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Black Propaganda Attack on Morale of German Forces in Norway by Sefton Delmer

  1 of 1   | ARTICLES
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MOST SECRET

ATTACK ON MORALE OF GERMAN FORCES IN NORWAY

Germans are tough. They fight hard and they fight well.

But they are also upstarts, conscious of their lack of tradition as a great power and of their past defeats. Despite all their protestations of invincibility they have a sense of inferiority. They have not forgotten that they were beaten in the last war.

This feeling of upstart inferiority is liable to make the German change suddenly from tough fighting to cringing surrender.

Just as the German crew in the Henley Regatta rowed in champion form in the preliminary heats, which they won, and then in the final heat suddenly gave up rowing when they found themselves two lengths down at the mile with another quarter to go, so did the German troops in Tunisia surrender although they had ammunition, men and fortified positions.

The Germans in Tunisia surrendered because they had become convinced that there was no future in their fight, that their supplies were cut off, that no help would be coming from the mainland of Europe. They had become convinced that the OKH [High Command of the Army], with all its other commitments, did not regard the Tunisian theatre as sufficiently important for them to spare the costly effort that would be necessary to reinforce it. Tunisia, the German troops came to believe, was in the eyes of the High Command a sideshow, an outer bastion to be sacrificed with regret, but to be sacrificed.

And so the German troops in Tunisia, like the Henley crew before them, said:

"Ve are beat - Vot's ze goot of goink on?"

It is our job to try to produce this same frame of mind among the German Services in Norway. We must make them say to themselves: "Ours is a lost outpost. Our High Command regard Norway as an operational theatre of only second rate importance. They will not spare the reinforcements, men or armaments necessary to defend it. Norway is not essential to the defence of the Fatherland, its occupation today when the war at sea is lost anyhow is a matter of political prestige and Nordic Weltanschauung. The real defence of Germany is on the East Front."

If we can get the German troops to feel this way, they will be able to rationalise and explain to themselves such instinctive inclination to lay down their arms as they may be made to feel by Allied force. And, rationalising this inclination, they will give up earlier than they would do otherwise.

We should therefore spread among them news which suggests:

(1) that in their composition, armament and equipment, the German Forces in Norway are inferior to those sent by the German High Command to fronts of real importance.

They should be made to feel that they are (2) an army of rejects, troops who were not considered good enough for service on the Eastern Front (e.g. they contain too great an element of Volksdeutsche and other unreliable foreigners: much of their equipment is stuff that was not thought good enough for the other fronts. Their fortifications are equipped with second-rate captured arms.)

We should make them feel further that (3) the war in Norway isn't a war at all, that it is a phoney war, a Sitzkrieg. We should lull them into a sense of the futility of military effort and even stimulate (4) a sense of the danger to them personally of military efficiency. "Soldiers who show themselves efficient are immediately put into the drafts for the Eastern Front. Promotion in Norway is a sure way to death in Russia."

They should be encouraged to concentrate their thoughts on (5) the war in Russia and (6) the bombing of Germany. They should be encouraged to (7) worry about what is happening to their families at home. Their natural inclination towards self-interest and concentration on domestic issues rather than on the bigger issues of the war should be fostered as much as possible.

They should be made (8) to see their enemy in the German Party high-ups, in the Germans having a better time than themselves, rather than in the Allies whom they are fighting.

We should do all we can to stimulate in them (9) a sense of betrayal — betrayal by their leaders and superiors, betrayal by their own comrades.

And on the basis of this sense of betrayal, we should stimulate in them the desire to act in their own selfish interests against the interests of German military efficiency. We should stimulate by news and evidence of all kinds the sense that (10) it is safe for them to defy the machine and act on their own, that authority is breaking down and that authority is being successfully defied on an ever-increasing scale. We should stimulate in them (11) the desire to desert and the conviction that desertion is safe, and (12) the desire to surrender because life as a prisoner of war has advantages over life or death as a soldier.

And over and above all this we must endeavour to stimulate in them all (13) the desire for an immediate peace, peace for themselves, peace for their families, peace for Germany, on the basis that the war is lost, that to continue fighting the war will only aggravate the hardship for the Germans after the war, that the only reason why the war is being prolonged now is to gain time for the men who made the war and who want to save their profits. These men want time to liquidate their loot and salt away their cash profits where they will be safe after the war.

To sum up, therefore, our task is to spread among the Germans in Norway a conviction that they are an army of outcasts, to stimulate in them pacifism, despondency and discontent, and convince them that they can defy the ever less efficient German authority with impunity.

Useful lines in supporting this campaign are:

1. Inequality of sacrifice as between the common man and the privileged class. Party officials form a privileged class.

Examples of Party officials' privileges are:

(a) Party functionaries of military age are largely exempt from frontline service or compulsory labour service. Such frontline service as they do is performed behind the lines in cushy Sonderführer jobs, where they enjoy all kinds of privileges over the ordinary man. (We must not fall into the error of making Party members the privileged class. The privileged are Party officials, Party high-ups.)

