NPR : Artists of Battlefield Deception: Soldiers of the 23rd

Another great NPR story of the day! This week they are runnning stories on WWII to coincide with the Ken Burns documentary on PBS.

The art of deception has been part of warfare since its beginnings. There is no more famous example than the Trojan Horse.

But few people know much about the deceptive role the U.S. Army’s 23rd Special Troops played in World War II.

That’s because their work was kept secret until 1996. The mission of the 23rd — made up largely of artists, designers, architects and sound engineers — was to deceive the enemy by drawing their attention away from real combat troops.

Their weapons? Inflatable jeeps and tanks, acting, sound recordings and plenty of imagination.

Among it’s members were Ellsworth Kelly (abstract expressionist painter) and Bill Blass (fashion designer). Check out the article and/or podcast which has much more information. Hey – I would join the army if I could do this kind of work.

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