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Flying airmen logo (c)1990, Lee Richards

An archive of wartime aerial propaganda leaflets and research site for the history and techniques of psychological warfare, PSYOPs and military information support.

WWI: Balloon distribution of propaganda leaflets.

Men of the Hampshire Regiment checking wind direction before releasing balloons to drop propaganda leaflets over the German frontline.

Iraq: Leaflet drop from helicopter.

U.S. Army Soldiers from 350th Tactical Psychological Operations, 10th Mountain Division, conduct a leaflet drop in several villages surrounding Hawijah, to reinforce the need for self government in Kirkuk Province.

Afghanistan: Static line box drop of PSYOP leaflets.

A C-130 Hercules loadmaster drops a box of 10,000 warning leaflets over the southeastern mountains of Afghanistan. The leaflets were used to communicate with Taliban extremists, warning them not to interfere with coalition activities.

Iraq: British soldiers handing out information leaflets.

British soldiers from the Civil and Military Liason group of The Black Watch Regiment hand out leaflets to locals explaining why the soldiers are in the area and where they come from.

Iraq: boxes of PSYOP leaflets ready for dropping.

A U.S. Air Force MC-130E Combat Talon loadmaster discusses with the crew the aircraft's cargo of boxes containing 120,000 leaflets that will be dropped over Basra, Iraq, sending a message to Iraqis that they should not get in the way of coalition forces.

WWII: Interrogation of enemy prisoners.

U.S. 5th Army in Italy. Interrogation of prisoners of war to ascertain level of morale in the German Army. By securing such vital information, propaganda pamphlets are composed to bring better results.

Iraq: Posters cover insurgent graffiti.

A Sergeant of the 9th Psychological Operations (PSYOP) Battalion places anti terrorist flyers over graffiti in Mosul. PSYOPS is patrolling this area of Mosul to battle false propaganda put out by Anti-Iraqi forces.

Monroe leaflet bomb.

Captain James Monroe, U.S.A.A.F. adjusts the fuse on a bomb he designed so that it will release psychological warfare leaflets at the desired height above the ground.

WWII: Reinvention of the propaganda artillery shell.

British soldiers fill artillery shells with propaganda leaflets for firing over the frontlines. The idea to use artillery shells to disseminate leaflets was first experimented with by the French and British in the First World War. The technique was re-invented in North Africa in the Second.

Commando Solo: Airborne broadcasting platform.

The EC-130E Commando Solo aircraft of the 193rd Special Operations Wing, Pennsylvania Air National Guard, can broadcast both radio and television transmissions.

WWII: T3 Leaflet Bomb.

Adapted from the M.26 flare container, the T-3 leaflet bomb was utilised by fighter-bombers to drop propaganda leaflets over enemy-controlled territory.

Afghanistan leaflet dropping.

Combined/Joint Task Force 76 (CJTF76) prepares to drop leaflets near Forward Operating Base (FOB) Salerno, Afghanistan.

Rolls of anti-communist propaganda leaflets are loaded into an M.29 cluster bomb for dropping over northern Korea.

Rolls of anti-communist propaganda leaflets are loaded into an M.29 cluster bomb for dropping over northern Korea.

British PSYOPS soldier using a loudspeaker to communicate with the Taliban.

British PSYOPS soldier using a loudspeaker to communicate with the Taliban.

Young Iraqi boys hold a voting flyer.

Young Iraqi boys hold a voting flyer. 350th PSYOP Company is responsible for getting the word out to the surrounding communities of the upcoming January 30th, 2005 Iraqi elections.

Operation Enduring Freedom: U.S. Army Sergeant sits atop his Humvee equipped with a loudspeaker system.

U.S. Army Sergeant, of the 345th Tactical Psychological Operations Company, sits atop his Humvee equipped with a loudspeaker system. He enjoys the shade of a olive tree with local Afghani residents from the village of Old Orgun, located in the in Paktia Province of Afghanistan. Residents are gathering to celebrate the opening of the first school building to be built in the Province in over 700-years.

Malayan Emergency: Leaflets over the jungle.

Royal Army Service Corps Air Despatchers throw out surrender appeal leaflets to Chinese Communists hiding in the Malay jungle, 1958.

Sky-shouting: Loudspeaker 'Voice' aircraft.