(b) Party officials' wives and daughters, in so far as they do not escape the call-up of women altogether, are never made to do the health-destroying factory work to which 80% of German women have been applied. Through their special connections they get themselves nominal jobs or cushy jobs as office workers, entertainers, social works and the like.

(c) Party officials are privileged in respect of leave.

(d) Party functionaries are exempt from providing billets in their homes for evacuees or bombed-out persons as the common German is forced to do. The decree exempting Party high-ups from billeting is dated 27.2.43 and comes under the so-called Wohnraumlenkungsverordnung.

(e) Party high-ups are not subjected to the same rationing as the common German. For so-called "representational" purposes they are entitled to draw the same rations as diplomats, who get four times the rations of the ordinary German.

(f) Party high-ups have created special reserved zones around their own residential colonies so that they are able to evacuate their own families without being molested or crowded out by refugees. They have done this under cover of the order which proclaims certain overcrowded areas, such as Breslau to the Brennpunkte des Wohnungsbedarfs - focal points of the housing shortage - closed to evacuees. The high-ups have included among these "focal points" a number of residential resorts where they have their own villas. These are:

Berchtesgaden, Bischofswiesen, Gern, Koenigsee, Salzburg
Landschellenberg, Marktschellenberg, Scheffau, Schoenau

(g) Party functionaries, under a special authorisation of the Führer, are entitled to establish their so-called Befehlsstellen (posts of command) outside the towns in the air war zone so that they are able to spend the night in safety, while the common German man and woman, and especially the German worker, is ordered to stay put in the town to fight fires.

Apart from the above, many other angles of inequality of sacrifice will suggest themselves from observation on the spot in Norway. Such questions, for instance, as leave, transport, food.

2. Incapacity, Corruption and Selfishness of the Leadership.

We should suggest that big strategic decisions are made by Hitler with complete irresponsibility, e.g. the Scharnhorst was sent out in an outburst of passion without adequate destroyer cover against the warning of Doenitz and without her proper complement of officers and technicians.

The incapacity of the leadership can be illustrated by the way the war is going and also by stories or differences, quarrels and in particular quarrels between the Army and Civil Administration (Party).

We can illustrate their selfishness and corruption by:

(a) Every possible example, true and fictitious, of racketeering and profiteering, black marketeering by Party officials and other leaders.

(b) Examples of defeatist post-war planning by German high-ups. Party officials and other high-ups in Norway are trying to sell out their control of Norwegian businesses. German shipping firms have given orders in Swedish shipyards for the building of merchant vessels not to be delivered to them until after the war.

3. Breakdown of Authority.

We should suggest on every possible occasion that the German authorities are increasingly unable to keep proper control and that more and more Germans and foreigners are defying them successfully either for their own selfish ends (e.g. German Black Marketeers) or as militants of the national resistance movements.

Lines that suggest themselves are:-

(a) So many police have been called up that police control has become inefficient.

This applies both to Germany and to occupied territories. (Aged policemen on duty; women doing police duty; point out the moral every time a police team is beaten in a football match:

"Before 1941 it was different, of course, but now, what with the call-up of the police, the majority of them are such old codger's that they can't field a good team.")

The crime wave in Germany should be stressed. This gives opportunity for unpolitical illustration of police inefficiency which will sound unsuspect. (Murder, theft and burglary).

Air raids make police control impossible. After air raids the Authorities are unable to check who has gone where. Air raids destroy police files and records. Air raids destroy prisons (e.g. of 133 prisoners who escaped from Moabit Prison, in Berlin, after it had been bombed, only 23 have been recaptured so far.) Soldiers are able to desert under cover of air raids because the authorities are unable to distinguish who is missing because he is killed and who is missing because he has deserted. This line also applies to Germans killed by the resistance movement: For every German killed by the Norwegians, ten are able to desert to Sweden because the German authorities do not know who has been killed and who has deserted.

(b) Malingering is a form of defiance of authority.

No one ever hears of the many thousands of successful malingerers.

(c) Sabotage is another form of defiance.

We should not forget that Germans will only carry out sabotage from self-interest, to preserve their lives, to make life more comfortable. Not one in a million will do sabotage because he is an idealist opponent of the regime.

To stimulate sabotage, therefore, there must always be a good appeal to the self-interest of the saboteur and a probability of impunity. The kind of line to be followed is:

1. Sabotage on U-boats and other naval vessels in Norway is being carried out successfully without anyone ever hearing of it because the little accidents that prevent the boat from sailing or force it to return prematurely (self-interest of crews) cannot be distinguished from the ordinary accidents which occur either as a consequence of the increasingly inefficient servicing of the boats or of the bad material going into the building of them. (We get it both ways there.)

