Arts & Entertainment

Ben Affleck to Make a Movie About the WWII Squadron You Didn't Know About

Unit faked-out Germany with stuff like inflatable tanks and saved thousands of lives.


I didn't know a lot about the so-called "Ghost Army" in World War II until my sister in law made an offhand comment about my late father in law serving the unit. I knew he was a quartermaster in the war, but I had no idea that, for a time, he was a Radar O'Reilly-type for the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops who tricked the Nazis in the weeks leading up to D-Day in 1944.

So I was interested to see Military.com reporting that actor Ben Affleck is making a movie about the group, based on 2015 book The Ghost Army of World War II: How One Top-Secret Unit Deceived the Enemy with Inflatable Tanks, Sound Effects, and Other Audacious Fakery , and the PBS documentary Ghost Army .

Looks like a tank, but it's really just an inflatable.

The film will tell the true story of a squadron of recruits from art schools, ad agencies and other creative businesses who had the job of fooling the Nazis into thinking the Allies had more troops than it did in locations where they really weren't deployed.

A young designer named Bill Blass was in the squadron.

Their military special effects like inflatable tanks and sound effects of soldiers "conducting drills" and "building bridges," coupled with misleading radio chatter and fake intelligence about where the Allied forces planned to invade in France, tricked Germany into deploying its troops in the wrong locations. The unit is credited with saving thousands of lives during the war.

"Their story seems tailor-made for the kind of free-wheeling, all-star, upbeat WWII movie that we haven't seen much lately." Military.com

Variety.com says it's unclear when the movie will go into production, but one thing we do know is that Affleck himself will star as well as direct.

This fake army set up looked real from the air.

(Images: Ghostarmy.com )

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