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A REVIEW OF THE ACTIVITIES OF THE POLITICAL WARFARE EXECUTIVE SUB-MISSION (BARI)
– now known as
THE PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE BRANCH, BARI
From its formation in January, 1944 up to mid-October, 1944
BROADCASTING: Having begun with only ten minutes daily in English, the Mission now broadcasts for six hours daily in German (for both Germans and Austrians) and six Balkan languages. Reactions show that these services are listened to in Hungary, Yugoslavia, Albania and Greece.
Bombing planes regularly use Bari radio to fly in "on the beam", and special identifications have twice been broadcast to enable Russian missions flying to Bari to pick up the line on Bari airport.
LEAFLETS: During the period some 95,000,000 8" x 5" leaflets have been printed. In June a weekly output of 43,000,000 was reached. Leaflets have been printed in sixteen languages. Almost the entire leaflet production for the invasion of Southern France and the current Greek campaign was handled by the mission, which, in this field, holds all Mediterranean and some world records.
LEAFLET DISSEMINATION: Some 10 airfields are used, the distance between the two farthest apart being two hundred miles. Leaflets have been conceived, set, printed, transported 100 miles, and disseminated, within 48 hours entirely by the mission staff. The highest weekly dissemination was over 45,000,000.
Three leaflet bombs for accurate low level dissemination have been developed. Two of them – the American parachute flare adaptation and the R.A.F. M26 parachute flare – have advantages over the bomb used from Great Britain in that they can be dropped with actual bombs and cover a bomber’s target with heightened psychological effect. Aircraft employed in dissemination range from the Lysander, through the Spitfire and Mustang, to the Baltimore and Ventura, and finally to the "heavy-load" planes, the Dakota, Halifax, Wellington, Liberator, Fortress.
Relations with the Air Force are excellent.
POSTERS: A range of posters for partisans in Yugoslavia and elsewhere have been produced.
SPECIAL LIAISON SECTION: In June of this year a Special Liaison Section on the island of Vis was formed. This unit has done front line work with leaflets (often fired at the enemy in shells) and loud hailer, both on the other islands and on the mainland, and is credited with securing a number of prisoners. A section of the unit took part in the Sarande operation in Albania, where it contributed to the capture of prisoners and of Sarande itself.
INFILTRATION: An ever-increasing stream of publications, posters, war photographs, news leaflets, films and other propaganda material is being infiltrated to Liaison Officers in the Balkans. This material has been dropped or transported to about 35 different points in Yugoslavia and has done much to give the partisans a picture of the outside world.
OPERATIONS: The assistance of the Mission in leaflet, broadcasting, and front line work has been sought and received by the Balkan Air Force, Land Forces Adriatic, the Yugoslav Army of National Liberation, and the 15th Army Air Force.
REACTIONS: The German leaflet the Soldaten Nachrichten, first dropped over Greece in 1942, has become a household word amongst German troops in the Balkans. There are few interrogated Prisoners of War who have not seen it or at least heard of it.
The Budapest press regularly conducts propaganda to counter the Mission’s Hungarian leaflets, and two weeks ago reported a street fight to capture some as they were dropped. In Yugoslavia, the Glasnik has had such effect that the Germans have thought it necessary to produce forged editions. In Albania leaflets have been dealt in on the black market – with higher prices for the coloured ones. A Siebel ferry off the coast near Sarande surrendered after being addressed by a P.W.B. front line unit using public address equipment from a Landing Craft "P"; and it was owing to one of the Mission’s leaflets, a million copies of which were dropped on 11th October, that the garrison of Corfu surrendered the next day.
[Source: TNA FO 898/171, transcribed by www.psywar.org]