The C-47 "Speaker" voice aircraft in Indochina being used by the French army in December 1952.

Libya 2011: Libyan civilians show off a leaflet that was released from NATO assets.

Two Libyan civilians show off a leaflet that was released from NATO assets during Operation Unified Protector.

Leaflet Archive

Random PSYOP leaflet - Cloudy Observer, No. 7

Propaganda Shop

Recent Forum Posts

Re: New Member Introduction

18 March 2015 at 10:35 am

Re: New Member Introduction

18 March 2015 at 2:09 am

Re: Seeking source information and translations for WWII and K...

16 March 2015 at 10:53 am

Re: New Member Introduction

16 March 2015 at 10:51 am

New Member Introduction

14 March 2015 at 1:59 am

Seeking source information and translations for WWII and Korea...

4 March 2015 at 8:34 pm

Re: 77 Brigade

14 February 2015 at 10:03 am

Re: 77 Brigade

2 February 2015 at 10:22 am

77 Brigade

31 January 2015 at 8:36 am

The MoD evokes the spirit of the Chindits in new 77 Brigade

31 January 2015 at 8:31 am

Psychological Warfare, PSYOPS and Military Information Support

27 March 2015
News, Comment and Updates
IO Global: Countering Violent Extremism

Posted on 26 March 2015 at 09:09 am


As you may be aware the Countering Violent Extremism Event is taking place in London between 29 June - 01 July 2015.

Brought to you by the same people as the famous Information Operations Summit the event broadens the remit of that past symposium by inviting senior government, military and intelligence professionals to create a forum focused on countering violent extremism, the use of open source intelligence to pursue non-state actors (including social networks etc.) and the subsequent utility of strategic communications activity for both military and cross-government entities.

<< Download the Draft Agenda now >>

BBC1 Heir Hunters, 16 March 2015

Posted on 16 March 2015 at 14:02 pm

Today's BBC1 Heir Hunters show featured an interview with PsyWar.Org Producer Lee Richards discussing PsyWar in the Second World War.

The interview focused on Major Ronald Glue, Royal Engineers, who commanded a mobile printing unit in Europe. The unit printed PsyWar leaflets and various other things like Union Jacks for use in the liberation of Paris, maps and passes for the Potsdam Conference and the very first editions of 'Soldier' magazine.

The interview was filmed at the Royal Engineers Museum last summer.  Watch online through BBC iPlayer (UK only) for the next seven days:




The Leaflet Propaganda Front, August/September 1944

Posted on 22 February 2015 at 15:03 pm

Following the Operation Overlord landings in France, the Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF issued monthly reports titled 'The Leaflet Propaganda Front'. The reports gave a brief overview of military operations with a review of leaflet production and dissemination during the period. Intelligence received on enemy reactions to the leaflets from prisoner of war interrogations or captured documents was also included. The first report issued that is aware of covers the August/September 1944 period and is reproduced below.

The Leaflet Propaganda Front 


The MoD evokes the spirit of the Chindits in new 77 Brigade

Posted on 31 January 2015 at 01:01 am

Evoking the spirit of the Second World War ‘Chindits’ special forces, the British Ministry of Defence has established a new 77 Brigade.

The Ministry of Defence says 77 Brigade, formally to be created on 1 April 2015, is responsible for the integration and delivery of all non-lethal and non-military effects on military operations. Specifically it will support "the delivery of Information Operations, including psychological operations and deployed media operations looking at the traditional and unconventional means of shaping behaviours through the use of dynamic narratives. It is also responsible for providing specialist capabilities to integrate the full range of national levers with deployed military operations ranging from reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to support to political, economic and commercial operations and the integration of local forces that can support desired effects. 77 Brigade will play a key part in enabling the UK to fight in the information age."

The Brigade, based in Hermitage, Berkshire, is 42% reservist and is also finding "new ways of allowing civilians with bespoke skills to serve alongside their military counterparts".

Soviet Propaganda in Western Europe

Posted on 18 January 2015 at 16:04 pm

The following background brief was prepared by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Research and Analysis Department in March 1982. The brief gives an overview of Soviet propaganda directed to Western Europe. The suggested principle aims of Soviet propaganda being to portray NATO as a threat to world peace, to cause division amongst NATO members and other European countries, to create fissures in the alliance between Europe and the United States, and to shape the Nuclear disarmament debate in the Soviet Union’s favour.


