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PWD/SHAEF Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions

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Brief reports published by the Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF giving current reactions to Allied leaflet operations in North West Europe taken from Prisoner of War interrogations, enemy reactions and press reporting.

Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 4 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 7 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 8 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 9 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 10 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 11S Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 11T Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 12 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 13 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 14 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 15 Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 16 (Front) Latest Reports of Leaflet Reactions, No. 16 (Back)

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Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS "YANK" SHOWS RESULTS OP ZG.27 1. A picture released by Yank magazine shows one of the Russian soldiers, who after being captured by the Germans on the Eastern front were forced to fight against the Allies in Prance, pointing out Nazi positions on a map to American soldiers after his capture by Allied troops. The captain tells of the Russian soldiers who gave themselves up to the Allied forces after reading a leaflet written by one of their comrades (leaflet ZG. 27). “GERMANS KEEP OUR LEAFLETS" - EDEN 2, Mr, Eden has officially announced in the House of Commons that 77% of the German prisoners captured in Normandy admitted that they have read our leaflets or listened to our propaganda. According to PWD reports from the beachhead, the percentage in some groups is over 80%, Keeping in mind the fact that the objectives of our leaflet campaign in general are: (a) To persuade the German soldier that Germany is loosing the war (b) To persuade him to surrender rather than sacrifice his life uselessly (c) To prompt his surrender by persuading him that he will be treated decently as a prisoner and returned to his homeland at the conclusion of hostilities the following comments from recent P/W reports are interesting: The average of P/Ws declaring that Germany has lost the war is between 65% and 70% (this compares with between 20 and 30% immediately after D-day). There is no doubt that our leaflets are being widely read. Many of the P/Ws go into great detail about them, occasionally making specific observations and even suggestions for improving individual leaflets. There seems to be no longer any general belief that the Allies will maltreat captured Germans. One P/W said that, at the beginning, there was a rumour that Americans don't take any prisoners. Then, that only the Parachutists didn't take any. Finally, when the leaflets came down, all rumours about atrocities committed by Americans on prisoners stopped.  Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1, "IT'S AMAZING- HOW EFFECTIVE THESE LEAFLETS ARE." Here is an excerpt from an article in "Tank". Buried among the toilet articles of another prisoner is a leaflet addressed to German soldiers. The leaflet was prepared by our psychological-warfare experts; it's printed in German and Polish and urges the enemy to surrender. "It's amazing," says the sergeant, how effective these leaflets are. A good number of the prisoners say that the leaflets helped make up their minds in surrendering. - YANK, AUGUST 20TH. 2. MAJORS, COLONELS, GENERALS ONLY According to a "Daily Mail" item: Captured German .soldiers say that nobody below the rank of major is allowed to pick up leaflets dropped on them by the Allies. An army order told them: "These leaflets invite you to desert; if you do, you will be taken to England and run the risk of death by V1. After that, you will be shipped to the United States or Canada for lifelong hard labour, or exchanged for an American or British paratroop—of whom we have captured thousands—tried by court-martial, and shot." - DAILY MAIL, AUGUST 13TH. 3, DUTCH CLANDESTINE PAPER REPRINTS LEAFLET MATERIAL: A recent issue of the Dutch clandestine newspaper "Geillustreerd Vrij Nederland" carries three photographs and captions which appeared in the "Vliegende Hollander". News items, articles, and photographs which appear in our leaflets are frequently given important added circulation among people of occupied countries by being reprinted in this way in the clandestine publications. Leaflet Section, PWD, SHEAF, 25/8/44. Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1. LEAFLET MATERIAL GIVEN ADDED CIRCULATION 11 Le Peuple" - Belgian clandestine newspaper has published parts of the text of the Manual (XB.12) dropped over Belgium. The paper endorsed the excerpts as being their own instructions to their readers. "VriJ Volk” - Flemish clandestine reproduced in a recent issue a nap and two pictures with their captions from "L’ Arc en Ciel". An article giving extracts from M. Delfosse's radio speech concerning the condemnation of war traitors and a short item about the Belgian Congo from the same issue, as well as a picture from the Belgian edition of "L’Amerique on Guerre", were also reproduced. 2. SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR COLLECTING LEAFLETS A court in the town of Aachen recently passed Judgement on a woman farm helper who had boon accused of collecting and hiding leaflets dropped by Allied pianos. The accused pleaded that she had collected the leaflets without any intention of using them for illegal purposes. The court, nevertheless, sentenced her to six months hard labor, stating that it was of the utmost importance that the populations of the border areas be protected at all costs against the influence of Allied propaganda. 3. FRENCH RAILWAY WORKERS AND 'COURRIER DE L’AIR" An official of the Societe National des Chemins de For reports that for a long time now the "Courrier de l’Air" has been circulated regularly amongst railway workers. It is considered "required reading" among these men, who have perfected a system of rapid communication of all new developments in the battle for liberation. As a part of this system, news heard along the line is typed up by the "cheminots" and disseminated amongst the various other categories of railway workers. Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1 LEAFLETS IN THE HEWS "German soldiers get the latest news—by bomb Captives All Have Leaflets Somewhere in France Bomb filling is a hobby round here, When anybody—from the moss orderly or typist to the colonel—has 15 minutes to snare, they spend it in a big marquee, stuffing propaganda leaflets into special bombs. Most of the prisoners coming in now are found to have our leaflets on them, even though they risk punishment by their officers for keeping them. With the high-speed printing press in the camp, the Germans can be given news of their latest defeats within a few hours. The contents of these leaflets still remain off the record, etc,, etc.," —London "Evening News" September 2, 1944 "As they scrambled back, more Canadians struck right into their retreat road three miles from Abbeville. Nearly 2,000,000 leaflets, urging the Germans pocketed near Abbeville to surrender, wore 'dropped last evening by Marauders, The leaflets told the Germans Of their hopeless position." —London "Daily Express" September 2, 1944 2, . .. AND ON THE RADIO "Other Allied aircraft have been dropping leaflets on the Germans, advising them to surrender because of the hopelessness of their position. These leaflets are sent down in bombs instead of being fired in shells, in order to get a bigger distribution - a bomb will scatter fifteen-thousand leaflets while a shell only contains four-hundred. The leaflets include safe conducts, (in English and German) for troops wishing to surrender, and they’ve helped to bring in a huge haul of prisoners, - in one area more than half the Germans were found to be carrying them. Three enemy prisoners who surrendered had only one leaflet between them; they came in, each with a hand ’ touching the precious document, while three other hands were raised in the air in token of surrender," BBC. September 3 1944 PWD, SHAEF, 6/9/44. Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS, Number 10 DAILY EXPRESS Sept. 30, 1944 Goebbels gives warning ‘VERY CLEVER LEAFLETS’ Express Radio Station THROUGH his mouth-piece, Karl Siegbold, Goebbels last night broadcast a warning to Germans , against Allied leaflets. German soldiers and civilians were told: “ There is not a single sentence in these leaflets which does not want to do us harm. They are addressed to the weak points which exist in every nation. “ It ought to be below our dignity to read what the leaflets say. They are weapons, and we must be careful with all weapons. “ The enemy intends to frighten us, but what he could not achieve by bombs and tanks he will certainly not achieve by leaflets. “ There are two kinds of leaflets. The first is small-size news sheets, very cleverly done, with impressive maps and pictures in many narrow columns. They have a completely bona-fide appearance. DISTRUST “ But among correct and truthful reports, they contain innumerable half-truths, omissions, exaggerations. Indeed, every news item, every short article, every comment contains a small—only just noticeable—amount of distrust in the actions of the German High Command. “The second type of leaflet is different. It is openly treacherous, grinning with lies and broad impudence. “ German soldiers are asked what they think of the treachery of July 20, an event which we have indeed long