Watch The Ghost Army
- 1 hr 8 min
In the midst of World War II, the United States government created a unit of soldiers with a unique mission. The Ghost Army, as they were known, was comprised of artists and designers who were tasked with creating illusions and deceptions to mislead the German troops. This hidden unit of soldiers was responsible for creating fake tanks, fake radio transmissions, and even fake generals to make the enemy think that the Allied forces had many more resources than they actually did.
The Ghost Army, a 2013 documentary, directed by Rick Beyer and written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles, tells the story of these brave soldiers and their vital contributions to the war effort. The documentary includes interviews with surviving members of the unit, as well as archival footage and photos that bring the story to life.
The film opens with a description of the chaos that reigned in Europe in the days leading up to the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. The Ghost Army was part of a larger effort to create a diversion, drawing German troops away from the real invasion force. The intricate deceptions and illusions created by the Ghost Army were essential to the success of this effort.
Through interviews with veterans, the film shows how the Ghost Army used their artistic talents to create elaborate ruses. The soldiers used inflatable tanks and trucks to create the illusion of a large military presence, and they played recordings of sounds like tanks moving and radio chatter to give the impression of a real battle. Members of the Ghost Army even dressed up as high-ranking officers and staged fake conversations in public places, fooling German spies who thought they had gathered valuable intelligence.
The documentary follows the Ghost Army through their various assignments in Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of Paris. The soldiers encountered countless dangers, from enemy fire to frigid winter weather, but they never lost sight of their mission. As one veteran recalls, "We didn't have a gun to shoot, but we had a mind that would work."
The filmmakers use a blend of archival footage, interviews, and expert analysis to chronicle the incredible achievements of the Ghost Army. The interviews with surviving members of the unit are particularly poignant, as they share their memories of their time in Europe and reflect on the importance of their work. Their courage and dedication are truly inspiring, and the film honors their contributions to the war effort.
The Ghost Army is not just a riveting account of a little-known chapter of World War II history; it is also a testament to the power of creativity and ingenuity in times of conflict. The soldiers of the Ghost Army recognized the value of unconventional tactics, and their innovative approaches helped to secure victory for the Allied forces. As one veteran remarks in the film, "We were fighting to save our country, not just as soldiers, but as civilians and artists."
Overall, The Ghost Army is a moving tribute to the men of this remarkable unit, whose bravery and creativity helped to turn the tide of the war. The documentary offers a fresh perspective on the war effort and highlights the critical role that artists and designers played in the victory. Viewers will come away with a newfound appreciation for the power of deception and the incredible sacrifices made by the soldiers who fought for freedom.
The Ghost Army is a 2013 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 8 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.