Soviet Propaganda in Western Europe


Je suis Charlie

Posted on 09 January 2015 at 11:11 am

Je Suis Charlie

Soviet Propaganda Organisations: A Survey

Posted on 02 January 2015 at 18:06 pm

First site update for 2015. An FCO background briefing document from 1989 outlining how the Soviet Union used international front organisations for foreign policy and propaganda purposes.

Soviet Propaganda Organisations 

Summary of Radio Caledonia broadcast, 26 August 1940

Posted on 03 September 2014 at 13:01 pm

Radio Caledonia was a clandestine Nazi radio station broadcasting to Britain and operated by the Büro Concordia. The only speaker and main writer was Scottish-Fascist Donald Alexander Fraser Grant. The station attacked the British establishment and fomented Scottish Nationalism. After the war Grant was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment for aiding the enemy. Of all the convicted British renegades this was the shortest prison sentence imposed.
Nazi Clandestine Radio Broadcasting: Workers' Challenge transmission, 23 August 1940

Posted on 23 August 2014 at 19:07 pm

Workers' Challenge was a clandestine radio station broadcasting to Britain throughout the Second World War. It purported to be run by a group of socialist British workers disaffected by the way the capitalist bosses and establishment were directing the war. The radio station called for a working class revolt through national strikes and disobedience in order to seek peace with Germany.

Workers' Challenge clandestine radio broadcast to Britain, 23 August 1940 


The RAF's Contribution to the Psychological Warfare Campaign during the Malayan Emergency

Posted on 08 August 2014 at 17:05 pm

In June 1970, by command of the Defence Council, the Ministry of Defence issued a restricted history of the Royal Air Force's role in the Malayan Emergency, 1948-1960. Chapter 4, reproduced here, includes an analysis of it's contribution to the psychological warfare campaign.


RAF's contribution to psywar during the Malayan Emergency


Psychological Warfare Aspects of the Propaganda Campaign in the Federation of Malaya

Posted on 04 August 2014 at 15:03 pm

This report produced by the Federation of Malaya's Department of Public Relations documents its efforts to combat the Chinese Communist insurgency through psychological warfare and information campaigns. It covers the first six months of the Emergency from June to the end of December 1948.
Collecting Now Video

Posted on 18 July 2014 at 21:09 pm

A clip from the 1980's BBC television show 'Collecting Now' takes a look at Reginald Auckland's impressive collection of aerial propaganda leaflets.




Report on the British Army's Deputy Directorate of Information and Propaganda, 1940-45

Posted on 17 April 2014 at 08:08 am

Taken from the War Diary of the Deputy Directorate of Information and Propaganda, this report outlines the history of the British Army's liaison with Government civilian information departments, how it gave guidance to the press on military matters throughout the Second World War, and organised Amplifier and Leaflet Units in North-West Europe.

Report on the British Armys Deputy Directorate of Information and Propaganda, 1940-45

Ian Fleming Malingering Memorandum

Posted on 05 April 2014 at 15:03 pm

Towards the end of 1942, the German section of the Political Warfare Executive developed a new black propaganda campaign to undermine the morale of U-boat crews. On the outside the small booklet they produced was a facsimile of a genuine German Navy physical training manual. However, after a few pages the text dropped the sports advice and instead gave step-by-step instruction in the faking of illnesses and disease. This was the first edition of a range of disguised malingering manuals to be clandestinely disseminated inside occupied Europe by the Special Operations Executive and dropped from the air by Royal Air Force free-floating balloons.

Ian Fleming, personal assistance to the Director of Naval Intelligence (DNI), recognising the value of such psychological warfare, was eager that this malingering booklet should be quickly in the hands of the German submariners. He wrote the memorandum below to the chief of the Special Operations Executive urging for the organisation's assistance to disseminate the booklets. Fleming also suggests that the Soviet NKVD might also help.

Ian Fleming Malingering Memorandum

OWI in the ETO booklet

Posted on 20 March 2014 at 13:01 pm

A report on the activities of the Office of War Information in the European Theatre of Operations from January 1944 to January 1945.
During 1944 OWI faced two major tasks in the European theatre: first, to provide personnel and material with which to attack enemy morale on home front and firing line; second, to spread accurate and dispassionate information about America and her Allies and thus to build confidence among occupied and liberated countries.

