Sykewar: Psychological Warfare against Germany, D-Day to VE-Day

Sykewar: Psychological Warfare against Germany, D-Day to VE-Day

Sykewar: Psychological Warfare against Germany, D-Day to VE-Day

Sykewar: Psychological Warfare against Germany, D-Day to VE-Day

Excerpt

Some studies have already been made on the activities of Psychological Warfare from the Government as well as the operational level. The present study by Dr. Lerner will further develop the problems and does, I believe, throw much light on the subject. The author was a Captain on my staff during the way, and was in an excellent position to observe at first hand the important activities of Psychological Warfare, particularly in Intelligence and leaflets, as well as the field activities of subordinate units. He was a valuable officer in this kind of work, among other reasons, because in civilian life he had been a serious student of history and politics.

Psychological Warfare is "no newer than the rumors whispered about Hannibal and the methods used by George Washington to increase desertion among the Hessians." However, modern conditions and instruments for dissemination of information require new techniques. These are the simpler problems and the more easily mastered.

Experience has demonstrated what a highly effective weapon it can be if properly handled. Its successes, however, must not be permitted to becloud its failures.

In the military use of Psychological Warfare there are three major fields of activity requiring study and indoctrination. First, is the appreciation by high commanders of its possibilities and limitations. It is surprising how commanders, who effectively utilize new weapons of physical destruction, fail to grasp the possibilities of a weapon of moral disintegration.

A very high-ranking officer, just three months before the Normandy invasion, objected, as he put it, to being burdened with Psychological Warfare responsibilities "concerning tactical propaganda, that is, leaflets, loudspeakers, etc. I am sure this very local type of propaganda is useless. . . ."

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