2. Factory workers are going slow so as to prevent economy in manpower, which would make it possible to send some more of them to the front.

3. There is also the unconscious sabotage of the war effort induced by bogus official instructions or some apparently harmless line of self-interest, e.g. to burden the postal authorities (A) the population in Germany is told to pick up all Flak shrapnel they find in the streets and send it through the post to the German Air Ministry for testing fragmentation, (B) people are tipped off that the only way to get food parcels safely through the post these days is to disguise them in such a way that no one will suspect their contents.

False instructions leading Germans to sabotage the war effort unconsciously should be a very fruitful field for the underground organisation in Norway.

 4. Air Raids.

Air raids can be used to stimulate despondency, anxiety for peace and discontent and we can help by giving news:

(a) Of the ever increasing heavy bombing of Germany by Britain and the US, with their vast aircraft production, from bases in Britain and in Italy;

(b) The decline of German aircraft production as a consequence of the attacks on the German aircraft industry. Norway is to all intents and purposes without any air cover and so are the troops. Although Germany has been concentrating entirely on fighter production to the exclusion of everything else, she only has a force of 1,600 fighters in the field on all fronts today, including the home front. She needs seven times as many to meet her obligations. That is why she is unable to prevent the works producing fighter aircraft from being destroyed. The British and the Americans have a very complete espionage system which tells them when a factory is beginning to increase its production, so that they then go and bomb it. That is what happened at Anklam, Marienburg, Regensburg, Braunschweig, Wiener-Neustadt and Kassel. They have destroyed in their larger raids on the big towns many small shops making essential spare parts.

(c) The progressive destruction of German industry by bombing means that the longer the war goes on the more unemployment there will be for German workers after the war. Germany will not be able to recapture her place in the world market as she did in 1918 because foreign industry will take the place of Germany's bombed industry.

(d) We should point out (inequality of sacrifice once again) that while Himmler's fire police either stay underground in concrete shelters while the raid is going on to save their valuable lives and fire fighting material the ordinary German (particularly the woman) is compelled to expose himself to flak and bombs, fighting the fires as best he can with his entirely inadequate equipment or without any equipment at all.

(e) Stories of inhumanity, callousness and inefficiency of the authorities in dealing with the raids and the problems arising after the raids, e.g. police have orders to shoot people whose clothes are burning. They make no attempt to extinguish the flames. To save Government and Party buildings or houses of Party high-ups the Teno have dynamited buildings with people in them or under them.

(f) Appalling conditions among evacuees in the camps - disease, hunger, cold.

(g) Families are split up in the most callous way, children are often reported dead when in fact, they are still alive but unidentified, living with foster-parents or in one of the evacuee camps. Many stray children have been put into the new children's concentration camps.

(h) Stress the epidemics now raging in Germany as a result of a large part of the population spending their nights in shelters (Kellergrippe) and the crowding together of homeless and evacuees.

(i) We should stress that the authorities do their best to hide the news from the soldiers so as to prevent them from asking for compassionate leave they are entitled to. The Party censor the letters of bombed families, especially evacuees.

5. The Advantages (a) of Life as a P/W or (b) of Life as a Deserter.

(a) We want to spread among Germans now suggestions which will stimulate in them a desire to surrender as soon as the opportunity presents itself. We want to tell them, therefore, that, quite apart from surrender meaning survival ("the way home is via Canada, the only U-boatmen to survive are prisoners, Doenitz survived the last war because he was a prisoner") the P/W will be better off in the post-war world because:

(1) While the fool at the front has been wasting his time fighting, the P/W in the excellent training courses in P/W camps has been preparing himself for his post-war trade or profession. The P/W will have a big start over the fighting man.

(2) Many P's/W are being allowed to settle overseas in America, Canada and Brazil. (This is quite untrue, but it is a good bait. Germans have not yet lost their fascination for overseas settlement.)

(3) P's/W get their pay in American and Canadian dollars and British pounds. This money will have a high value as against the valueless mark.

(4) Already today P's/W are able, with the money they earn, to help their families at home. They are allowed, in return for good behaviour, to transfer sums of money to Lisbon, Zurich and Stockholm, from where they are able to have food parcels sent to their families in Germany. (Quite untrue, of course, but useful bait.) Special agencies of Hapag in Zurich and Stockholm, in return for foreign currency, send special food parcels with the consent of the German Government to P/W's families in Germany.

(b) Desertion can be stimulated on similar lines of self-interest. There should be constant references to:

1. The growing number of men missing.

2. The growing number of deserters interned in neutral countries.

3. The admirable conditions under which they are interned.

4. The possibilities of their being released to find work in the neutral country.

5. The impossibility of the German authorities taking reprisals at home as:

(a) they don't know who has deserted,

(b) the neutrals don't give the deserters' names away.