Office of War Information in the European Theatre of Operations 

PsyWar and Propaganda eBooks price slash

Posted on 26 February 2014 at 11:11 am

All prices on my psychological warfare and propaganda eBooks have been slashed. Books are directly available through Google Play for your tablet, PC or phone.

e.g. The Black Art: British Clandestine Psychological Warfare against the Third Reich now only £2.69

The Psychological Warfare Division/SHAEF official history now only £1.98.


Psychological Warfare and Propaganda books


NATO Operation Unified Protector PSYOPS Product

Posted on 29 December 2013 at 19:07 pm

NATO PSYOPS leaflets dropped over Libya in 2011 to assist Operation Unified Protector.

NATO PSYOPS leaflets for Libya

70th Anniversary of Soldatensender Calais

Posted on 14 November 2013 at 23:11 pm

On this day 70 years ago, 14 November 1943, Sefton Delmer's clandestine radio station Soldatensender Calais broadcasts on medium wave for the first time, relayed by Europe's most powerful transmitter codenamed Aspidistra.
Evidence of Reception Reports

Posted on 14 November 2013 at 23:11 pm

In an attempt to ascertain the effects of its clandestine psychological warfare, the Political Warfare Executive routinely monitored neutral and enemy media looking for comment and reaction to its radio broadcasts, underground rumour-mongering and leaflets. The comments of enemy prisoners of war, captured documents and other intelligence sources were also studied. Any comebacks to PWE propaganda campaigns were circulated to interested parties through the following "Evidence of Reception" reports.

PWE forged Himmler postage stamps

Proposed use of the Aspidistra transmitter for psychological warfare purposes

Posted on 13 November 2013 at 18:06 pm

These two proposed uses of the powerful medium wave transmitter known as Aspidistra for psychological warfare purposes were suggested by Sefton Delmer in late August 1943. The first proposal was acted upon in November 1943, to relay the shortwave Atlantik station on medium wave under the Soldatensender Calais name. Intruder radio operations had to wait until the closing months of the war with Germany.


Sefton Delmer


The controversy between the BBC and PWE over Soldatensender Calais

Posted on 12 November 2013 at 19:07 pm

Of all PWE clandestine radio stations broadcasting in German, undoubtedly Soldatensender Calais developed the furthest reach and acquired the largest audience. This was due in part to being broadcast on Europe's most powerful medium wave transmitter, known as Aspidistra, because of its high production values with much of its programme devoted to specially recorded Jazz dance music and because of its frank news reporting and comment. The combination of these elements, however, made it difficult for Soldatensender Calais to maintain the pretext of being a real German forces station. The BBC in particular was against the concept of a "grey" propaganda radio station that could be identified as being of British origin and could by association damage the BBC's reputation for trustworthiness.
The Case of the Viennese Infanticidal Doctors

Posted on 23 October 2013 at 21:09 pm

A Gestapo Investigation into British Clandestine Radio Broadcasts.

A seemingly unpleasant series of stories on British clandestine radio broadcasts denouncing two Viennese doctors for killing 20 newborns and infants could easily be dismissed as mere atrocity propaganda, if it were not for the fact that the core premise of the stories was actually true. The shocking nature of the revelations instigated the Gestapo to investigate the enemy allegations.

Christ the King Daily Monitoring Transcripts

Posted on 22 October 2013 at 19:07 pm

Translated monitoring reports of broadcasts made by the British clandestine radio station known as G.7, Christ the King. The station was on the air from mid-September 1942 until the last days of the war in Europe. Broadcasts of this radio station were monitored by the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, the transcripts of which make up this collection. The originals are held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 262. This online archive currently contains reports from December 1942 to May 1943.
Christ the King Black radio station: Object, Method and Effect

Posted on 22 October 2013 at 19:07 pm

This Political Warfare Executive report is an appraisal of the object, method and effect of the Catholic clandestine radio station known as Christ the King.
MAJOR UPDATE: Soldatensender Calais Daily Transcripts

Posted on 09 October 2013 at 15:03 pm

Daily summarised transcripts of the PWE/OSS clandestine 'grey' radio station G.9 Kurzwellensender Atlantik / Soldatensender Calais.

