Ranks and Columns: Armed Forces Newspapers in American Wars

By Alfred Emile Cornebise | Go to book overview

9 After World War II

No newspaper in wartime has unlimited freedom. We have the right of criticism and we exercise it. But if any serviceman imagines that a service newspaper can run a day-by-day "campaign" against a considered Government or Service policy, irrespective of the factors that have dictated the policy, that serviceman is completely out of touch with reality. Such a situation does not exist in any service newspaper throughout the world.

--Editor, SEAC [South East Asia Command Paper], May 9, 1945.

It's an accepted fact that you must be totalitarian in an army. The guys know that, but sometimes it chafes a little. That's why we do more bitching and groaning than any other army. And that's why it is a tremendous relief to get a little breath of democracy and freedom of speech into this atmosphere of corporals and generals and discipline and officers' latrines. It's a big relief even when it has to come from a little four-page newspaper.

-- Bill Mauldin, Up Front, p. 32

After World War II, with many of the malcontents home, and when many troop papers had ceased operations, The Stars and Stripes continued with two editions. One, the Pacific Stars and Stripes, first rolled off the presses on October 3, 1945, in Tokyo. As peace came, the Stripes there more or less developed, but only in a professional, nonspectacular way. This was mainly the result of the continued dominance of General Douglas MacArthur in the Far East. As one close observer has noted, "this fact is important to an understanding of the soldier press in the Pacific." In the Pacific campaigns in the Second World War, he "was most careful of the communiqués and the credits--and the censorship." Accordingly, "The Pacific Stars and Stripes never really had the guts and the representative opinion of the servicemen. It got started late in the war and was

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Ranks and Columns: Armed Forces Newspapers in American Wars
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Illustrations vii
  • Preface ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • 1 - Beginnings: The Revolutionary War and Beyond 1
  • 2 - The Mexican War: 1846-1848 7
  • 3 - Civil War Soldier Papers 23
  • 4 - The Maturing of the Military Press, 1865-1917 51
  • 5 - World War I: Ground Forces Papers 65
  • 6 - World War I: Air Service Papers 101
  • 7 - World War Ii: The Early Years 111
  • 8 - World War Ii: The Later Years and Beyond 135
  • 9 - After World War II 159
  • Notes 169
  • Selected Bibliography 193
  • Index 199
  • About the Author 219
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