Saturday, February 25, 2006

German Propaganda Leaflets

Photo shows: One of the German Leaflets shelled into our sector

My wife recently bought me Mathew Parker’s excellent book Monte Cassino.
Three pages are devoted to German Propaganda leaflets and this sent me immediately to my Army Album to have another look at my own collection.
I see that I have seven leaflets on display and thought I’d better list them while I’m still able.
The leaflets, mainly in lurid colours, were nearly all shelled into the Senio sector whilst I was in the 4th Hussars and were sometimes used by us as toilet paper, that’s why I only have seven left!. There’s a lot to read, so I will paraphrase just to give you a taste of the contents.

1. Meet Charlie the Gunner
‘Just now I want you to keep your brains clear, for in the coming weeks the big show is timed to start on the Italian Front. What do I mean? Well our officers are talking about large scale attacks against Jerry. We could of course wait until the b****y thing was over , but no, we must get ready for new attacks’

2. Italy wants to see you
On the front is displayed an idyllic coloured picture of palm trees and villas.
When you turn it over it says ‘But did you expect to find it like this ?
with black and white graves, with a helmet on top of each cross and a skeleton hovering overhead

3. One more river!
‘But it isn’t only one more river, this time it is the Mighty Po!’

4. He also had been told
‘that the Germans were a horde of huns’

5. His way leads safe home
‘True it passes through a prison camp’

6. Churchill without Roosevelt
‘The Big Three are now only two. One has gone’
This was a ‘topical’ leaflet shelled over a day after Roosevelt died.

7. Every Soldiers Problem
‘How to get out of the war alive (via a prison camp)

This last one I presented to the Imperial War Museum back in 1987 after they’d had a disastrous fire and appealed for replacements of their own collection. They photo-copied the original for me and then sent me a nice letter.

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