Though the tales of World War II frontliners and generals have been widely heralded by the populist championing of the likes of Ambrose, Spielberg, Hanks, and Brokaw, the major contributions of behind-the-scenes fighters such as the members of the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops are less well-known. Philip Gerard’s fascinating new book, Secret Soldiers: The Story of World War II’s Heroic Army of Deception, sheds some light on the actors, painters, and writers who gave the term “theater of operations” a double meaning. His book is about the men who, through illusion and trickery, faked the German army into believing that the Allies had more troops and artillery and different battle plans than they actually did, and whose actions helped pave the way for Allied success. Gerard tells their top-secret tales at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919. (Christopher Porter)