The Ghost Army of World War II

  • by Rick Beyer, Elizabeth Sayles
  • Narrated by Tom Stechschulte
  • 4 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the summer of 1944, a handpicked group of young GIs - including such future luminaries as Bill Blass, Ellsworth Kelly, Arthur Singer, Victor Dowd, Art Kane, and Jack Masey - landed in France to conduct a secret mission. Armed with truckloads of inflatable tanks, a massive collection of sound-effects records, and more than a few tricks up their sleeves, their job was to create a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German army as their audience.
From Normandy to the Rhine, the 1,100 men of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the Ghost Army, conjured up phony convoys, phantom divisions, and make-believe headquarters to fool the enemy about the strength and location of American units. Between missions, the artists filled their duffel bags with drawings and paintings and dragged them across Europe. Every move they made was top secret, and their story was hushed up for decades after the war's end. The Ghost Army of World War II is the first publication to tell the full story of how a traveling road show of artists wielding imagination, paint, and bravado saved thousands of American lives.

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What the Critics Say

"The Ghost Army of World War II describes a perfect example of a little-known, highly imaginative, and daring maneuver that helped open the way for the final drive to Germany. It is a riveting tale told through personal accounts and sketches along the way - ultimately, a story of success against great odds. I enjoyed it enormously." (Tom Brokaw)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Should have been better I'm affraid

Would you try another book from Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles and/or Tom Stechschulte?

I definitely wouldn't look for a book by this narrater. It was a weak performance that ruined a potentially good yarn. The pronunciation of French place names in this reading was shockingly bad, to name just one fault with it all. I can't say that I'd rush to these authors again either. They did their research, but just failed to pull it all together in a way that made you feel like you were listening to anything that was actually following a timeline.


What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I'm a huge fan of history from this period, and the idea that these guys set up a fake army is amazing to me. I should have loved this, it had "me" written all over it, yet I struggled to get through a mere 4 hour reading and had to restart it on several occasions. Sadly it's just poorly written, and poorly performed. Its saving grace is that it is a true story so despite the bad writing, you can't help but wonder at the ingenuity of these guys.


What didn’t you like about Tom Stechschulte’s performance?

Laughable pronunciation of French place names, monotone performance... just dull.


Was The Ghost Army of World War II worth the listening time?

Barely. It made me want to go and research the subject and see if someone else has done a better job of telling this story.


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- Daniel

Bring a balloon to a gun fight.

Unbelievable courage to hold off one of the most notorious armies in history with a bunch of speakers and balloons. They couldn't even tell their allies to either side that they were essentially unarmed. They pulled off their mission PERFECTLY as evidenced by the fact that any of them survived. It is a great story and it is worth listening to. Attention to details is incredible where they considered things that would have given away the deception and find a way to make it work.
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- Tyler J.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-08-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios