Read Ghost Army of World War II by Jack Kneece Online


In 1942, the U.S. began to form a handpicked army to fight in Europe. What made it different is that its troops were composed of artists, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army.Information about the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was classified top secret until 1996. Following the declassificIn 1942, the U.S. began to form a handpicked army to fight in Europe. What made it different is that its troops were composed of artists, actors, meteorologists, and sound technicians, and their true mission was not to fight, but to deceive the German army.Information about the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops was classified top secret until 1996. Following the declassification, Jack Kneece interviewed many of the key personnel involved in this elaborate ruse, including fashion designer Bill Blass.Until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many Americans were opposed to becoming involved in the war in Europe, and the military was ill-prepared to fight, with only 130,000 enlisted troops and equipment left over from World War I. One solution was to create a special force that gave the illusion of 30,000 heavily armed men. In fact, there were only 1,000.German soldiers referred to them as the "Phantom Army," because one moment they were in one place, and the next, they were attacking their flanks or from the rear. This small army duped the Germans successfully in 21 separate operations during World War II, many of which took place within a few hundred yards of the front lines....

Title : Ghost Army of World War II
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781565548763
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 280 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Ghost Army of World War II Reviews

  • Andrew
    2019-01-22 00:46

    An account of the 23 Headquarters Special troops that were trained in military deception. Most people associate them with the deceptive "First Army Group" and Gen. George S. Patton in the United Kingdom at the time of the D-Day invasion, a story sown by the Allies to lead German military leaders into believing that the real invasion target was the Pas de Calais -- and not the Normandy beaches.The troops of the 23rd would arrive on the continent to do dozens of deceptions or "problems", as the troops themselves would describe them. Often it was to take the position of an established division as the redeployed for attack elsewhere, as in the encirclement of Brest.Kneece's account relies on the photos and journals of a half-dozen soldiers from the unit, which included designer Bill Blass and many former art students from Pratt Institute in New York City. The official documents used in this account are scarce and somewhat ambiguous because of the deceptive nature of the unit. Many documents were kept secret for decades after the war and the secrecy surrounding it kept the 1,100 soldiers involved from receiving medals, including the Purple Heart.Kneece's account suffers from the secrecy and raises more questions than it answers:* how were the officers of the unit chosen and why?* who was the driving force behind the resources that flowed to the 23rd?* how was the materiale used by the unit designed and manufactured?It also limits somewhat the stories surrounding the impact of the unit. However, Kneece and members of the unit consider its greatest deception the job that they did in the crossing of the Rhine River north of Wesel, which was called Operation Viersen. Writes Kneece, "There were just 32 casualties in the real crossing. It had been estimated that, had the Germans been ready as they were just opposite the Ghost Army demonstration, casualties would have been in the 12,000 to 17,000 range (for the Allies alone)."

  • Tami
    2019-01-19 17:49

    After the bombing of Pearl Harbour are several German accounts of a so-called "Phantom Armies" that seemed to appear and disappear out of nowhere causing chaos for the German soldiers and essentially aiding the Allied victory. However, none of these musing were ever taken seriously, particularly because the United States government never announced that any sort of special "distraction" forces ever fought in World War II. Then, in 1996, top secret information was declassified that the sole purpose of the Twenty-third Headquarters Special Troops of the United States Army was indeed acts of deception intended to mislead and deceive the German Military. These men were aptly nicknamed the "Ghost Army". For over fifty years, the over one thousand men who served with the Ghost Army as virtual set designers, actors, and radio control misinformation officers were sworn to complete secrecy. The families of these individuals weren't even allowed to know where their loved ones were stationed. Few memoirs, diaries, and detailed records even exist as no one wanted knowledge of these special forces to be discovered by the Germans. Ghost Army of World War II has wrangled together what little knowledge is known about these men and their 21-55 different operations. This book contains all sorts of declassified information, photographs, memoirs, and interviews with those veterans still alive. It is such a shame that so many brave, extremely creative individuals never really got recognised for their important contribution to the war effort.

