Cassino - Propaganda - Frontpost

Discussion in 'Italy' started by Heydon, Nov 4, 2016.

  1. Heydon

    Heydon Member

    I thought this would be interesting for members who haven't seen a "Frontpost" before. It's the bilingual propaganda leaflet which was dropped over German lines at Cassino. My father saw them as part of the intelligence staff of Fifth Army and 15th Army Group. He saved a half dozen editions.
    Heydon
     

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    Recce_Mitch, 4jonboy, Owen and 2 others like this.
  2. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Tricky Dicky, 4jonboy and dbf like this.
  3. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    How interesting - thanks. In N. Italy and the Balkans in late 1944-1945 the RAF's Special Duties operations usually included "nickelling" on secondary targets (often major roads as the Germans retreated northwards) after dropping supplies to partisans. I wonder if that included Frontpost? The only example of a "nickel" from this theatre and period I could find in a quick Google was a safe-conduct pass, which struck me as potentially quite effective in the final stages of the war: be instructive to know if your father thought this kind of psychological warfare was of value.

    Cheers, Pat

    Edit: have just found these related photos, including some of the leaflet-containing shells (which were apparently designed to explode above the enemy, showering them in paper rather than shrapnel) - PsyWar.Org - Psychological Warfare Photograph Archive
     

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    Last edited: Nov 6, 2016
  4. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    The Special Duties flights would usually carry leaflets as they provided useful cover for their operations.

    Most of the leaflets for the Balkans were produced by the PWE Bari outpost. They produced their own newspapers for German troops, particularly Luftpost South and Soldaten-Nachrichten. Whereas Frontpost was mostly used on the 5th Army front, either fired by artillery shell or dropped by fighter-bombers.

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    I've catalogued over 2000 different leaflets produced by PWB and PWE in the North Africa and Mediterranean theatres. Must admit to be short of decent images of the most of them but here are the ones I do have illustrations for: PsyWar.Org - PsyWar Leaflet Archive by Lee Richards, (c)1990-2016

    And for a history of the Psychological Warfare Branch: PsyWar.Org - Psychological Warfare in the Mediterranean Theater

    Lee
     
  5. Pat Atkins

    Pat Atkins Patron Patron

    Fascinating - a great resource. I have often wondered about exactly what the Balkan Air Force (and others) were nickelling over Italy and Yugoslavia. I have always assumed that the leaflets were dropped directly out of the aircraft (Halifaxes in the case of 148 Sqdn, my main interest in this) by the dispatcher from relatively low-level flight, but having looked through the pictures I now wonder if they were in fact dropped in casings set with barometric fuses to explode above the ground with a similar effect to the artillery shells? Certainly appears the Americans used this as their primary means of delivery from 1944 onwards. Anyway, thanks both for a bit of new (to me, at least) insight.

    Cheers, Pat
     

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