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Research Unit R.2 – Porunca Maresalului: 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 R.2 – Porunca Maresalului, broadcasting to Romania.

Object

To lower Roumanian war morale, and to reduce Roumania’s military (50,000 Roumanian casualties), economic (3,000,000 tons of oil, half a million tons of grain, etc.) and political aid to the Axis.

The audience is of the middle and upper classes, (it was taken over from the three years old R.1 by “ghost-voicing” and subsequent killing of R.1 transmissions – overlap, one month), the audience is considered basically and increasingly anti-German, but still more anti-Russian.

The station is impossibly pro-German and pro-Antonescu, in the belief that the previous direct approach (R.1) was no longer effective – indeed it bred resignation.

Method

We feign an exaggerated loyalty and complete subservience by Antonescu to Germany.

Our rumours, stories, operational propaganda, are released through the pro-German, pro-Antonescu line, by slips, exaggeration, denials misconstructions, patently weak German or Antonescu propaganda, inadequate discrediting of wild figures and statements etc. In addition to the specific effect, we aim to create a general conviction in the decline and inevitable defeat of Germany, and the suicidal effect of political, military and economic subservience to Germany.

Programmes are variously presented as full talks, series of items, announcements and news.

Campaign technique is used freely – e.g. i) a progressive inflation campaign, preparing audiences for a final operational sib, less plausible without preparation; ii) a story of promised revision of the Vienna Award with drop of morale when non-fulfilment was announced.

Transmission times (twice daily of which one is a repeat) were chosen by R.1 (the first RU) in 1940 as suitable to the audience, and were taken over by R.2.

One voice, with assistance in writing, is used, from the civil service class, dependent for its livelihood on Antonescu.

Sibs, rumours, and campaigns are coordinated with RU to other Southeastern European countries and on German stations – also with sibs through other channels. Black leaflet facilities [are] not available.

Effect

Evidence of reception has been received in the past two months from Palestine, Stockholm, Budapest, Istanbul, and Bucharest. Reactions have taken the form of a Budapest protest at anti-Hungarian material put our in the name of Antonescu. The Russian freedom station debunked our Vienna Award campaign as being “propaganda inspired by Antonescu”. The Roumanian “Curentul” found it necessary to deny our story of approaching changes in the Government.

Evidence that our transition technique of jamming the old R.1 with the new R.2 was successful in its deception, came from SOE’s own Middle East monitor, and independently from the Istanbul monitoring unit. Both called R.2 an activity of the Roumanian Radio, “ghost-voicing” a freedom station. We had planned to get morale value from such a reaction on the part of our actual audience.



PWE RESEARCH UNITS: OBJECT, METHOD AND EFFECT



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

 

 

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