These daily summaries have been transcribed from the Political Warfare Executive's archive and record the propaganda component of the broadcasts which was interspersed amongst straight news reporting and musical interludes.

This archive currently contains transcripts from 3 July 1943 until the end of March 1944. Text in italics was based on the truth.

Aspidistra transmitter

A Cold War visit to Potsdam by Sefton Delmer

Posted on 05 October 2013 at 10:10 am

 "I had not visited Potsdam since July 1934 when Hitler expelled me from his Reich. I very much wanted to see what that pretty little Prussian town looked like now thirty years later. Irresistible bait for me too were the Central Archives, where they store the mountains of files recovered from the salt mines and other caches in which the Nazis had hidden them... The drive to Potsdam turned out to be one long demonstration of what the Ulbricht wall means for East Berliners, in both its negative and its positive aspects."

Written c.1964, in this article Delmer takes a trip behind the Iron Curtain to view the Third Reich's captured archives held at Potsdam. He notes the Berlin Wall's impact on the lives of East Germans and laments on the re-employment of middle-ranking Nazi officials in the West German administration.

The ruins of Potsdam in 1947


A report on the WWI leaflet-newspaper Le Courrier de l'Air

Posted on 05 October 2013 at 10:10 am

Le Courrier de l'Air was an airdropped leaflet newspaper for occupied France and Belgium. Printed in London, it was dropped over the First World War western front by free-floating paper balloons. Courrier was the production of a branch of Military Intelligence known as MI7b and from May 1918 edited by Edward Heron-Allen. Here follows a report written by Heron-Allen in November 1918 giving the production history of Courrier. The same title would be resurrected for a new airdropped newspaper in the Second World War.


Le Courrier de l'Air front pages


Video: Leaflet Drop over Southern Afghanistan, August 2013

Posted on 01 September 2013 at 17:05 pm


Video: Leaflet drop over Southern Afghanistan, August 2013


U.S. Marines with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252 (VMGR-252) and U.S. Army Soldiers with 303rd Psychological Operations Company (33rd POCO) conduct a leaflet drop over southern Afghanistan, Aug. 28, 2013. The leaflet drop was conducted to help counter insurgent influence in the area.


OSS Morale Operations - The Story of Cornflakes, Pig Iron and Sheet Iron

Posted on 23 June 2013 at 19:07 pm

'The Story of Cornflakes, Pig Iron and Sheet Iron' is a booklet produced and printed in Rome in April 1945 by the Office of Strategic Service Morale Operations. It tells the story of the infiltration of subversive black propaganda into the German postal system by dropping fake mailbags beside shot-up railway trains and the widescale aerial dissemination of fake underground newspapers. Some additional illustrations have been added here to the original text.
OSS Morale Operations: The Story of Cornflakes, Pig Iron and Sheet Iron
OSS Morale Operations - History of Das Neue Deutschland

Posted on 21 June 2013 at 22:10 pm

Das Neue Deutschland – The New Germany – was a fake freedom movement created by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services Morale Operations branch in the summer of 1944. Its main organ was a clandestine newspaper which was disseminated through Europe by resistance fighters, by turned German Prisoners of War sent back through the frontline and ingeniously introduced into the German postal system by dropping fake mailbags, full with pre-franked letters containing subversive propaganda, alongside shot-up German railway trains. The following candid and detailed history of Das Neue Deutschland was submitted to the Morale Operations reports office by Eugene Warner, Chief of European and Mediterranean MO section on 1 October 1945.

The names of German POWs have been changed by PsyWar.Org plus a few other minor alterations and corrections. Supporting illustrations have also been added to the narrative.


Das Neue Deutschland


Information Operations Global, 24 - 26 June, 2013

Posted on 06 June 2013 at 19:07 pm

Information Operations Global 2013 

Delivering Effects through Influence Activity

PsyWar.Org is again privileged to be partnering with this year's Information Operations Global event. Building on the strength of previous events, IO Global 2013 will provide a holistic analysis of the contemporary challenges facing IO professionals worldwide, ranging from per-emptive engagement to developing effective IO campaign assessments. With four individual themes structured to provide briefings on strategic, tactical and non-military approaches to communication and influence campaigns, Information Operations Global will once again deliver an unrivalled opportunity to enhance your communication efforts by taking on board best-practise from our expert panel.

