Psychological Warfare and PSYOP
Sign In
—or—
 (?)

Not already a member? Register a free account

Forgot your password?

Welcome to PsyWar.Org (Sign in / Register)

Leaflet Archive

Random PSYOP leaflet - I will kill, slaughter and kidnap more and more humans to satisfy my desires…
 

Share



Recent Forum Posts

PsyWar Leaflet Archive

| LEAFLET ARCHIVE
Share on Facebook
Tweet
Google +1
Linkedin
Email

F.17, LE DILEMME DES MARINS FRANÇAIS

  • Illustrations
  • Summary
  • Translation
  • My Collection
(Image/s source: www.psywar.org)
English Title/Description
The Dilemna
Conflict Language/s
World War II French
Production Agency Year Pages Size
P.W.E. 1942 2 13.5 cm x 21.5 cm
First Dissemination by Aircraft Last Dissemination by Aircraft Total No. Dropped by Aircraft
24/25 February 1942 26/27 June 1942

THE DILEMMA CONFRONTING FRENCH SAILORS

DESCRIBED BY A FRENCH SAILOR

 

The following talk was recently addressed on London Radio by an officer now serving in the Free French Naval Forces to his brother, an officer on board the “Strasbourg”. It sums up in a moving manner the distressing conflict between military duty and the doubts and misgivings with which in these tragic hours every true Frenchman is assailed.

“It is nine o’clock at night - the roadstead of Toulon is very quiet under a sky studded with stars - not a single light is showing - not a sound can be heard - the great ship is anchored in the middle of the roadstead, she is the “Strasbourg” - the finest armoured cruiser - with the “Richlieu” - of the French Naval Forces - flying the flag of Vice-Admiral Jean de Laborde, Commander-in-Chief of the First Squadron.

“I go through the hatchway. I make my way in the maze of companion-ways and ladders; I go up into the huge steel tower of the central block-house. I know every inch of the “Strasbourg”; I am a sailor and on board I am going to find my brother, who is also a sailor.

“On the dark bridge, a lieutenant-commander marches up and down with unbroken step. I recognise you, brother, lieutenant- commander on board the “Strasbourg”. I embrace you... would you like to spend this watch-night with me on the roadstead?

“For watch is kept, as it used to be, when France was at war... on all French battleships, at this very time, there are officers and ratings on watch...  

“On watch against whom?...

“Against Germany ? ... against Italy? ... against Britain ?...

“We are alone, brother, on the dark bridge... the quartermaster on duty is too far to overhear us... the men on watch in the turrets, round machine-guns, round anti-aircraft guns, continue dreaming, by the light of the stars... Tell me... against whom are you keeping watch?

“You are embarrassed to find an answer?...         

“You tell me ... ‘I am obeying orders’.

“Whose orders? Yes, I know there exist the hierarchy, the pyramid of commanders, of admirals...

“You are keeping guard, the whole watch of gunners is keeping guard, tonight, as every night, because of the orders of Darlan.

“Against whom?

“Why don’t you answer ?

“Look, do you see these other ships in the roadstead? Cruisers, destroyers, submarines? They can all be discerned, by the light of the stars. On all these splendid ships perfection has been brought to an absolute peak. The greased engines are shining. The hoists of the turrets function smoothly, without a hitch, the guns are trained at will to the exact angle of fire, telephones, transmitting and receiving sets are in perfect order... even the men have acquired the same regularity, the same sureness, as the machinery...       

“And all this existed well before the outbreak of war... brother... you and I, with thousands of others, have worked so that all this steel, all these machines, should make up one perfect fighting machine... do you see these ships before us? Why are they there? To what use will they be put? Why don’t you answer? Perhaps you are cold. Let us go inside. Here we are again in the chart-room; is it dark in there? No, not quite. In the binnacle, the compass is feebly lighted ... instinctively you look at it... Do you know what this light suggests?

“On board other ships, on other dark bridges, officers of the watch are also looking at a feebly lighted compass. All around, outside, there reigns also utter darkness. Those ships are at sea, they are on patrol, they are in convoys... Oh, they are not the “Strasbourg” or the “Richlieu”; they are more modest... they are the ships of the Free French Naval Forces.

“And on board there also, the watch is keeping guard... and there also are perfect machine-guns and anti-aircraft guns. But those men on watch know why they are there, they know what they are doing... On board these ships there are not only perfect machines, there are also men. And in their hearts, as in the subdued light of the compass, there exists the conviction of duty... and hope, the light which will never go out. They have not the sickening sensation which obsesses you, brother, of polishing their machines, and of trying out equipment, solely to allow their Commander to play the ignoble part of an admiral-politician.

“Brother... you know me... I know very well that you do not expect to be given by Admiral Darlan a post of sub-prefect, commissioner of police. Our family is a little too proud to accept that... Well then... why are you keeping watch tonight? I am going to tell you... and you don’t dare to agree... but inside yourself you know it very well... If you are keeping watch tonight on the sleeping roadstead, if tomorrow you carry out your training and the setting of your equipment, it is so that one day you may take up again as we do and with us the fight for France against the invader, at the side of those who have always been our Allies. That is what you are reminded of by the dim light of the compass. It is that light, which we will recall, in the family circle, after the victory, when you will say to me about this watch-night... borrowing quite naturally the idiom of combatants: ‘Oh, yes, that was when we took up the offensive again, when you were already in the front line and we were not in action’.”

 

[Photograph of “Strasbourg” across bottom of leaflet]

To access this feature please sign in or register a free account.



 

 

Featured Articles

Main Topics

About Us

PsyWar.Org (tm), (c)1997-2017, Lee Richards

©1997-2017, Unless otherwise acknowledged, all articles, design, graphics, logos and other content, are the copyright of Lee Richards and cannot be reproduced without permission. Crown Copyright material reproduced under terms of the Open Government License.

www.psywar.org