Words That Won the War: The Story of the Committee on Public Information, 1917-1919

By James R. Mock; Cedric Larson | Go to book overview

Chapter 12
IN THE LAND OF THE NEUTRALS

IN propaganda against enemy countries, as the reader has seen, part of the campaign was directed over No Man's Land, and carried by various ingenious devices straight into the heart of the German army. But part of the attack was launched from neutral countries bordering on the Central Powers, and from there the major effort was made toward breaking down the political integrity and the civilian morale of Germany and Austria. Separatist movements in the two countries were developed on neutral as well as on Allied soil, and the forces of social revolution given encouragement.

The mere geographical convenience of certain non-belligerent countries such as Switzerland, Holland, and Denmark, therefore made them attractive to MIB and CPI, as well as to a host of espionage and counter-espionage agents of both the Allies and the Central Powers.

But the World War was not given that name lightly. The theater of active operations for all forces except those of combat embraced the entire world. Even those neutral countries hundreds or thousands of miles from the German border had a place in the strategic situation. Spain, for instance, was of slight potential use as a base of propaganda operations into Germany, but the question of Spain's continued neutrality (as opposed to possible belligerence at the back door of France) was so important that both the Allies and the Germans waged a bitter and spirited campaign of publicity and intrigue.

In other countries, such as Sweden, the pro-Ally or pro- German disposition of the people and their government might be a serious factor in economic warfare, and especially in rela-

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