British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944: Machinery, Method and Message

British Propaganda to France, 1940-1944: Machinery, Method and Message

Hardback International Communications

By (author) Tim Brooks, Edited by Philip Taylor

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  • Publisher: EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Hardback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 234mm x 26mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 1 April 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Edinburgh
  • ISBN 10: 0748625194
  • ISBN 13: 9780748625192
  • Illustrations note: 29 B&W
  • Sales rank: 927,256

Product description

This book examines the important issue of British propaganda to France during the Second World War and aims to show the value of the propaganda campaign to the British war effort. British Propaganda to France is a unique contribution to the field, not only in its examination of one of the least well-studied areas of British activity during the Second World War but also in the breadth of its approach. It surveys the organisation, operation and nature of the British propaganda effort towards the French people, including both white propaganda (BBC broadcasts and leaflets dropped by the RAF) and black propaganda (secret broadcasting stations, documents purporting to come from the Germans in France or distributed in France using clandestine methods, and rumours). Finally it examines the contemporary British understanding of the French and German reception of and reaction to this propaganda material, to show whether the campaign was an effective and well-directed use of resources. Almost all examinations of British foreign propaganda during the Second World War have focused on propaganda directed towards Germany. British propaganda to France, which in terms of quantity of output was actually the most important area of British propaganda, has never been examined in depth until now. This book adds a further chapter to our knowledge of propaganda in the Second World War, especially in the conduct of psychological warfare. It also touches on better-known areas such as RAF Bomber Command and its Operational Training Units, which handled aerial dissemination of British white propaganda leaflets over France, and the Special Operations Executive in France, which worked closely with the Political Warfare Executive in delivering much black propaganda.

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Author information

Tim Brooks studied at the Universities of Lancaster and British Columbia before moving to the University of Sheffield where he undertook a PhD in history, awarded in 2005. He is now Project Manager at the University of East London Graduate School, providing institution-wide support for research and scholarly activities, and he continues to pursue his wide-ranging interests in the history of the Second World War.

Review quote

The book is ideally suited to students of wartime propaganda! It is an excellent textbook. Due to Brooks' thorough research and precise writing, I believe this book is now the key reference for British psychological warfare to France in the Second World War. Falling Leaf Highly informative and thoughtfully argued, this is the first book in English to focus uniquely on British propaganda to France in the Second World War. Covering radio broadcasts as well as printed leaflets, Brooks analyses in detail how propaganda material was created and distributed but, more importantly, he attempts the difficult task of evaluating its overall effectiveness and the extent to which, as part of Britain's war effort, it represented a well-directed use of scarce resources. This is a complex story told with clarity and elan. -- Dr Valerie Holman, University of Reading A highly readable account of a very fascinating story. -- Dr Simon Kitson, University of Birmingham This is a superb and well-documented book that describes very clearly how skillfully Great Britain communicated with the French during the occupation to encourage resistance against Nazi tyranny and to make possible the eventual liberation of France. Research libraries should acquire this superb critical study. -- Edmund Campion, University of Tennessee The European Legacy Tim Brooks has produced a well-researched study of the British wartime propaganda effort to France and, in doing so, fills a gap in the historiography of World War II... This book tells a fascinating story authoritatively and convincingly. -- Martyn Cornick, University of Birmingham American Historical Review Brooks carefully charts the need for propaganda to France, examines how the machinery of government was set up to produce it, how it was distributed, what was said, and what impact it had. As such, the book provides a valuable addition to our understanding of the use of propaganda duringWorld War II. -- Martin Moore H-Net Brooks has done a great job of exploring British propaganda efforts regarding France between 1940 and 1944. He discusses the broader implications of their work for the campaign in France, and for the war in general, and uses those implications to validate his thesis that British propaganda to France served a useful purpose. Consequently, this book makes an important contribution to Second World War scholarship and is a valuable resource for intelligence historians interested in counter-intelligence activities. -- Mary Kathryn Barbier, Mississippi State University War in History The book is ideally suited to students of wartime propaganda! It is an excellent textbook. Due to Brooks' thorough research and precise writing, I believe this book is now the key reference for British psychological warfare to France in the Second World War. Highly informative and thoughtfully argued, this is the first book in English to focus uniquely on British propaganda to France in the Second World War. Covering radio broadcasts as well as printed leaflets, Brooks analyses in detail how propaganda material was created and distributed but, more importantly, he attempts the difficult task of evaluating its overall effectiveness and the extent to which, as part of Britain's war effort, it represented a well-directed use of scarce resources. This is a complex story told with clarity and elan. A highly readable account of a very fascinating story. This is a superb and well-documented book that describes very clearly how skillfully Great Britain communicated with the French during the occupation to encourage resistance against Nazi tyranny and to make possible the eventual liberation of France. Research libraries should acquire this superb critical study. Tim Brooks has produced a well-researched study of the British wartime propaganda effort to France and, in doing so, fills a gap in the historiography of World War II... This book tells a fascinating story authoritatively and convincingly. Brooks carefully charts the need for propaganda to France, examines how the machinery of government was set up to produce it, how it was distributed, what was said, and what impact it had. As such, the book provides a valuable addition to our understanding of the use of propaganda duringWorld War II. Brooks has done a great job of exploring British propaganda efforts regarding France between 1940 and 1944. He discusses the broader implications of their work for the campaign in France, and for the war in general, and uses those implications to validate his thesis that British propaganda to France served a useful purpose. Consequently, this book makes an important contribution to Second World War scholarship and is a valuable resource for intelligence historians interested in counter-intelligence activities.

Table of contents

Preface; Introduction: British propaganda in the Second World War; Chapter One: Machinery - background, planning and departmental organisation; Chapter Two: Method - the distribution of white propaganda; Chapter Three: Message - what white propaganda said; Chapter Four: Reaction - the impact of white propaganda; Chapter Five: Machinery, method, message and reaction - black propaganda; Conclusion; Notes; Map Appendix; Bibliography; Annexes