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Research Unit D.2 – Danish Freedom: 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 D.2 – Danish Freedom, broadcasting to Occupied Denmark.


Its task has been to produce a hotting-up in Denmark during the phase when Denmark was a “model protectorate”. It took a very strong line on personalities, the King, sabotage, and other subjects in a way which was not possible for the BBC.

Its future task is even more important. Now that Denmark has suddenly become a fully occupied country, the people must be educated as to what that means. The tradition of the underground work is not very deep; the mass of the people have applauded the sabotage but have not really known what it has involved in the way of organisation and the risks taken. When Denmark was a “model protectorate” there was a great deal of freedom of action possible: now however the frail underground movement has become tough in strange circumstances. It is the business of the RU to devote itself to explaining in detail what control by the Germans involves, what the underground workers have to beware of, what the experience of similar countries has been, how to develop the technique of clandestine listening and distribution of news. In short it is only the RU that can do this job, and it will be the voice of the conscious minority inside Denmark seeking to spread throughout the whole country the kind of attitude, temper and knowledge new needed under a full German occupation.

Another major function of this RU is to exploit the naval situation around Denmark, for which purposes the Admiralty will supply material.


1. Transmission times are not yet fixed. The following would suit the RU best:- 15 minutes daily at 10pm BST (ie Danish time), and two special transmissions for clandestine press Sunday and Wednesday at 1am (repeated at 2am). The 10pm time is the most convenient for the mass of listeners. The 1am and 2am transmissions will enable the elite listeners to take down material at dictation speed.

2. We use at least two voices and possibly a third, as the broadcasts sometimes are in dialogue form. It is essential to preserve the tradition of a variety of voices. We may even have to rota bringing in one or two voices, for as the RU represents the active minority and is moving about, we must if possible vary the accents of the speakers.

3. We broadcast recorded material. Security considerations are paramount.

4. We attach much importance to coordination with other broadcasts, leaflets and sibs. Our contacts with the underground movement enable us to have the RU advertised in underground newspapers. Certain material put out may be published in the underground newspapers and on the other hand secret intelligence derived from editors of underground newspapers provides material for our scripts.


Evidence of reception naturally varies among other things with the number of people escaping from the country. Hitherto there has not been a big flow out of Denmark. The following are some of the reactions we have received, and there have also been references to “voices” by collaborationist ministers which might have referred to the RU.

22 March 1943. A Danish arrival reported in February that its contents were discussed all through the country. This has received some confirmation from an English woman just returned from Denmark. Its propaganda has been openly attacked by Major Arentoft on Friesland Radio (22 February) and an Aabenraa lawyer has been attacked for the second time in the Nazi paper Faedrelandet (15 February) for displaying an advertisement for the Freedomsender in his office. In these circumstances it is reasonable to relate the series of strikes for better ARP to the repeated voicing of this demand by the RU.

13 February 1943. Mrs Isobel Coffey , a British subject, who had been in Denmark since the German occupation, had lived during the last months in Copenhagen. She arrived in this country towards the end of January and stated that the Freedomsender was widely listened to. It was very clear and quite popular. Most people believed the station was located in Stockholm. She evidently had no suspicion as to its origin.

13 February 1943. Mr Ole Kiilerich, one of the leaders of the Danish underground movement, arrived in this country on February 7th. He had also lived in the centre of Copenhagen and declared that the Freedomsender was much listened to. He had even recognised the voice of one of the speakers; and among Mr Kiilerich’s and the speaker’s mutual friends in Copenhagen it was often said “Tonight we must listen to S.”

He said that reports were quickly spread over the country from parts where it could be heard to parts where jamming made listening impossible. He said furthermore that the Freedomsender infuriated the Prime Minister more than the BBC did.

September 1943. A recent arrival, Mr Gordon Ware who was for over three years in a sanatorium in Copenhagen stated that he had often listened to the Freedomsender and was able to quote one or two of the campaigns which have been running.

8 June 1943. Anders Pedersen and Christen Pedersen, fishermen who left Denmark in March 1943 stated that they had heard the Freedomsender for some time.

February 1943. Jan Junker a naval officer, reported that he said his friends had listened to it and there was a generally held view that it was situated in Germany.


[Source: TNA FO 898/51, transcribed by]



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