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Research Unit B.2 – Sambre et Meuse: Object, Method and Effect

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This Political Warfare Executive report is an appraisal of the object, method and effect of the clandestine radio station known as B.2 – Sambre et Meuse, broadcasting in French to Occupied Belgium.

Object

This is directed to the Walloon industrial workers and has a definite socialist complexion. The aim is to stimulate these industrial workers to resist the Germans in their own country and to avoid deportation to Germany. It aims, too, at keeping their action in Belgium controlled and disciplined and preventing them from following the more hot-headed councils of extreme communists to break into open revolt at the present moment. No ‘white’ radio is likely to have such effect on the industrial workers of Charleroi as a broadcast coming from their socialist leaders, one of whom is chief contributor to the programme. This programme also has a direct relation with the work of one or two of our own agents, and carried out recommendations which they send over to us.

Method

These are two transmissions six out of the seven days weekly, at 1300 hrs and 1900 hrs BST. They are very suitable for Walloon industrial workers as they occur at the lunch hour and just after they have returned home.

There are two voices – one a typical Walloon worker, and the other more cultured but with sufficiently strong Walloon accent.

All broadcasts are recorded, largely owing to the fact that one of the speakers is in London. The lunch-time programme is always a repeat of the previous evening’s programme, and though it has a smaller audience it is less jammed.

Occasionally a transmission is deliberately missed in order to increase the illusion that the station is situated in Belgium.

Effect

The programmes of this station are frequently trailed in the Socialist clandestine press, and on one occasion in the Catholic “Libre Belgiue”. Nearly all Belgians who have escaped have heard of it and most of them have listened in to it. Even extreme right-wing listeners have expressed their approval of its patriotic attitude and there have been surprisingly few criticisms except, oddly enough, from some Belgian members of our staff!



PWE RESEARCH UNITS: OBJECT, METHOD AND EFFECT



[Source: TNA FO 898/51, transcribed by www.psywar.org]

 

 

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