In 1941, the U.S. began to form a hand-picked army to fight in Europe. What made it different is that its troops were composed of artists, designers, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army. Their props were inflatable tanks and pyrotechnics; their tools camouflage, “spoof” radio plays, special effects, and sonic deception. Their last “disappearing act” was to vanish from history. Officially they were designated as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, the first and last battlefield deception outfit ever authorized by the U.S. Army.
Ghost Army!? How interesting, I’ve never heard of this. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghost_Army
“The visual deception arm of the Ghost Army was the 603rd Camouflage Engineers. It was equipped with inflatable tanks, cannons, jeeps, trucks, and airplanes that the men would inflate with air compressors, and then camouflage imperfectly so that enemy air reconnaissance could see them. They could create dummy airfields, troop bivouacs (complete with fake laundry hanging out on clotheslines), motor pools, artillery batteries, and tank formations in a few hours. Many of the men in this unit were artists, recruited from New York and Philadelphia art schools. Their unit became an incubator for young artists who sketched and painted their way through Europe. Several of these soldier-artists went on to have a major impact on art in post-war America. Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, wildlife artist Arthur Singer and Art Kane were among the many artists who served in the 603rd.”