24 - 26 June, 2013
Grand Connaught Rooms, London, United Kingdom

MAJOR UPDATE: Gustav Siegfried Eins Daily Monitoring Transcripts

Posted on 19 May 2013 at 19:07 pm

Translated monitoring reports of broadcasts made by the British clandestine radio station known as Gustav Siegfried Eins (GS1).

GS1 pretended to be the mouthpiece of a group of disaffected German soldiers. The main announcer is referred to as "der Chef", the Chief, who revels in the use of foul language to attack the murderous British enemy and to complain about the clique of Nazi bosses (the Party Kommune) who are mismanaging the war while profiteering and living a comfortable life at the expense of the German people. The station was on the air from May 1941 until November 1943.

Broadcasts of this radio station were monitored by the U.S. Foreign Broadcast Intelligence Service, the transcripts of which make up this collection. The originals are held by the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, Record Group 262.
A cryptological challenge

Posted on 17 May 2013 at 09:09 am

Any cryptologists want to try to crack this radio message code?

GSI coded message 

The British black radio station Gustav Siegfried Eins would include short coded messages in its broadcasts like this. 

The text will be in German and suspect either it will be quite easy to break or totally meaningless!

Sefton Delmer explained the code's purpose thusly:

"There followed a message in a number code. It was not a high grade cypher and when broken and decoded by the monitors of the Reich Central Security Office, as it was bound to be, I reckoned it would produce quite an acceptable flurry in the Gestapo's dove-cotes all over Germany. For the message said: "Willy meet Jochen Friday row five parquest stalls second performance Union Theatre". There were hundreds of Union Theatre cinemas all over Germany, and I fondly imagined leather-coated Gestapo thugs attending every one of them on the look-out for 'Willy' and 'Jochen'. The Gestapo with their radio detection instruments would be quick to fix our signal as coming from Britain. They could not ignore the possibility that Willy and Jochen were British agents, and that the message to them was genuine."

DAMBUSTERS 70: Allied Psychological Warfare to Capitalise on the Dambusters Raid

Posted on 16 May 2013 at 06:06 am

On this night seventy years ago, 19 specially modified Lancaster bombers of 617 Squadron took off from RAF Scampton. The now famous Operation Chastise had begun. Commanded by 24-year-old Wing Commander Guy Gibson, their mission was to attack the major dams of the Ruhr and Weser valleys in Germany's industrial heartland. As well as striking a severe physical blow to the war making capabilities of the Third Reich, the morale effect of the raid was also of prime importance. Not just the depressing of enemy morale but also bolstering the people of Occupied Europe and on the home fronts, to show to the world that the British Commonwealth was fighting back and had the means and will to defeat the Axis.
Dambusters crew Y for York
George Lowther Steer (22 November 1909 25 December 1944)

Posted on 13 May 2013 at 08:08 am

George Steer was a journalist for The Times and later the Daily Telegraph. He famously reported on the Italian invasion of Abyssinia in 1935 and the Spanish Civil war, particularly the bombing of Guernica on 26 April 1937.

During the Second World War Steer organised forward propaganda in Ethiopia and then worked for the Special Operations Executive in the Middle East. In 1943 he was transferred to India and working with Alec Peterson set up the Indian Forward Broadcasting Units (IFBU).

He and three others were killed in a vehicle accident on Christmas day 1944.

The following letter written by Alec Peterson puts on record his valuable contribution to the forming of the Indian Field Broadcasting Units.

