Ben Affleck is gearing to lead and star in Ghost Army a new Second World War film about a secret US Army entity composed of artists, actors, advertising agencies and engineers who had a mission
Based on the historic non-fiction Ghost Army of World War II by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles (and Beyer's 2013 documentary on the same name), the drama will tell the story of the 23rd headquarters special troops, an unconventional entity made up of artists, artists and other advertisements recruited by advertising agencies and art schools accused of defrauding Nazi forces throughout Europe.
They were probably soldiers, but their favorite weapon was not a rifle ̵
The 1,100-strong unit created inflatable tanks, trucks, artillery and rubber fleets, according to a May 22, 2013 review of Beyers documentary in the Atlantic. They hooked the speakers to the back of military trucks and burst pre-recorded soundtracks of tanks that rumbled and men at work, cussing and swearing. Radio messages were sent back and forth between members of the Ghost Army, discussing troop movements and units – all a comprehensive ruse of German code wrinkles in mind and designed to spread disinformation.
A bounce tank, one of many used by the Ghost Army to force the axis forces to believe that the Allies had a much greater force than actually existed. (National Archives via the Atlantic)
For the Axis forces, it was as if whole units had sprung up overnight. The result: Full chaos and confusion for the observers, spies and intelligence officers charged with tracking the Allied movements.
Between 1944 and 1945, the Ghost Army became more than 20 frauds according to the Atlantic Ocean. They moved massive formations of fake tanks and fake armor throughout Europe, with some real-life vehicles thrown on a good scale, like a sort of circus with olive-trashing.
An inflatable plane created by the Ghost Army. National Archives photo via the Atlantic
Although the film's production date is still in the air, Affleck is expected to have a hand in writing the script and the latest iteration of the manuscript was drafted by Nic Pizzolatto (HBO's True Detective, according to Variety.
Fortunately, Afflecks Ghost Army is a movie that highlights the courage, imagination and ballsy bravado of the soldiers who helped push back the Nazi regime and save the lives of countless their fellow soldiers with little more than some inflatable tanks and a lot of paint.