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UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s

20 NOVEMBER 2017 | ARTICLES
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Author Topic: UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s  (Read 5889 times)

Offline JeffMalone

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UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s
« on: March 28, 2015, 03:29:19 PM »
I am seeking advice from members regarding their knowledge of UK PSYOPS doctrine and training in the 1960s and early 1970s, mainly in the context of the influence of such on the Australian PSYOPS capability at around the same time.

Doctrine

In 1962, the War Office published 'The Staff Officers' Guide to Psychological Operations' (arguably the first UK usage of PSYOPS contra PSYWAR), which consolidated and updated a number of Training Instructions, and also - arguably - incorporated lessons from SE Asia previously included in Far East Land Forces Training Centre (FTC) publications such as 'Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya' and 'Anti-Guerrilla Operations in Southeast Asia'.

In Aug 1969, the Army's 'Land Operations Vol. III - Counter-Revolutionary Operations, Part 1 - Principles and General Aspects' notes that the 1962 Guide is to be replaced by Supplement 3 to Joint Service Publication 1 (Manual of Joint Warfare), presumably in the next update of the JSP series (Edition 3, which occured in 1970).  This reflected previous practice (Supplement 1 to the first edition of JSP 1 in 1964 - 'Quelling Insurgency' was a War Office publication that was authorised for joint service usage in 1965).

My question here is:  was this Supplement 3 ever actually produced?  Or was this outright replaced by a JSP proper (specifically:  JSP Vol. 7 - Psychological Operations) in the 1970 series/3rd Edition of the Manual of Joint Warfare?  I have sighted the Second Edition of JSP 7 (dated 1992, published in the wake of Gulf War I, and probably the last of the old JSPs to be published prior to commencement of the new series of joint warfare publications in 1996), but I have never seen a copy of the first edition, which I conclude was published in 1970 (or possibly 1971, to incorporate lessons from the Army Information Teams in Oman).

Training/Training Establishments

Prior to 1963, UK PSYWAR/PSYOPS training was principally conducted at the Psychological Operations Centre at Maresfield Camp.  As the result of the Mountbatten reforms, the Centre was incorporated into the Joint Warfare Establishment at Old Sarum, probably in late 1963/early 1964.  This remained - as I undertand it - the principal centre of PSYOPS training in the UK until 1982, when it became the Psychological Operations Section, Joint Warfare Wing, of the National Defence College.  In 1983 - as I understand it, possibly arising out of lessons learned from Operation CORPORATE - the training responsibility for PSYOPS was moved to the Intelligence and Security School (where in essence it has remained since).

My questions here are:  when was the Psychological Operations Centre established (post WWII)?  I presume that this was largely based on staff associated with the prior PWE.  Further, I take it to be the case that POC staff were involved in supporting efforts during Emergency and Confrontation (and more generally the UK presence in the Far East); was that undertaken at the FTC or the Far East School of Joint Warfare, or at some other establishment in Malaysia/Singapore?

Any advice or pointers that forum members could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Offline der Chef

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Re: UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2015, 05:05:50 PM »
A very interesting post Jeff. I might be able to help a little with the earlier stuff.

This memo clarifies the name change from PsyWar to PSYOPs and refers to the drafting of the 'The Staff Officers' Guide to Psychological Operations'. The Guide had been in preparation since at least 1959 as the memo shows:



Various staff members of PWE and SOE following the war joined the Foreign Office's Information Research Department (IRD). On the military side in 1952 a single staff officer was instructed to form an 'Interdepartmental Working Party on Psychological Warfare'. The officer was subsumed by the Directorate of Forward Plans (DFP) in 1956.

DFP was a continuation of the wartime London Coordinating Section, mostly concerned with deception. PsyWar was later added to its remit hence the Interdepartmental Working Party becoming responsible to DFP in 1956.

During 1958 an Interdepartmental Committee on Planning for Psychological Warfare in War was established with representatives of the three Services, IRD, and Colonial Office. A Far East PsyWar Working Party was also formed.

The Psychological Warfare Centre (Maresfield) was set up 1 September 1958 following the demise of JCC. "Objects are to train officers in UK, assist overseas courses, to provide advice to Service Ministries  and to prepare various PsyWar publications. In addition, out of its establishment of 3 officers, 7 other ranks (plus 3 civilians) will be provided a Psychological Warfare Cadre Unit in support of the Strategic Reserve (2 officers, 5 other ranks)."

It seems this accelerated interest in PsyWar followed on from the experiences of the Malayan Emergency, the Suez Crisis, Aden and Oman.

The Psychological Warfare Centre was renamed Psychological Operations Centre around end of 1959.

15 July 1968 Directorate of Forward Plans ceases to exist.
Psyops Section established within the Staff of the Defence Operations Centre and responsible to the Deputy Director of the Defence Operations Staff.

Around 1974 there are two UK psyops units, known for security reasons as Army Information Teams.
• No. 1 AIT stationed in Hong Kong.
• No. 2 AIT deployed to the Dhofar on a six month emergency tour.
• 22 SAS have small capability.

Hope some of this helps? Just trying to piece all this together myself.
Dropped you an email about this.

Lee
« Last Edit: March 28, 2015, 05:20:11 PM by der Chef »
Lee
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Offline JeffMalone

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Re: UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2015, 05:28:25 PM »
Lee,

Many thanks for your post.  I will respond at length in a subsequent post, but I will pose two issues/questions here:

(1) You note that the PWC was established upon the "demise of the JCC" - perhaps I have misread your post/attachment, but could you confirm what the JCC was?

(2) You make reference to some joint planning activities, largely focused on what would have been C-in-C Middle East's area of responsibility; I have seen some mention of (but have never followed up) documents regarding PSYWAR/PSYOPS in support of SEATO war plans (undertaken by  'the Canberra Committee', but not formally Australian led, dating the late 1950s/early 1960s, largely moribund by 1964 with US unilateral support for Laos and entry into Vietnam) at TNA, AWM and NAA which aligns with the material you cite (noting that C-in-C FE was the last of the joint commands to be established under the Mountbatten reforms in 1963).

Again, thanks.

Jeff

Offline der Chef

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Re: UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2015, 05:34:06 PM »
Re: the JSPs, there are volumes 1 to 6 at the National Archives: http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/browse/r/r/C11193588 but nothing later that I can find.

Will take a look at these on Wednesday and get back to you.
Lee
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Offline der Chef

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Re: UK PSYOPS Doctrine and Training in 60s/70s
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2015, 05:39:42 PM »
JCC = Joint Concealment Centre, Netheravon. I believe PsyWar courses were previously held there.
Lee
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