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Ghost Army of World War II Rick Beyer Elizabeth Sayles

Ghost Army of World War II

How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery (Updated Edition)

Elizabeth Sayles Rick Beyer

Details: Hardcover
Size: 8 x 10 IN
Pages: 272
Publication Date: 10/10/2023
Rights: World
ISBN: 9781797225296


"A riveting tale told through personal accounts and sketches along the way—ultimately, a story of success against great odds. I enjoyed it enormously."

—Tom Brokaw

The first book to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives—now updated with new material.

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs—artists, designers, architects, and sound engineers, including such future luminaries as Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane, and Jack Masey—landed in France to conduct a secret mission. From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 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.

Hundreds of color and black-and-white photographs, along with maps, official memos, and letters, accompany Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles's meticulous research and interviews with many of the soldiers, weaving a compelling narrative of how an unlikely team carried out amazing battlefield deceptions that saved thousands of American lives and helped open the way for the final drive to Germany. The stunning art created between missions also offers a glimpse of life behind the lines during World War II.

This updated edition includes:

  • A new afterword by co-author Rick Beyer
  • Never-before-seen additional images
  • The successful campaign to have the unit awarded a Congressional Gold Medal


History and WWII enthusiasts will find The Ghost Army of World War II an essential addition to their library.

Rick Beyer is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and bestselling author. He wrote The Greatest Stories Never Told book series and produced films for PBS, the History Channel, National Geographic Channel, and the Smithsonian Institution.

Elizabeth Sayles illustrated more than twenty-five books for children, including Moon Child; Five Little Kittens; and I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal, a New York Times #1 bestselling picture book. Her father, Bill Sayles, was a soldier in the Ghost Army.