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Random PSYOP leaflet - News for the Troops, No. 172, 5 October 1944
 

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Research Unit Y.2 – Shumadia: 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 Y.2 – Shumadia, broadcasting to Serbia.

Object

To destroy the authority and prestige of the Nedic Government and hinder its attempts to obtain Serb collaborating with the occupying power. To expose all German attempts to exploit Serbs politically, militarily or economically, as, for instance, workers in Serbia or Germany.

The RU is directed to all Serbs on a strictly nationalist appeal but addresses itself mainly to the Serbians of Serbia proper and more particularly to the middle class Belgrade listener, who must form a large part of its audience.

The RU aims at maintaining the traditional Serb ideals of resistance to oppression and ceaseless struggle for freedom against the new ideals of work and peace, so desperately propagated by General Nedic.

In addition to its purely Serb objectives, the RU aims at affecting also German and Bulgarian troops of occupation and the Hungarians of the Backa, via its Serb listeners.

Method

The Y.2 RU transmits every evening for a period of from 15 to 30 minutes. It plays in with a Serbian pipe tune and concludes with the Yugoslav National Anthem and “Long Live King Peter II!” Each transmission includes a talk of from 10 to 15 minutes, usually split up to embrace two or more topics. About 4 days a week the programme includes Serbian National songs played from a stock of commercial records. This national folk music is a powerful draw to a Serb listener. All output is recorded on the day of transmission or a day in advance.

The Y.2 RU began work in August 1941 and has been kept going by a single writer/voice over since. The search for suitable assistance has been up to now in vain in view of the extreme difficulty of finding genuine Serbs in speech and outlook, who are reliable both on the Mihailovic/Partisan and the Serb/Croat issue.

Campaigns run by this RU include:

A civil disobedience campaign among Provincial officials.

A campaign to expose bad conditions of work at the German controlled Bor mines and encourage Serbs to avoid Labour Service there.

A campaign to cause a migration of local Germans and Magyars from the Vojvodina.

A campaign to awaken Bulgarian occupying troops to the dangers of German control of Bulgarian policy, and win their sympathy for the Serb guerrillas.

A campaign to undermine morale of German troops by detailed and lavish reporting of the effects of the bombing of Germany etc. etc.

Effect

The Y.2 RU has been heard in New York, Marseilles, Zagreb, Belgrade, Kuibyshov, and Cairo where it was reported very strong. One of the earliest reactions in 1941 at the time of the rebellion in Serbia indicated good reception in Hungary: Wiesci Poljsi of Budapest on 30th September 1941 quoted the Magyar Nemzet as saying that the Belgrade authorities were crippled in their efforts to combat Cetnik activities by a secret station calling itself “Sumadija”, which demanded Nedic’s immediate resignation and was “so strong that it is audible abroad”.

American reactions have always indicated a belief that the transmitter was genuinely operated within Yugoslavia by Serb patriots and even after General Nedic had denounced the RU by name and stated that it was in Cairo, some people seem to have refused to accept his word for it. Thus a young man who arrived from Yugoslavia at the end of 1942 said that ‘many people listened to Radio Sumadija. At first they thought the station was operating from the Middle East but gradually became convinced from the general tone of the broadcasting that those concerned had been dropped with their equipment inside the country.’ Another arrival in August 1943, who had, however, left Serbia in February 1942, identified the Y.2 RU as Mihailovic’s station and said it must have been run from an army truck with a mobile transmitter. In Serb puppet Government circles however there is no doubt as to the station’s whereabouts and Ljotic’s private secretary has spoken of it in Istanbul as ‘run by the Yugoslav Government’. On occasions the RU has been attacked both from the Mihailovist and the Partisan sides: this is a measure of its success in steering a middle course through the difficulties of Serb internal politics and puts it fairly in a position to provide again that voice of encouragement to the entire Serb people, when they rise finally against the German occupiers, as they rose in the autumn of 1941.



PWE RESEARCH UNITS: OBJECT, METHOD AND EFFECT



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

 

 

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