Black Propaganda: Machinery, Method, Message and Reaction

Tim Brooks

in British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2007 | ISBN: 9780748625192
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651351 | DOI:
Black Propaganda: Machinery, Method, Message and Reaction

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This chapter concentrates on black propaganda in order to assess its contribution to the overall propaganda effort for France. It also describes the machinery for the production of black propaganda, the methods of distribution, the messages it carried and reactions to it. It was reported that the production of ‘black’ leaflets diminished considerably in April 1944. Black propaganda could not be distributed in the same way as white propaganda. Aerial leaflets were definitely distributed using black techniques, both unchanged and miniaturised, specifically ‘for infiltration purposes’. As with the other elements of Political Warfare Executive (PWE)'s black propaganda work, the material available concerning rumours is patchy. Black leaflets, including the distribution of white leaflets using black techniques, had a potentially disruptive effect on the Germans or Vichy authorities. The contribution made by PWE's black radio stations broadcasting to France is more easily assessed.

Keywords: black propaganda; black leaflets; France; Political Warfare Executive; radio stations; broadcasting

Chapter.  12480 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Media Studies

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