forgotten. German soldiers are fed on lies consisting of fictitious declarations made by German prisoners. “Or, in the crudest way, we are told that, for such and such reasons, Germany has lost the war. “These methods are the same as were used in the last war, 26 years ago. They are the methods that Northcliffe set up “ Northcliffe knew, however, that the propaganda weapon Is always only an auxiliary weapon, and therefore waited until our front began to waver and morale at home was beginning to ail and fail. “ The same attempt is being made today.” [***Lord Northcliffe was Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries in 1918.] PWD - SHAEF 30/9/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS, Number 11 LEAFLET SERIES "WG." DRAWS SARCASM, IRONY AND COMPLAINTS 1. A front-page article in the "Westdeutscher Beobachter" of Cologne says in part: "...but the truth about Britain's responsibility towards Europe is told by the leaflets now found everywhere. Their language does not differ in any way from Communist propaganda on the eastern front and they appeal to the lowest instincts of the eastern races. The strangers among us are to replace the red partisans of other countries. Today they are asked to stop working - tomorrow Eisenhower will make them our masters." 2. A two-column article in a Rostock paper says that "people who have lost their homes and even their relatives are not naive enough to believe in the enemy's generosity and decency as emphasised in his leaflets. The millions of leaflets recently dropped addressed to the German workers reminding them of 1918 and asking them to revolt are answered by the scornful laughter of the German workers." 3. The "National Zeitung", Essen, prints an item which says: "It is often noticed that the population is very careless with regard to the leaflets dropped by the enemy. The text of these leaflets is always so undermining that they must immediately be surrendered to the police, as the authorities can draw important conclusions from them and take suitable counter-measures. This regulation must be enforced with the utmost severity." AND A GERMAN COURT CRACKS DOWN A. The "Hamburg Fremdenblatt" reports that one Adolf Kittendorf has been sentenced by the High Court to two years' penal servitude for keeping a leaflet dropped by Allied aircraft and showing it to his fellow-workers. PWD-SHAEF Leaflet Section - 1w/l0/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1. EXTRACT FROM REPORT FROM PWD. OFFICER, 21st ARMY GROUP; "You will be interested to hear that when the final count came in for Le Havre it showed 11,302 prisoners out of 12,000 garrison. Analysis show that over 75% had leaflets on them.” 2. EXTRACT FROM REPORT FROM PWD. OFFICER, 12th ARMY GROUP: "...that particular drop if you recall was for a Russian leaflet to be dropped on a goose-egg around the river east of the town, which was held by forward elements of troops based on Lorient proper. It was impossible for us to get at them by artillery shells, and our intelligence informed us that at the time the whole river line was being held by Russian units. The air-drop, which incidentally was an expert Job, netted us 102 prisoners who came over to our side after swimming the river - no mean feat in itself. The net result of this particular operation was that all the Russian troops in that sector were withdrawn and replaced by Germans, thus weakening the inner defenses of Lorient which is our ultimate objective. " is impossible to determine the exact effectiveness of airdrops, but it is a fact that over 80% of all prisoners we have netted on the Brest Peninsula have come in with leaflets in their possession. "...Korvette Kapitan Fritz Otto, now a prisoner, informed us that with leaflets falling all around his troops he found himself leading a 'bunch of neurotics' and gave the whole thing up, coming over to us. "...thanks again for the great assistance, and please pass on my thanks to the gang who are actually doing the dropping. They sire doing a great Job and it is really being appreciated." PWD-SHAEF Leaflet Section - 1w/1 0/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1. 50% OF PRISONERS IN AACHEN AREA HAD LEAFLETS ON THEM A report issued by SHAEF says that of a sample group of 200 prisoners captured in and around Aachen in the middle of October, approximately 50% had leaflets on their person at the time of their capture. The report goes on to say, "The Nazis still have not been able to supply their troops with any substantial amounts of German propaganda. Pew or no radios exist in the front lines; newspapers are extremely scarce, while many units have had no mail for weeks. Interest in our leaflets is greatly enhanced by this communications vacuum. A soldier in the Westwall area described the reactions of his comrades in this respect as 'We are starving for anything printed. Whatever comes to us we swallow eagerly. The more your leaflets include, the more we welcome them. 2. NAZI PAPER COMPARES LEAFLETS TO TROJAN HORSE "Front und Heimat" in a recent article titled "The Trojan Horse" says, "The enemy has whole legions of Trojan Horses: leaflets, Radio Stations, Self-satisfied appeals to the German people, to the front, to the women, to the tired and susceptible. These are modern Trojan Horses." 