Psychological Warfare Division
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (January 2013)|
The Psychological Warfare Division of SHAEF (PWD/SHAEF) was a joint Anglo-American organisation set-up in World War II tasked with conducting principally 'white' tactical psychological warfare against German troops in Northwest Europe during and after D-Day. It was headed by US Brigadier-General Robert A. McClure who had previously commanded the Psychological Warfare Branch (PWB/AFHQ) of U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower's staff for Operation Torch.
The Division used radio and leaflet propaganda to undermine German soldiers' morale.
PWD operated the Voice of SHAEF radio station as well as taking over Radio Luxembourg.
The bulk of the aerial propaganda leaflets were printed in the United Kingdom and a dedicated Special Leaflet Squadron of the US 8th Air Force disseminated the leaflets from its base in Cheddington in south-east England.
Tactical Combat propaganda teams were also attached to the Army Groups to produce leaflets in the field on mobile printing presses for shell firing over the frontline and to conduct loudspeaker operations to talk enemy soldiers into surrendering.
PWD/SHAEF was also responsible for consolidation propaganda in recently liberated European countries.
The famous director Alexander Mackendrick, who later went on to enjoy considerable success at Ealing Studios, had some of his earliest experience of working in film with the division. John Huston and Eric Ambler, as a token British representative, also made a film for the PWD about civilian Italy under its new conquerors.
- Psychological Operations / PSYOP
- Aerial Propaganda Leaflets
- Political Warfare Executive
- Office of War Information
- Office of Strategic Services
- World War II
- The Psychological Warfare Division Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force - An Account of its Operations in the Western European Campaign, 1944-1945. 1945. Modern reprint available here
- Publicity and Psychological Warfare 12th Army Group, 1943-1945. United States Army. 1945.
- Lerner, Daniel (1971). Psychological Warfare Against Nazi Germany - The Sykewar Campaign, D-Day to VE-Day. M.I.T. Press. ISBN 0-262-12045-3.
- PsyWar.Org - The history of psychological warfare with a large collection of aerial propaganda leaflets