Other Currencies

World War II Airborne Gray Propaganda Leaflet

Nachrichten für die Truppe [News for the troops], nos. 12, 20, 34, 36, 43, 47, 137, 160, 173, 180, 183, 185, 191, 197, 199, 207, 211, 213, 214, 217, 221.

N.p. [London]: [Psychological Warfare Division of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force], 1944. First six issues in this collection single leaves, others folded sheets, quartos (measuring 33 x 23.2 cm). Original self-wrappers; 2-4 pp. of text and images. Some very light toning and chipping, overall about very good.

Collection of 21 issues, dated from April 28 to November 23, 1944, of this German-language "gray propaganda" leaflet created by the Psychological Warfare Division of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (PWD/SHAEF), a joint effort between the United States Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and the British Political Warfare Executive (PWE).

Meant to give the impression of being produced by the German armed forces, the leaflets were actually compiled in Great Britain by a group of OSS and PWE editors. They were then printed and distributed to be dropped by air over German positions by a "Special Leaflet Squadron" of the 8th Air Force, a squadron used exclusively for distributing propaganda. Each day, approximately ten Boeing B-17s took off from an airfield in England to drop leaflets over or behind the German lines, with each plane heading to five specific pre-selected targets.

The first single-sheet issue, printed front and back, was dropped over the western German front six weeks before the invasion at Normandy, and the final issue was produced on May 4, 1945, four days before V-E Day. The "news" was a combination of reports of actual events from the front, information from the "home front" in Germany, some truthful descriptions of the military situation at the end of the war, and scattered disinformation meant to confuse and mislead the troops as well as demoralize them.

Book ID: 51321

Price: $1,250.00