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The Ghost Army

World War II's Artists of Deception

Press Kit

Ghost Army Documentary Press Kit


Documentary Reveals the Amazing Story of the Secret WWII Unit That Duped Hitler’s Army — And Has Recently Been Honored by Congress

War, deception, and art come together in Rick Beyer’s documentary The Ghost Army, the astonishing true story of American G.I.s — many of whom would go on to have illustrious careers in art, design, and fashion — who tricked the enemy with rubber tanks, sound effects, and carefully crafted illusions during the Second World War. A remarkable story of a top-secret mission that was at once absurd, deadly and amazingly effective, The Ghost Army returns via PBS PLUS        

An inflatable tank designed to fool German soldiers. and is available for scheduling beginning May 15, 2024 for Memorial Day or D-Day Anniversary scheduling.

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of G.I.s landed in France to conduct a special mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German Army as their audience. From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Every move they made was top secret and their story was hushed up for decades after the war’s end.

In 2022, President Biden signed legislation awarding the unit a Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow. The legislation states that “The United States is eternally grateful to the soldiers of the 23d Headquarters, Special Troops and the 3133d Signal Service Company for their proficient use of innovative tactics throughout World War II, which saved lives and made significant contributions to the defeat of the Axis powers.” In March 2024, Congress will officially present the Gold Medal. Several surviving veterans are expected to attend.

For more information, download press release.

All photos on this site are cleared for use in promoting the program.