Great move on my part. I was amazed listening to the stories of how artists, some who went on to become quite well known, contributed to the war effort in an very unusual manner. Even Bill Blass served in this particular company of the Army! (And contrived his logo while in service.) It was super interesting to learn how they came up with the trickery they did. Highly recommend investing an hour of your time to watching this bit of history being recounted and preserved.
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on June 24, 2013
This film tells the story, kept secret for nearly 50 years after the war, of a small WW2 unit of artists, actors, sound engineers, and "regular guys" who conducted missions designed to deceive the Nazis in France after D-Day. Interviews with surviving veterans (all with a twinkle in their eyes as they talk about the "fakery" and the "trickery" they perpetrated), remarkable color film footage from the period, beautiful artwork created by the artists during their down time, impressive graphics which make the deceptions clear, and a wonderful narration by Peter Coyote (who makes you believe he knows everything there is about the Ghost Army and wants you to know it too--and care passionately about it!), make this a film not to be missed. I have watched it numerous times, and told my family and friends about it, and everyone who has seen it has told their friends.
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on November 5, 2013
The so-called Ghost Army, composed more of magicians than warriors, undoubtedly helped save my husband's life. An American PFC, He was wounded right after crossing the Rhine River on March 26,1945.The ghost unit, meanwhile, played their tricks upriver.
After lying bleeding in a shell hole for hours, he was carried by subdued German POWs to an aid station, and he survived to marry me.Our five sons were thrilled to learn about this hitherto unrevealed chapter of their father's story for the first time in the amazing DVD "Ghost Army."
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on December 24, 2013
I enjoy documentaries about World War II, but many recycle the same stories about the same battles and can be less than entertaining. The Ghost Army shows an aspect of battle that I hadn't considered ... the role of artists and deception used by the U.S. military.

These men created entire divisions, seemingly ready to attack at daybreak, out of inflatable tanks, jeeps, and weapons. Using visual and audio 'tricks' , the Ghost Army proved to be exceptional decoys, allowing combat troops to attack from an entirely different angle.

If you are interested in WWII history, and missed this element in your viewing, I think you'll find the movie--including stories from some of the men-- fascinating and enlightening.
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on November 14, 2013
This is a very informative film about how the U.S. army used enlisted artists to fool the Germans during World War 2 by camouflaging, and the use of fake tanks. These were very talented artists who went on after the war to careers in art, design, and photography. A must see for WW 2 history buffs and art students.
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on June 26, 2013
I had been waiting for this to come out ever since my client told me about the unit and that a documentary was being made about it. He was a radio man in this unit. It is an amazing story, and was so well presented. This is a must see! I even saw my client in it twice.
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on November 15, 2015
I'm so glad I watched this historical documentary. I'm a big history buff so this was a perfect piece to watch. I'm amazed that our government took advantage of the resources these men had and put them to good use. Some parts were a bit risqué with the pictures of the prostitutes, so I'd rate this a teen and above show.
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on February 26, 2016
remendously entertaining and off-beat documentary about a U.S. WWII corps largely made up of artists, designers, stage folk, and craftsmen, tasked with both improving camouflage, and creating the illusion of troops where they weren't. They used a combination of inflatable tanks and infantry pieces, along with broadcasting false orders by radio, and playing the sounds of an army unit over loudspeakers. They did a lot of good, while often taking on the nerve shattering task of trying to draw fire themselves, directing it away from the real battle units.

There's a lot of humor here, unusual and appreciated for a WWII doc. But on the flip side, there's not a lot of emotion, and it can be a bit repetitive. An interesting true story of an oddball but important group of soldiers.
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on March 12, 2016
This is wonderful! I liked it so much, I even got it again to give as a birthday gift!
You will leave this video thinking you live in an inventive, adventurous, creative country.
During the second World War, we feared we didn't have enough tanks, jeeps, etc. so to convince the German army that we were stronger than we really were, we established a "fake" army whose job it was to build tanks and other equipment which could be inflated, positioned where they would be seen by enemy planes, and when no longer needed, deflated, moved to a new position, and filled with air. The members of this unit were architects, artists, and skilled craftsmen, including Bill Blass, the famous clothes designer, and they also created canvas "villages" and many other things. You will love it!
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