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26 September 2015 at 10:42 pm
23 August 2015 at 4:50 pm
22 July 2015 at 12:49 pm
3 July 2015 at 8:11 pm
24 May 2015 at 10:28 pm
24 May 2015 at 9:06 pm
24 May 2015 at 4:19 pm
10 May 2015 at 8:16 pm
29 April 2015 at 9:00 pm
24 April 2015 at 5:23 pm
News, Comment and Updates
Posted on 10 October 2015 at 14:02 pm
Submission to the Chiefs of Staff, SHAEF, outlining covert propaganda techniques being applied in support of Operation Overlord. Further assistance is requested from the Royal Air Force to take German radio stations off air so to allow intruder broadcasts and to increase dissemination of the Nachrichten für die Truppe newssheet, 4 August 1944.
Posted on 07 October 2015 at 12:12 pm
Posted on 06 October 2015 at 16:04 pm
Following his highly-regarded direction of forward psychological warfare in Ethiopia in 1940-1941, George Steer authored this report giving his personal opinion on how further Army field propaganda units should be organised in the North Africa campaign. Within a year the 1st Army Field Propaganda Company was established on broadly similar principles as outlined here. Steer would later form the Indian Field Broadcasting Units under the direction of the Special Operations Executive. Tragically Steer was killed in a vehicle accident in Burma on Christmas Day 1944.
Posted on 26 August 2015 at 18:06 pm
In the Autumn of 1943 the Political Warfare Executive initiated the compilation of a Political Warfare Training Manual. The contents were agreed with the intended manual covering such topics as the history of Political Warfare and the formation of PWE; Political Warfare directed against the enemy and allies; intelligence, instruments of Political Warfare including visual (leaflets) and oral (broadcasting); training schools, and Political Survey. The manual’s progression soon reached deadlock following disagreement over the quality of the first chapter drafted dealing with Political Survey. Within several months the project was effectively abandoned. The only other part of the draft manual that appears to have survived in the files is a portion of section 6: Instruments of Political Warfare. It covers the role of broadcasting in Political Warfare and specifically that of the BBC’s contribution. It is reproduced here.
Posted on 26 August 2015 at 17:05 pm
The Psychological Warfare Photograph Archive has been updated with a batch of Second World War images from the Office of War Information Archives. New additions include leaflet dropping using Monroe bombs and the use of combat mobile loudspeakers.
The archive now contains over 160 images on the theme of PsyWar and psychological operations from the First World War to recent operations in the Middle East.
Posted on 21 August 2015 at 16:04 pm
The 13 Amplifier Unit was mobilised on 14th April 1944. Along with four other Amplifier Units and their accompanying Leaflet Units, its function was to provide mobile loudspeaker support for Allied psychological warfare, consolidation and civil affairs activities for Operation Overlord. The 13 AU landed in France on the late afternoon of 10th June, a fortnight later it made probably its most valuable effort when broadcasts by the unit directly netted around 1,200 German prisoners of war and was instrumental in the capture of the French port of Cherbourg. The after action report reproduced here from the 21st Army Group Publicity and Psychological Warfare war diary recounts these events.
Posted on 07 August 2015 at 21:09 pm
Posted on 19 June 2015 at 09:09 am
Your very last invitation to join the world's leading experts and opinion formers to discuss and debate violent extremism
Taking place in London from 29 June - 1 July 2015 the Countering Violent Extremism event focuses on how military influence professionals as well as senior government, intelligence professionals and charities and agencies can work to counter the spread of Violent Extremism. The symposium looks at 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 agenda >>
Call +44 (0)20 7036 1300 to Secure Your Place Now
Who is attending?
US Marine Corps Information Operations Command, NATO, British Army, HQ ARRC, French Army, Italian Army, NATO Rapid Deployment Corp, NATO SHAPE, AFRICOM, Bundeswehr, UK MoD, US Army, National Security Council of Ukraine, ISAF, EUCOM, Active Change Foundation, National Crime Agency, Royal Danish Defence College, InCoStrat, Embassy of Ukraine, SOCEUR, University of Exeter, Canadian Armed Forces, National Ground Intelligence Centre, University of Cardiff, Levant 7, EUREKA Research, Leonie Industries, Promo-Fix, DSTL, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, Mission Media, APCO, TSN.