Monitoring Transcript of Gustav Siegfried Eins, 13 March 1943

Posted on 05 May 2013 at 19:07 pm

This is a translated monitoring report of a broadcast made by the British clandestine radio station known as Gustav Siegfried Eins (GSI).
GSI pretended to be the mouthpiece of a group of disaffected German officers. The main announcer is referred to as der Chef, the Chief, who revels in the use of foul language to attack the murderous British enemy and to complain about the clique of Nazi bosses (the Party Kommune) who are mismanaging the war while profiteering and living a comfortable life at the expense of the German people.
History of SOE Political Warfare Section, Force 136

Posted on 04 May 2013 at 17:05 pm

This document is taken from the Special Operations Executive historical records of Force 136. It documents the role of S.O.E. political warfare in South East Asia, including the setting up of a rumour-mongering network in India and the organisation of the Indian Field Broadcasting Units for the production of frontline propaganda.
OWI/OSS Berne Black Propaganda Catalogue, 1943-1945

Posted on 17 January 2013 at 21:09 pm

Originally published in The Falling Leaf in October 2008, here is Lee Richards' detailed and illustrated catalogue of black propaganda material produced by Gerald M Mayer and Allen Dulles at the OWI/OSS Berne, Switzerland, outstation in World War II.

OWI/OSS Black Propaganda Sticker   OWI/OSS Black Propaganda Sticker   OWI/OSS Black Propaganda Sticker
The RAF Bombs Paris with Banknotes

Posted on 02 January 2013 at 18:06 pm

On the night of 25/26 April 1942, the Royal Air Force on a mission to Occupied France, dropped not just bombs but a rather more unusual package over Paris. The package contained 600 French Francs and the following message. Its intention was to publicise the radio propaganda broadcasts of Colonel Britton and his 'V' army.


French Francs



The Sefton Delmer Archive

Posted on 08 September 2012 at 20:08 pm is pleased and proud to announce a major new addition to the website: The Sefton Delmer Archive. Working with Delmer's family we reprint online all his books, Trail Sinister, Black Boomerang, Counterfeit Spy and Weimar Germany and many unpublished articles and documents including the first three chapters of the third instalment of his autobiography Tail of a Tale.

Trail Sinister  Black Boomerang  Tail of a Tale  The Counterfeit Spy

As foreign correspondent for the Daily Express in pre-war Germany, Delmer was on personal terms with Hitler and the Nazi major players. One of the highlights of the Archive is a previously unseen home movie shot personally by Delmer on board Hitler's 1932 electioneering aircraft tour. Here we see Hitler with cotton wool stuffed in his ears, Goebbels munching a hardboiled egg and Hitler's black uniformed SS bodyguards sharing private photographs.

Adolf Hitler on 1932 electioneering tour. Still from unseen footage shot by Daily Express foreign correspondent Sefton Delmer

During World War II Delmer was appointed Director of Special Operations to Enemy and Satellite countries for Britain's secret propaganda department, the Political Warfare Executive. Under his leadership and inspiration, his team produced the renowned clandestine radio stations Gustav Siegfried Eins, Soldatensender Calais and others, the daily newspaper for German troops Nachrichten für die Truppe, and over a thousand covert black propaganda leaflets.

Over the coming months will expand the archive with much more material from Delmer’s pre-war, wartime and post-war career.

Words at War - Leaflets and Newspapers in World War Two

Posted on 26 August 2012 at 18:06 pm

In almost all military conflicts, as well as a war of bombs and bullets there is a war of words. Words can be disseminated via a number of different media. They can be spoken, e.g. via radio, loudspeaker, or even by mouth-to-mouth communication as news and rumours, sometimes supplied by one's enemies as well as ones allies, are spread. Here in the 21st C the social media are coming to play a very important part in the spread of information. But in the 20th C the main medium was the printed word, and newspapers had a huge role to play. This article is perhaps overambitious in that it aims to provide both a short introduction to the role of airdropped leaflets in war and conflict and within that to focus on news and airdropped newspapers in WW2. For reasons of space its emphasis will be mainly upon Western Europe, but it should be realised that news-based leaflets featured hugely in all theatres of WW2, from Europe to North Africa and then Russia through to the Middle East and to Asian countries, especially the countries of East Asia such as China and Japan, and in Southeast Asia such as Burma, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaya, Indonesia and Papua and New Guinea.


Editions of Front-Illustrierte were issued from July 1941 to April 1945. It was largely a pictorial newspaper with copious photos mixed with caricatures and cartoons.
New Article - Propaganda Leaflets of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-39

Posted on 16 August 2012 at 10:10 am

Dr Rod Oakland's article on the propaganda leaflets of the Spanish Civil is to date the most in-depth look at this subject in the English language. As well as giving a background to the cruel and bitter civil war, Dr Oakland's article analyses and illustrates numerous airdropped propaganda leaflets from both the Nationalist and Republican sides of the conflict.

