Ghost Army of inflatable decoys helped WWII effort


Bernie Mason spent World War II moving Army tanks, sometimes picking them up and setting them down with his bare hands. He’s not superhuman. And the tanks weren’t some ultralight secret weapon.

It was combat trickery.

As a 21-year-old lieutenant, Mason helped lead a handpicked unit of artists and creative thinkers who deployed and arranged highly detailed, inflatable rubber tanks – and trucks, jeeps, and artillery – to fool the Germans into thinking the Americans had more firepower than they actually did or that the equipment was somewhere other than where it really was. Officially, the unit was the 23d Headquarters Special Troops. Unofficially, it was the Ghost Army.



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