3. GERMAN STAFF SUSPICIONS OF OUR LEAFLET WRITERS' GOOD INTENTIONS An order from a General Staff Officer circulating behind the German lines says in part: "The enemy, especially the Americans, is attempting of late to influence the German soldier more strongly by leaflets. Their adherence to the Geneva Convention might give the impression that we are facing a chivalrous, fair opponent. This attitude, however, does not come from a kindness of heart, but is rather the means to an end. Apart from the fact that the enemy wishes to keep up his reputation of humanitarianism in the world, he also tries to weaken the will of the German soldier to fight by promising him golden mountains and Paradise in captivity. Let us never forget that this is the same enemy who destroys our cities. His war aims remain the same - the complete destruction of our Fatherland." PWD - SHAEF Leaflet Section - 3/11/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS 1. SAFE CONDUCT LEAFLETS (ZG.6l) EAGERLY SOUGHT AFTER An interesting commentary on the value attached to our Safe Conduct Leaflets by the German soldier comes in a report from the Third Army who have received information from prisoners that Allied Safe Conducts enjoy a high trading value for cigarettes and other items in special demand within the German lines. 2. FRENCH ARMY GETS RESULTS WITH ARTILLERY LEAFLET The Propaganda Analysis Division of the OWI reports the first positive results of Psychological Warfare registered by the 1st French Army, an element of the 6th Army Group. Surrender leaflets were fired by artillery shell in the Lure sector. The Safe Conduct leaflet (ZG.61) was not used, but it was stated on the leaflet which was fired that anyone surrendering with one would be considered as a holder of a surrender pass. Results within the first twenty-four hours were reported to be highly satisfactory. Incidentally, a new leaflet, ZG.76, which is a revision of ZG.61 carrying a French translation of the type matter as well as the German and English versions, has been prepared and is now being used on the 1st French Army Front. 3. REVISED ZG.54 MAKES A BIG IMPRESSION A report from the 21st Amy Group says that almost all prisoners taken along their sector of the front prove to have had some contact with our leaflets. "One prisoner was particularly impressed by a leaflet describing the conditions in Prisoner of War Camps. The leaflet was printed in colour, which explained why it stuck in his mind." 4. NAZIS FIGHT LEAFLETS WITH DEATH PENALTY Over a period of months now the Nazis have waged war on the Allied Leafleting campaign to German civilians with increasingly drastic sentences for any person convicted of reading or passing around leaflets dropped by our planes. This trend reached its climax recently when the Peoples' Court passed a sentence of death on Joseph Axinger of Innsbruck for "the offense of picking up and distributing dropped leaflets." PWD - SHAEF Leaflet Section, 8/11/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS, Number 14 1. 42% SAID LEAFLETS INFLUENCED THEIR SURRENDER. Out of a sample group of 69 prisoners taken at Lorient, 29 stated that Allied leaflets had influenced their decision to give themselves up. 70% of the group reported that they had seen Allied leaflets, and of these 5 were familiar with the Safe Conduct (ZG.61), and over 40% recalled one or more of the following: "Nachrichten" (T series), "You Are Surrounded" (ZG.38), "How Your Comrades Fared" (ZG.54), "Polish Language Leaflet", (ZG.lO) or Special Lorient Leaflet (ZG.47) 2. "AI SSORRENDA" DOES THE TRICK. The back of the "Counter Attack" leaflet (ZG.77) carries a "Five Minute Blitz Course for German G.I.s" consisting of the German-English translations of a number of key phrases which might come in handy for a prospective P/W, together with their phonetic pronunciation in English. According to reports from the First Army front, the course seems to be getting results. Notably, the phonetic spelling of "I surrender" has seemed to stick in P/Ws minds. Many come over, leaflet in hand, shouting the words. Others, who had thrown away the leaflet, had copied down the phrase on a piece of paper. 3. "THEY HAD TO INVESTIGATE A U.S. OUTPOST". "....leaflets had a great circulation, being passed from hand to hand, Uffz. K. says that 2 soldiers took out of their pockets and showed' to all their comrades, leaflets which were still soaked with rain. K. had the impression that both these soldiers had been induced to desert by the leaflets because they insisted that they had to investigate a U.S. outpost and that they did not return." Report of P/W Interrogation. 