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Research Unit P.1 – Swit: 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 P.1 – Swit, broadcasting to Occupied Poland.

Object

The object of P.1 is to increase and stimulate organised resistance to the invader on the part of all classes of the population. The audience consists mainly of the organised listening posts of the Resistance Organisation and the clandestine press. There is a certain amount of listening on the part of friendly Volksdeutsche and Ukrainians. As the general population – with the exception of people of these nationalities – have been deprived of shortwave listening facilities, the only means of reaching it is through the organised posts.

Method

P.1 purports to be situated in Poland and acts as the official organ of the Directorate of the Resistance Movement which is in Poland. The Directorate has accepted this fiction and has announced it as fact in the clandestine press. It is thus an official operational station, and as such:

(a) is a channel of communication between the HQ of the movement and its outlying units;

(b) disseminates information which has been received by W/T from Poland;

(c) gives talks which form the basis of articles in the clandestine press;

(d) gives operational instructions;

(e) gives instruction and exhortation to various classes and professions, e.g. peasants, industrial workers, civil servants, teachers, police, etc.

(f) conducts propaganda campaigns by constant repetition, e.g. harvest and food, transport sabotage, administrative sabotage, loyalty to official leaders (unity of all Poles), defence of Polish tradition and culture, education of youth, instructions to people who may be taken to work in Germany.

(g) attacks the morale of German settlers, refugees, administrative officials, and military in Poland.

In addition, advantage is taken of the growing anti-German feeling among the Lithuanians, and of a similar feeling among that element of the Ukrainian people which still desires good relations with the Poles, to increase these tendencies by emphasising the traditional friendship of the people concerned and the advantages of collaboration.

Swit has two 20-minute transmissions daily, one at 09.00 hours and the other at 19.10 hours. According to reports from Poland, these are quite suitable especially in winter.

As a general rule two male voices – rarely three – are used in any one transmission. The principle reasons for this are (a) to avoid the monotony of a single voice and (b) to employ as many accents as possible, especially when broadcasts have a regional application. The programmes are introduced and ended by a passage from a Polish popular song on a shepherd’s pipe or flute.

Broadcasts are recorded for security reasons. Certain talks are repeated and it is known that certain listening posts operate in the morning and others at night. Only the more important talks from a propaganda point of view are thus repeated. The pretence of Swit being situated in Poland is kept up by ‘hot’ news, e.g. by quoting matter that had appeared in the German-controlled Warsaw press on the same day.

Coordination with other broadcasts is not as satisfactory as it might be, but this is a matter for mutual organisation which could easily be put right. The leaflet question has been in abeyance for some months owing to the short nights. Sibs are sometimes used when their use can be considered useful to the campaigns of other regions, but are rarely originated with P.1.

Effect

There is ample evidence that P.1 is listened to. We are in almost daily contact with the Directorate of the Resistance Movement, who in their turn send requests for certain messages to be sent or for talks on specific subjects to be given. We have even received commendations or criticisms of items in our programmes. There have also been reports of good reception from Pomerania, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In fact, a request has been received from the Resistance Movement of the last named for help.



PWE RESEARCH UNITS: OBJECT, METHOD AND EFFECT



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

 

 

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