Monday, February 2, 2015

Ghost Army: The PSYOP Movie!




A week or two ago my wife and I went to see “American Sniper”. I’m actually one of the very few veterans in my social circle, especially veterans who have been overseas and often get asked about my opinion of all things military related, so I felt it was a good idea.

I’ve never been to Iraq or Afghanistan and in my Viet Nam and Bosnia tours I was lucky enough not to be in the thick of things. Nevertheless, I too faced readjustment issues. I thought Bradley Cooper did an outstanding job showing how Chris Kyle changed over his tours and upon his return. Movies are powerful experiences.

By chance my wife was watching “Ghost Army” on PBS (http://www.pbs.org/program/ghost-army/). I thought I knew quite a bit about deception efforts in WWII, but I was totally wrong, I didn’t know sh*t. Turns out the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops combined Military Deception and PSYOP (MISO) on an unprecedented scale. They were tasked with ‘replacing’ designated units to make the enemy think a lightly manned area was actually heavily manned and at times to deceive the enemy as to the location of key forces such as armor and artillery.

They used visual deception with blow up versions of tanks and artillery. This was supplemented with loudspeaker sounds to match. Rounding out the deception involved the use of fake radio traffic, painting vehicles with the unit designations and walking/driving around the AO wearing patches of the impersonated unit as well.

The time has come for a PSYOP movie about the Ghost Army. It’s perfect! Easy to understand, has historical precedence and I’m sure George Clooney would jump at the chance to be in uniform again.
 

1 comment:

Scott Nickerson said...

I had the wonderful opportunity to meet with this unit's historian and stepson of one of its members. I actually got to hold in my own hands the sketches by the unit members including Bill Blass and many others. The historian was featured in the documentary and took myself and a colleague on a deception focused tour of Mannassas battlefield and we talked about the heritage and lineage of deception as a prominent battlefield asset. This is why "I am deception" is part of our creed. We do not lie, but we sometimes deceive.