Both in the case of deserters and in the case of P's/W, it might be said that, from among these men, Civil Servants for the new post-war Germany will be recruited.

We should also stimulate desertion in Germany itself to the occupied territories and to Hungary. There is such a need for skilled labour that German deserters with reasonably forged papers are able to get themselves jobs in the occupied territories.

Acts of banditry by the resistance groups, hold-ups of banks and the like should be attributed as far as possible to bands of German deserters who have taken to the hills and forests and are making their way to neutral countries.

The feasibility of desertion in German uniform should be stressed by pointing out that members of the occupied territories resistance groups frequently put on German uniform to cross the frontiers because they find that the authorities do not suspect a man in German Army uniform, particularly SS uniform.

In attempting to stimulate desertion we should remember that every case of desertion, whether successful or unsuccessful, is a blow against the efficiency and the morale of the German forces. The more that we can help Germans to desert successfully, the more we can suggest that successful desertions are taking place in large numbers, the greater will be the number of desertions, but even unsuccessful desertions are extremely valuable to the Allied war effort.

ANNEXE "A" - THE VALUE OF "EVIDENCE"

To be effective propaganda should not look like propaganda.

The German soldier will be much more impressed if he thinks he has discovered the evidence himself and the conclusions are his own conclusions, not those that an enemy organisation is trying to sell to him. It is for this reason that we endeavour to produce "evidence" apparently not of enemy but of German internal origin for him.

A document issued in the name of the OKW and presented in exactly the manner of OKW documents in points of style and make-up, telling the German soldier about colleagues of his deserting successfully to Sweden and the good time they are having there, even though it vehemently denounces this practice, is infinitely more effective than a leaflet of avowed enemy origin praising desertion and painting a deserters' paradise.

Similarly, every bit of evidence that the Norwegian underground movement can manufacture of German defiance of German authority will go much further in encouraging such defiance than any appeal or advice.

It is, of course, essential that no public credit should be claimed for such work until the war is over. (The description of the bogus Falkenhorst document as being a "joke" of the Norwegian underground was harmful.) Similarly it should never be admitted that stickers or leaflet propaganda speaking in the name of the German opposition are disseminated through Norwegian channels.

ANNEXE "B" - SPECIAL ATTACK ON AUSTRIANS

Among the German personnel in Norway is a considerable number of Austrians.

These Austrians present a good target for subversive "Splitting" propaganda because they have an interest in splitting off from the rest of the Germans.

The fact that these Austrians in the heyday of German power were only too delighted to share in the advantages and benefits of German conquest should in no way deter us from endeavouring to suggest to them that they are regarded by the Allies as people apart from the Germans, to be treated with special favour.

We should therefore attack the morale of Austrians along two main lines:

1) That, at the Moscow Conference, the need for an independent Austria was recognised.

2) That the Reich Germans and the National Socialist regime are the real enemies of Austria.

To back up the second line we should suggest:

I. That the Germans are engaged on a vast project of the de-Austrianisation of Austria. They are exploiting the evacuation of North Germans to Austria for this purpose. Austrian families are being compelled to accept North German billetees who are there to spy on them and to convert them to North German atheistic neo-pagan National Socialism. North Germans are taking over the shops and small enterprises of Austrians which have been closed down under the war emergency Stillegungsaktion (under which nonessential enterprises have been closed down and their proprietors called up for factory work). Austrian newspapers such as the Tagespost of Linz and the Wiener Neuste Nachrichten, which had managed to preserve some of their Austrian character, are being taken over by National Socialist newspapers and used to spread the National Socialist doctrine of mass-Germanism and National Socialist uniformity.

II. Austrians, aware of what the Germans are up to, are becoming more and more openly anti-German. The Roman Catholic Church leads the movement against North German National Socialist heathenism.

Austrian oil workers, aware that the newly discovered oil resources of Austria would be a great economic asset to Austria after the war, are doing everything they can by go-slow methods to combat the uneconomic North German exploitation of these resources today. They are doing everything to see that they have some natural and mineral resources left as capital for an independent Austria after the war. (The same applies to forests and mines.)

III. North Germans, aware that there is likely to be most-favoured-nation treatment for Austria after the war, are doing their best to invest their own capital "safely" in Austria.

All the lines of successful resistance, malingering, defiance of authority and so forth, which we want to suggest to the Germans as a whole, can be quoted as having happened in Austria. (e.g. a worker, who had suggested an improvement in his factory by which a large number of man-hours were saved and other workers released for service at the front, was pushed into a conveyor belt by his indignant colleagues and killed. Stickers are put up in Austria with the magic word "Schluss" and "Schluss" it is.)



 

 

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