4. DESERTED AFTER READING LEAFLET. PERSUADED 12 OTHERS TO JOIN HIM. P/Ws reported that the PWB leaflet containing the text of the Aachen ultimatum had influenced them to desert. One, a Prusso-phobe Bavarian, decided to desert after reading this leaflet, took a Viennese comrade along, persuaded 11 others to join, marched to the U.S. lines waving the leaflets and white flags, and finally broadcast appeals over our public address system to remaining comrades." Report from P.& P.W. Officer. 12 A.G. PWD. SHEAF. Leaflet Section - 22/11/44. Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS CREDIBILITY GIVES ALLIED LEAFLETS EFFECTIVENESS (Excerpts from 12 A.G. Report) 1. "Proof of the effectiveness of our leaflet campaign along the Twelfth Army Group front is now coining in daily. A P/w who has not seen a Psychological Warfare leaflet is a rarity these days. And we have reached a point where most P/Ws Believe that our leaflets tell the truth." 2. "A P/W who had ’The Pall of Aachen' (WG.17) and 'Safe Conduct' (ZG. 6l) declared that our leaflets are Believed and trusted more than the German newspapers. " 3. "All P/Ws interviewed had had some contact with Allied propaganda. According to one P/W, all the soldiers in his unit were convinced that the material in 'Frontpost' (12 A. G. news leaflet) was true. They saw that the German newspapers Belatedly confirmed what it reported. " A. "A Jugo-Slav P/W who had Been working in a village in Lorraine said that our leaflets were found By civilians in that area often. Many of them were passed from hand to hand until everyone in the village had read them. " 5. " P/Ws were amazed at the amount and accuracy of the information in the leaflet 'Wenn Der Topp'" (12 A.G. leaflet). 6. "The good reaction of our leaflets on the home front was indicated By a P/w statement that copies of the 'Luftpost' (G series), dropped in Munich, are attached to walls and telegraph posts all over the city." 7. "P/Ws admit that the claims of the Allies in their leaflets are generally substantiated. They felt that 'Joe Jones' (12 A.G. 20) was particularly effective Because it makes no excessive claims of any sort. 80/ of the P/Ws who had seen our leaflets reported that they had been strongly impressed By this leaflet." PWD - SHAEF Leaflet Section - 9/12/44 Latest reports of LEAFLET REACTIONS December 14, 1944 1. ALLIED LEAFLET CLICKS "The Commanding Officer of the 2nd Battalion, 1215 Grenadiers, 462 Infantry Division severely warns his troops against surrendering to the Americans in a Battalion Order which states that a section surrendered to an American assault group though the men were unwounded. The Commander connects this incident with the effect of Allied leaflets, for he adds a strong warning that those who find Allied leaflets should turn them in unread." 12 A.G. Report. 2. NAZI LEAFLET FLOPS "German hatred of the Third Army Commander was viciously and extravagently expressed in leaflets which German aircraft dropped on a prisoners’ cage in the Third Army area, together with hand grenades and 500 lb. of dynamite. The leaflets failed utterly to achieve their purpose. Par from inciting the prisoners to escape, such leaflets as fell within the compound were quickly brought to the guards, and none of the captured Germans showed the least disposition to dynamite his way out." The Times - 27/11/44 3. GERMAN HIGH COMMAND ISSUES NEW LEAFLET WARNING "At this point the enemy leaflet comes out with a notorious objective article. Whoever yields to the temptation and reads the article, in spite of all prohibitions, will be puzzled at first. Here is a cool, objective, German military style. Not a word too many or too few. The article contains an account of the course of the battle during the last days which exactly corresponds to the facts. The reader is amazed to find that this discussion contains no lies. What he does not notice, of course, is the fact that this is the exact moment when the devil is on the spot leading him into temptation. For now comes the concluding part of the report which apparently was so objective. Again in the same cool, matter-of-fact style it is stated that certain persons are responsible for the outcome of the battle - an SS. General is named here, an Army General there. In the end, the soldier is asked when he will finally give up this senseless struggle. We wish to make the following remarks in this connection;- 1. The enemy is using this type of propaganda more frequently; it is to be assumed that there will be more of it and we must therefore be on our guard. 2. On the whole it can be assumed that the order to destroy enemy leaflets or hand them in is carried out well. (over  3. In spite of this, however, this order must be stressed again and again every time the troops go into action. Wehrmacht High Command Bulletin For The Officers’ Corps. PWD- SHAEF Leaflet Section



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