Posted on 27 April 2015 at 09:09 am
Fifty years ago today the US Government authorised Operation Power Pack. It was the start of a four month military intervention in the Dominican Republic to suppress a left-wing uprising following from years of internal dispute in the country. David Hagen, US Army Broadcast Specialist E-4 with the 1st Psychological Warfare Battalion, recalls here the PsyWar support provided to the operation.
Posted on 18 April 2015 at 17:05 pm
As the Office of Strategic Service Morale Operations branch in the European theatre of operations was liquidated in the summer of 1945 following Germany's defeat, the Chief of the branch wrote this final report outlining the branch's propaganda activities run from London since late 1943. OSS-MO in the ETO worked closely with the British Political Warfare Executive in the development of "black" propaganda. It contributed all the entertainment programming on the Soldatensender West clandestine medium-wave radio station, supplied editorial staff for the production of the "grey" daily airdropped newspaper Nachrichten für die Truppe, and invented a large number underground rumours. The Morale Operations branch later also operated its own black radio stations and produced its own subversive propaganda literature for infiltration into Occupied Europe.
Posted on 16 April 2015 at 13:01 pm
Since its inception in 1958 the PsyWar Society has published a quarterly magazine, The Falling Leaf, which is an invaluable source of news, articles, and information about the history of psychological warfare and aerial leaflet propaganda. After editing the magazine for nearly forty years Reg Auckland, a co-founder of the Society, retired at the end of 1997. Many of the articles are written by Reg Auckland and collectors and historians alike owe him a great debt for publishing the results of his researches. He was succeeded for a number of years by David Minshall. The editorship of The Falling Leaf was handled over to Lee Richards in 2004. Due to declining membership and a lack of volunteers to take on key positions within the Society, The Falling Leaf ceased publication in 2012. The final issue was a special edition, printed in full colour and numbering 136 pages.
As his last act as Editor of the PsyWar Society journal, Lee Richards has created this full-text search engine of The Falling Leaf.
Posted on 29 March 2015 at 18:06 pm
Throughout the Cyprus Emergency of the late 1950's a constant theme of EOKA and Greek Nationalist propaganda was to accuse British Security Forces of conducting a campaign of brutal repression against the Greek Cypriots. Detention Centres were labelled as Nazi concentration camps, Greeks, it was claimed, were erroneously accused of terrorist activities, and British soldiers blamed for beating up and whipping children and for trashing the homes of innocent Greek families. These allegations were not only spread locally on the island but also pursued on the international stage. To counter this particular stratum of pernicious propaganda, in June 1958 the Cyprus Government formed a Special Investigations Group to document the activities of the Security Forces and expose EOKA lies and exaggerations.
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.
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:
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 www.psywar.org is aware of covers the August/September 1944 period and is reproduced below.
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".
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.
Posted on 09 January 2015 at 11:11 am
Posted on 02 January 2015 at 18:06 pm
Posted on 03 September 2014 at 13:01 pm
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.
Posted on 08 August 2014 at 17:05 pm
Posted on 04 August 2014 at 15:03 pm
Posted on 18 July 2014 at 21:09 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted on 14 November 2013 at 23:11 pm
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.
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.
Posted on 12 November 2013 at 19:07 pm
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.
Posted on 22 October 2013 at 19:07 pm
Posted on 22 October 2013 at 19:07 pm
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.
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.
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.
Posted on 01 September 2013 at 17:05 pm
Posted on 23 June 2013 at 19:07 pm
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.
Posted on 06 June 2013 at 19:07 pm
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
Posted on 19 May 2013 at 19:07 pm
Posted on 17 May 2013 at 09:09 am
Any cryptologists want to try to crack this radio message code?
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."
Posted on 16 May 2013 at 06:06 am
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.
Posted on 05 May 2013 at 19:07 pm