By Tim Brooks

Tim Brooks experiences the association, operation, and nature of the British propaganda attempt in France through the moment global conflict, targeting "white" propaganda (BBC proclaims, leaflets dropped via the RAF) and "black" propaganda (secret broadcasting stations, "German" files allotted clandestinely, and rumors). Brooks in brief covers the British propaganda attempt from the outbreak of conflict to the autumn of France then assesses the effectiveness of the crusade. (XXX, three: Sept. 2008)

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Extra resources for British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944 (International Communications)

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When the BBC or British aircraft based in Great Britain provided their only outlets, this was relatively easy to accomplish; once the Free French had an independent capability for propaganda, it became more difficult. The Americans: OWI and OSS Not all the potential competitors really threatened the efficacy of British propaganda, however. The Americans, like the British, also turned to propaganda, although the gestation period of their organisations was considerably shorter. As in Britain, propaganda acquired a tarnished image in the USA after 1918 but, in contrast to the reluctant British reacceptance of propaganda in the 1930s, machinery 33 the Americans remained distrustful.

47 Separation for Security: Black Propaganda The Browett Inquiry recommended that PWE’s white and black operations should be based in different places, to help maintain the secrecy black propaganda needed for success. Before 1940, Department EH had left both black propaganda and subversion to Section D. After EH and D merged to form SO1, black propaganda use began increasing. By late 1941 it had become important enough to provoke Browett’s recommendation. 48 According to Howe, ‘the average member of PWE was totally unaware that the Department was engaged in highly secret black propaganda activities’.

Given the number of different countries being addressed and the different methods used, it was quite possible for contradictions to arise within the propaganda department itself. 38 By August 1941 more than 500 propagandists and support staff were employed and the personnel continued growing for much of the war. Many leading members of PWE, 22 british propaganda to france, 1940--1944 including Bruce Lockhart, were absent through ill health brought on by overwork and three people died while employed by the department or shortly after leaving it.

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