When an Army of Artists Fooled Hitler
Shortly after the D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944, two Frenchmen on bicycles managed to cross the perimeter of the United States Army’s 23rd Headquarters Special Troops and what they saw astounded them. Four American soldiers had picked up a 40-ton Sherman tank and were turning it in place. Soldier Arthur Shilstone says, “They looked at me, and they were looking for answers, and I finally said: ‘The Americans are very strong.’”
Patriotic pride aside, the men of the 23rd were not equipped with super-human strength. They did, however, have inflatable tanks.
Shilstone was one of 1,100 soldiers who formed the unit, also known as the Ghost Army. They were artists and illustrators, radio people and sound guys. Over the course of the war, they staged more than 20 operations and are estimated to have saved between 15,000 and 30,000 U.S. lives. - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.
Photo by Arthur Shilstone
Ed. note: Find out how one soccer team living in Nazi-occupied Kiev used the game to find hope here.