German propaganda leaflet's
The cassino debacle
Death in the Vosges
News from home
Fired on the anzio beachead against british and american troops
Jan 2 1944 - June 6 1944
During World War II, Psychological Warfare became recognized as an important weapon at the disposal of all, combatants. Its dual aim was to build up the user's home-front, his troops, and his allies; and at the same time attack, undermine and destroy those of the enemy. Truths, half-truths, lies and rumors were spread by as many different media as there were means to carry the written and spoken word.
In the field of propaganda, which was the principal tool employed, the Germans became past masters. The methods and effect of one phase of this propaganda, that of "selling a bill of goods" not only to Germany herself but to the world at large, is already well known. It is with another phase, which may be called Battle Field Propaganda, that this booklet is concerned.
On the following pages are reproductions of a few of the propaganda leaflets that were employed by the Germans against units of VI Corps during World War II. These leaflets were occasionally dropped from airplanes but were more often fired by means of a special artillery or mortar projectile, Some of these leaflets were found to be clever and well done, while others were crude, makeshift, and, judging by our standards, often in poor taste.
The leaflets that follow are only a sampling of the total encountered, but they serve to illustrate the many differenJ themes used by the Germans. Many are an attempt to split the Allies, while others attempt to destroy the soldiers' faith in the home front, his Commander-in-Chief, his girl, his friends, and his country. Much of the propaganda is Anti-Semitic which was a favorite Nazi theme, while a good deal of it appealed directly to the individual soldier in telling him that "death awaited him as long as he continued the fight".
In addition to the small pamphlets. a bi-monthly newspaper, dubbed "The Lightning News", was used by the 'Germans. Also there were daily broadcasts by "Sally" over Jerry's radio station and the frequent use of front line loud-speakers. But whatever the method, and regardless of the words used, the idea behind the whole program was to make the soldier soft, unhappy, lose the desire to fight, and desert.
It is difficult to gauge the effect of this propaganda on each individual soldier; however, on this command as a whole, it achieved practically nothing, as the morale of the combat troops was excellent throughout the many extended and difficult campaigns. Thus, the net results of Goebbels' efforts in Battle Field Propaganda against VI Corps is this souvenir booklet dedicated for future generations to read.