Wehrmacht Propaganda Troops

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1940 exhibition of photographs produced by the propaganda companies during the invasion of Poland.

Wehrmacht Propaganda Troops (German: Wehrmachtpropaganda, abbreviated as WPr) was a branch of service of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. Subordinated to the High Command of the Wehrmacht (the Oberkommando der Wehrmacht), its function was to produce and disseminate propaganda materials aimed at the German troops and the population.

Planning and formation[edit]

The planning for propaganda activities by the Wehrmacht began in 1938. Joseph Goebbels, the head of Ministry of Propaganda, sought to establish effective cooperation with the Wehrmacht to ensure a smooth flow of propaganda materials from the front. He deferred to the military in setting up and controlling the propaganda companies, but provided assistance in supplying personnel.[1]

Function and operation[edit]

The service was subordinated to the Chief of Operation Staff, General Alfred Jodl. Commanded by General Hasso von Wedel, the department oversaw the numerous propaganda companies (Propagandakompanie (de)) of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS, attached to the fighting troops.[2] At its peak in 1942, the propaganda troops included 15,000 men.[3]

The propaganda companies were the only news-reporting units in areas of military operation, as civilian news correspondents were prohibited from entering combat zones.[2] The troops produced the written, audio and film materials from the front and sent them to a processing center in Germany, where they were reviewed by censors, mostly for security purposes. The filtered materials were then forwarded to the Ministry of Propaganda for immediate dissemination.[1] Among the propaganda materials produced was the Wehrmachtbericht, the official news communiqué about the military situation of the Reich, and was intended for both domestic and foreign consumption.[4]

Publications[edit]

Propaganda publications in support of the war effort by the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS included:

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kallis 2005, pp. 57–59.
  2. ^ a b Yad Vashem.
  3. ^ Kallis 2005, p. 57.
  4. ^ Kallis 2005, p. 56.

Bibliography[edit]

Further reading[edit]