  • Keith Richey
    2019-01-23 19:56

    The Ghost army was a secret army used as a way of deception. It was used during the crossing of the Rhine river in Germany. The Ghost army consisted of fake tanks and vehicles. The United States covered it up with fake radio messages. This cowled the German Soldiers into thinking that there was a large tank force that was over the RhineThe Ghost army had been thought of before but was only used during this battle. Fake radio messages were used during both world war but not an entire fake army was used during the wars. The American General Patton was the leader of the armored forces and he advised the plan.The Ghost army was filled with look alike a of the Sherman tank and also vehicles. The Americans played speakers to make it sound like the tanks were moving and running. The Germans relished this problem and were frightened by the fact of how outnumbered they were. So this tactic worked well for the Americans.The Book was a good bit of fun for me to read because it had a lot of history I already knew in it. The Ghost army was used as intimidation. So I highly enjoyed this book

  • Justine
    2019-02-04 17:48

    Finally finished! When I started this book, I had doubts I'd finish it...when I was halfway through I had doubts I'd finish it...when I was almost to the last chapter I had doubts I'd finish it. I was interested in learning about the Twenty-Third Headquarters Special Troops and the more well-known figures who were part of it, so I found this book at the library. It's not terribly engaging, kind of repetitive, and jumps around quite a bit, but it's interesting in parts.

  • Jan
    2019-02-11 18:44

    I looked forward to this book with great eagerness, and then it popped up as a Daily Deal on yesterday. I listened to it today on a long road trip. I loved it! I will probably purchase a hard copy because I think the photos are important to the narrative, but it was a great listen and a remarkable story of puling some very impressive, sophisticated wool over the Nazi's eyes--and thereby winning the war.

  • Daniel
    2019-01-25 18:40

    Many people may have heard about the inflatable tanks, trucks and fake sounds around the invasion of Normandy, what I didn't realize was how much of a role this group played in many of the other important battles. Really interesting.

  • Myra
    2019-01-21 23:47

    Fascinating story about an Army unit whose main job during WW2 was deception! Their work saved thousands of lives.

  • Ron Vick
    2019-02-01 23:54

    I liked the book. It went at a good pace. It had a good balance of facts and stories. I was unaware of this aspect of WWII.

  • Mary
    2019-01-27 18:10

    This left me wanting to know more.

  • Christy
    2019-01-21 00:47

    This was a great book! I was only saddened that the men in this platoon have not been officially recognized and given any medals or other honor due to them.

  • Ryan Lackey
    2019-02-07 21:46

    This is a really cursory overview of the deception units of WW2, and some of the employments of this force. There really wasn't much analysis or research or really anything other than a few accounts; I was hoping to learn more about the methodology and theories developed, and those were pretty much absent. It's a short book, though, and there wasn't a lot written anywhere about these units.

  • Richard Garcia
    2019-02-03 17:09

    OK book. This is the first book that was published about the Ghost Army, so it's not surprising that books that were published later had much for details about the Ghost Army. I used this for my dissertation on the 23rd Special Troops (Ghost Army).

  • Jan
    2019-02-10 20:45

    I had no idea this took place. A very interesting read of how they filled the Nazi army into thinking who was where when. Amazing story.

  • Tessyohnka
    2019-02-08 23:45

    After my brother's death last August, I asked my sister-in-law for something he had been reading. We often shared books and offered each other recommendations. This was one he intended to read --still in the to-read pile -- so I decided to read it for him. Unfortunately, books are not offering me the diversion they had before and it's been on my night stand since August. It's quite fascinating to think that all that time I watched Mission Impossible thinking "this is a crazy amount of trouble to go to -- to fool someone" -- I never knew there was an army doing just that.

  • Terry
    2019-02-17 01:04

    Not very well written, there is still something compelling about true stories. In this, a bunch of artists make a significant contribution to the war effort and save lives. They create a fictitious army and convince the Germans that they are facing a large force, often when the real force has moved and is about to attack somewhere else.

  • Randy Elster
    2019-02-04 21:08

    Fascinating WW2 story--not declassified until 1996--of a special elite troop that specialized in deceiving the Germans through phony rubber tanks, recordings of tank and troop movement, and more. Not very well written but the subject propels it along.

  • Fijioz
    2019-01-25 23:43

    I was unaware of this unit, until this book. I was aware of the deceptions prior to D-Day. But not what was done post D-Day. While not a spectacular book. This was very informative, and I enjoyed learning about this unit.

  • Sandy Voegtlen
    2019-02-02 22:56

    This was a quick, interesting read. I had hoped it would be more detailed about the missions. However, it did give nice personal touches about some of the men.

  • Elona
    2019-02-16 00:57

    A fascinating read, although it is not a book that you can pick up and read from cover to cover in one sitting. Perfect for bathroom reading.

  • Dee
    2019-01-19 18:48


  • Roger Wu
    2019-01-30 23:05

    Great subject, not the most easy to read book. This will be the next "Argo"

  • J.M.
    2019-02-10 22:43

    While the subject intrigued me, I couldn't get into the book. The writing was clunky and difficult, and I didn't find it enjoyable.

  • Tom
    2019-02-01 16:53

    Good story, not great...