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Deception and decoy are part of war strategy. During the Second World War the Allied forces employed dozens of tricks to confuse, mislead or intimidate the German army — from dropping dummy paratroppers to dropping aluminum tinfoil, from faking the death of a fictitious Major William Martin to completely covering up a military aircraft plant. One such deceptive operation that came to light only a few years ago is the so called Ghost Army.

The Ghost Army was a 1,100-man unit officially known as the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops whose goals were to impersonate vastly large U.S. Army units to deceive the enemy. The men that made up this secretive unit weren’t your regular soldiers. They were artists, illustrators and sound technicians handpicked for the job from New York and Philadelphia art schools. They didn’t carry M1s and Thompsons, but large inflatable tanks and rubber aircrafts, powerful amplifiers and speakers to mimic the noise created by a large gathering troop and radio equipment to transmit phony messages.

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