Bud Bier heard men shouting. “Let’s get that tank out of here! We’ve got to move out!” He watched the tanks driving past him, felt the rumble of the engines.
The performance, in the French countryside in 1944, was going smoothly. The sound system, the actors, the props — including some real artillery vehicles and lots of inflatable neoprene replicas — were all in place.
|More about the Unit HERE|
This was theater production on a grand scale, as a strategy of war, an elaborate fakeout to trick the Germans into believing large forces of Allied troops were being massed where they were not. The unit used inflatable tanks and what have been described as “gigantic speakers” to replicate the noise of an army 20 times its size as it served as a decoy.
Before being recruited for this special Army unit, Bier was an 18-year-old arts student from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. Now 92 and living in Dartmouth, he is one of just 40 or so surviving artists, designers, and sound engineers out of 1,100 US military personnel who were part of a “Ghost Army’’ deployed in World War II Europe.
A push is on in Congress, in bills sponsored by Democrats Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Representative Annie Kuster of New Hampshire, to recognize the contributions of these troops, whose operations were kept secret until the 1990s.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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