Spanish Civil War Propaganda Leaflet 

Communist Chinese Propaganda to the Kinmen Islands

Posted on 09 August 2012 at 16:04 pm

A new illustrated article on People's Republic of China propaganda directed towards the Kinmen island group in the early 1970's. It includes some nice photographs of dissemination devices including a model boat, kite and glass flotation spheres.


Communist Chinese airdropped propaganda leaflet for the Kinmen Islands.


Propaganda Leaflet Archive New Design

Posted on 30 July 2012 at 13:01 pm

Nearly there with the overhaul and redesign of the propaganda leaflet archive. Leaflets are now displayed using a tabbed layout and there are enhanced features to catalogue your own leaflets.

Soon leaflets will also be offered for sale through the PsyWar.Org leaflet archive.


Click to enlarge


Click to enlarge


The Poppy Salute - 28 June 2012

Posted on 28 June 2012 at 20:08 pm

RAF Lancaster dropping 55,000 poppies over Bomber Command Memorial. Photograph by Lee Richards, 

The RAF Lancaster of the 'Battle of Britain Memorial Flight' drops 55,000 red poppies over the opening ceremony of the Bomber Command Memorial, Green Park, London, 28 June 2012. Each red poppy represents one of the RAF Bomber Command aircrew who lost their lives in the Second World War.

SOE Guidance for the Production of Rumours

Posted on 02 June 2012 at 09:09 am

This document circulated to Special Operations Executive propaganda agents in 1942 gives guidance on the creation of rumours, what are the qualities of a good rumour and some of the pitfalls to avoid.
SOE Rumour Organisation

Posted on 01 June 2012 at 09:09 am

This document, intended as a brief introduction, was provided to Special Operations Executive propaganda agents tasked with setting up a rumour spreading organisation.
Vietnam War: Dai Doan Ket National Reconciliation Program

Posted on 05 May 2012 at 08:08 am

Vietnam War Dai Doan Ket National Reconciliation propaganda leaflet

During the early years of the Vietnam War the term 'Dai Doan Ket' was used in the south as 'The National Reconciliation Program'. Republic of Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky instituted Dai Doan Ket by proclamation on the 19 April 1967. It was meant to reinvigorate the Chieu Hoi (Open Arms) defector program in place since 1963. While Chieu Hoi targeted foot soldiers, the new initiative promised government aid in finding careers for top-level defectors. Further, it offered full participation in political activities to all who agreed to renounce force, abandon communism, lay down their weapons, and abide by the constitution of Vietnam. Unfortunately, the concept was really American and not Vietnamese and as a result had little backing and was destined for failure.

Counter-Propaganda: A Basic Analysis

Posted on 30 April 2012 at 09:09 am

A new item added to PsyWar.Org taken from the recent release of Colonial Office files to the National Archives. Interesting reading on how the head of the British Government's Information Research Department viewed the threat from the Soviet Union to not only the West but its affect on the hegemony of the whole world. The document is an extract from a secret series of lectures on Communism made in September 1952.
Information Operations Global 2012

Posted on 25 April 2012 at 08:08 am

PsyWar.Org is happy to be partnering again with DefenceIQ for this year's Information Operations Global conference.

Information Operations Global 2012 is the must-attend global IO event of the year, consistently attracting a truly international audience to discuss a diverse range of PsyOps, StratComs and influence issues.

It will be held at Charing Cross Hotel, London, UK between 26th to 29th June 2012.

The 2012 event is arranged around four specific themes - each of these themes will feature presentations from military and non-military subject matter experts, providing a fantastic opportunity for the cross-pollination of ideas between sectors. This will be reinforced by the introduction of dedicated discussion sessions at the end of each theme which will help to summarise the learning outcomes. The four themes are:

 * What role should the information operations community play in combatting the influence of extremist groups?
 * How has the growth of social media and technology influenced Information Operations?
 * How can we create a cohesive, overarching strategic narrative that can be used to derive positive "stories" for multiple audiences?
 * What role should Information Operations play in contingency planning and conflict prevention?

Download the full conference programme at

And to receive a 15% discount quote reference IGC_IOS_PSY when registering for the event.


Information Operations Global 2012




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