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Random PSYOP leaflet - A lantern in the wind


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  • Illustrations
  • Summary
  • Translation
  • My Collection
(Image/s source:
English Title/Description
Bombs and Truth III (Civilian victims)
Conflict Language/s
World War II Italian
Production Agency Year Pages Size
P.W.E. 1943 4 13.5 cm x 21.5 cm
Printer/s Date of First Print-run
Waterlows 16 February 1943
Total Number of Leaflets Printed Total Number of Leaflets Pulped


The necessities of war compel us to attack the enemy’s resources wherever they may be; otherwise these resources will be used against us.

We must attack the centres where the enemy organises his military and industrial activities against us, military and government offices, and warehouses, which sustain the war effort. If your factories contribute to the war effort we must attack them, together with your railways which transport troops, arms and munitions.

As long as Italy continues to be one of our enemies we shall be compelled to bomb Italian industrial and military objectives. Are we not compelled, with the cooperation of French, Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian airmen, to attack enemy targets even in France, Belgium, Holland and Norway?

We do not share the sadistic German desire to massacre civilians. We aim at military objectives, but naturally all areas near them are in danger and may be hit.

Compare the figures of civilian casualties in Britain with those suffered by your cities. Bear in mind that our raids are often more violent in weight of bombs than those carried out by the Luftwaffe on Great Britain. Consider all this, and draw your own conclusions.


They talk to  you about “open cities”, which ought not to be bombed, and the civil population, which ought not to be hit. Rotterdam, an undefended city, was “open”, but it was half destroyed by the Luftwaffe and thousands of its inhabitants were massacred. Dozens of British towns and villages were defenceless, and so they became the favourite target of German aeroplanes. In September 1940 when London working-class families were being wiped out by the thousand, the Popole d’Italia and the Gazzetta del Popolo (September 11, 1940) were writing: “No mercy for London”.

From September 1st, 1940, to December 31st, 1940 – 22,282 civilians were killed through aerial bombardment over Great Britain and 20,863 during 1941. In the course of these 16 months, 50,361 people were seriously injured; including dead and injured, there were 93,506 casualties.

Today the Luftwaffe is so far spread that it cannot hit our centres as it enjoyed doing formerly. However it tries to kill innocent people, sweeping down on the defenceless villages and small towns of the south coast of England. In October 1942 80 men, 94 women and 55 children were killed.

We do not want to act in the same way; today our bombing attacks are more formidable than the German ones, but the casualties in your cities are infinitely less numerous than ours because we aim at industrial, military and railway targets, which are of use to your war effort and are therefore dangerous and harmful to us. We do not want to kill innocent people: therefore we advise you to evacuate the civil population from the cities. We do not seek to attack village schoolchildren as the Luftwaffe has so often done.

But the military objectives which are of use to your war effort will be hit.

Photograph caption: The little houses of the workers have been destroyed…

Photograph caption: …and the inhabitants buried under the ruins of their own homes.

Photograph caption: The tragedy of the humble.

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