Did you know inflatables won World War II? As we are coming up on the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, we at Executive Events & Entertainment thought it necessary to showcase how inflatables made the D- Day invasion possible. Before delving in, it is important to understand the background which led up to this auspicious endeavor and how the inflatable army allowed the allies to open a second front in the European theater.
Dealing With the Devil
Until 1944 the allies (then England, Italy, & United States and mind you Italy only joined after the invasion of the Italian mainland earlier in the year) had provided little help in the way of manpower. Up until 1944, the allies were content to let Russia take the full brunt of the Nazi army. Joseph Stalin, then the "president" of the Soviet Union struck a deal upon joining the allies. If the U.S and England opened a second front in Europe, then Stalin was willing to commit more troops to the Eastern front. In essence, Winston Churchill (England) & Franklin Roosevelt (U.S) had no other choice but to figure out how to invade Europe again. The question is, how to invade without costing the millions of lives they have already seen lost by Russia on Eastern front.
Enter Douglas Fairbanks Jr, the architect of the "Ghost Army" Fairbanks proposed using inflatable tank, planes, and a small amount of real soldiers to construct an inflatable army that will serve as a tool to fool the axis powers into thinking the allies had a larger more unstoppable army. The first test for the audacious plan was in the southern region of Dover in England. Dover is situation on the coast of the narrowest expanse of the English channel. They filled the fields of Dover with tanks, planes, and a continual loop of 3 convoy trucks (to give the illusion of large amounts of troops being moved).
Success at Last
On June 6, 1944 the allies invaded France along the Beaches of Normandy, 200 miles south of where Hitler had thought they were going to invade at the French city of Calais. It seems that Ghost Army worked like a charm. Being convinced of another invasion point, Hitler moved all his available resources to Calais. (Calais is the closest french city to Dover) and even refused to move them once the invasion started still believing that the massive ghost army would be invading Calais led by the infamous George S Patton (whom Hitler personally feared and respected). Overall the Ghost Army was a huge gamble but paid off in the end. The allies were able to open a second front in Europe and inevitable win the war.
What Does it All Mean?
You may be asking what does it all mean? Well, you may not know but several famous American artists got their start in art by working on the Ghost Army. Bill Blass, Arthur Singer, & Art Kane all got their start in the Ghost Army. So, honor the role bouncehouses and other inflatables have played in world history and rent one for your next party or event. Who knows, a bouncehouse rental may inspire a budding artists within your own family!
Looking for More Info?
Check out these Links!
Article on the Ghost Army HERE
Get the New Ghost Army Documentary HERE
Bouncehouse Rentals HERE