The Eighth Army G3 (Operations) PSYWAR Unit
SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
The Eighth Army Patch
Early on the morning of Sunday, 25 June 1950, 93,000 North Korean troops with approximately 100 Russian-made tanks attacked South Korea in an attempt to reunite the peninsula by force. The unprepared forces of South Korea were almost pushed into the sea, and the invading communist forces occupied the capital Seoul and much of South Korea.
Eighth Army PSYWAR Order of Battle Chart
A Psychological Warfare Section was formed in the Eighth Army under Lieutenant-Colonel Hatsel L. Harris. The Far East Command controlled tactical PSYOP operations in the first three months of the war because there was no other trained organization able to do the job. On 16 July 1950, a tactical PSYOP detachment of five specialists from the Far East Command HQ were assigned to the Eighth U.S. Army Korea as a PSYOP team. At first PSYOP was the responsibility of the G2 section (Intelligence).
For those not familiar with the military General Staff, the G1 is personnel, the G2 is Intelligence, the G3 is Operations and the G4 is Logistics. You can see why both the G2 and G3 can be used for propaganda. Intelligence is needed to find out where the enemy is and what their weak points are. Operations is valuable because they have the manpower and ability to take action against an enemy.
Psychological warfare staff of the 8th United States Army working on Korean War leaflets
Albert G. Brauer psychological warfare propaganda leaflets collection
North Dakota State University Libraries, Institute for Regional Studies
On 24 January 1951, PSYOP was transferred to G3 (Operations). This was called the G3 Psychological Warfare Division. One document states that G3 produced 711 different leaflets, though the total number of actual leaflets they printed could total well into the millions. The unit had the ability to print millions of copies of each leaflet daily. Reports from other sources state that the United Nations dropped a total of 2.5 billion leaflets during the Korean War. Of these, there were 1,200 separate messages.
Colonel Alfred H. Paddock Jr. mentions the origin of G-3 and it duties and responsibilities in U.S. Army Special Warfare - Its Origins:
General McClure believed that an association of psychological warfare with G-3 would be more productive: My greatest contacts were with G-3 and it was with the operational phases and even long-range operational plans ... that I feel we did our best work.
Tactical psychological warfare was directed by the Psychological Warfare Division, G-3, of HQ 8th Army, eventually located in Seoul. Assisted by the 1st L&L Company, this division directed leaflet and loudspeaker operations within 40 miles of the military line of contact.
Daniel A. Castro said in his 2007 Naval Postgraduate School thesis: Do Psychological Operations Benefit from the use of Host Nation Media:
By April of 1952, three organizations were conducting PSYOP operations in the battle for Korea. The Psychological Warfare Division, G-3, Eighth Army, eventually located in Seoul, conducted operational and tactical PSYOP with the help of 139 military, civilian and indigenous personnel (which included 10 professional Chinese and Korean translators and interviewers).
For those not familiar with propaganda terms, strategic propaganda is directed toward the enemy in enemy-occupied countries and had the double task of not only undermining the enemy's will to resist, but also sustaining the morale of those supporting the Allies over the long term. Tactical or combat propaganda was conducted against enemy forces in the forward areas and sought very strategic, short-term goals.
Far East Command Printing Plant
During the Korean War the Far East Command had an Adjutant General
Administrative Center and Class B Field Printing Plant in Kawasaki city.
A document dated 14 July 1955 discusses the Webendorfer 3-color roll fed press and states that the table of Organization (TO&E) requires that the press be able to print 60 million leaflets a month, or two million each day. The press could produce propaganda products in 10.5 x 16-inches, 8 x 10.5-inches, 5.25 x 8-inches and 4 x 5.25-inches.The presses could be fed by paper rolls or sheets. They could print in one or three colors. The numbers of product printed using the various systems differ, so we list some of the totals here for the reader.
In regard to an individual press, using the paper roll they could print 80,000 three-color leaflets per hour. The daily production of an eight-hour shift was 640,000 leaflets. Using two shifts a day the daily production was about 1,280,000 three-color leaflets. Using two presses with double shifts the plant could produce 2,400,000 leaflets a day.
A printer loads leaflets into a box for dissemination
Using the sheet-fed method they could print 36,000 one-color leaflets per hour. The daily production of an eight-hour shift was 288,000 leaflets. Using two shifts a day the daily production was about 576,000 one-color leaflets or 192,000 three-color leaflets. Using two presses with double shifts the plant could produce 384,000 three-color leaflets a day.
To give an example of how unprepared the Eighth Army was to prepare propaganda, Major Albert C. Brauer, who served in the Eighth U.S. Army Korea as Chief of the Projects Branch, Psychological Warfare Division, G3 Section (February 1951 to January 1952) was an infantry officer. He prepared a paper for Georgetown University in 1953 entitled Psychological Warfare Korea 1951. He said in regard to the early days of his unit:
Shortly after General Matthew B. Ridgway assumed command of the Eighth United States Army in Korea, December 1950, an increased emphasis on Psychological Warfare was ordered. At that time ten officers and myself were assigned to the Army's reorganized Psychological Warfare Division. With the exception of one officer none of us had had any previous psychological warfare experience. During initial operations, aid was given to us by Mr. Charles Dauthey from the Operation Research Office who had gained some psychological warfare experience against the Japanese in WWII. A member of the Chinese Nationalist Embassy staff was also placed on thirty days temporary duty with the Division. About this time, we were also favored with a three-day visit from Doctor Paul M. A. Linebarger. Dr. Linebarger inspired us all in the possibilities of psychological warfare and gave us many valuable suggestions. Upon his departure he presented us a copy of his book, "Psychological Warfare."
Perhaps one of the most important reference documents in regard to Allied PSYOP in Korea is the declassified secret technical memorandum, US Psywar Operations in the Korean War, written by George S. Pettee under the auspices of the Operations Research Office (ORO) of the Johns Hopkins University. Only 200 copies were printed of the working paper which attempted to assess the past operations and effectiveness of US psychological warfare and possible means for gaining an increased effect. This is an early paper, dated 23 January 1951, so the data covers only the very 205 days of the war that started on 27 June 1950 and would continue until 27 July 1953.
Pettee says that at the start of the war, US PSYOP in the Far East consisted of seven persons working in the Special Projects Branch of Civil Intelligence, G2, General Headquarters, Far East Command. Three days after the start of the war this small group prepared and dropped several million leaflets on Korea. By 31 October the group consisted of 25 personnel. By 11 January 1951 it had 55 members. Pettee adds:
There really was no PSYWAR readiness in the Far East Theatre before 25 June 1950. In the first seven months of the war the leaflet product was about 160,000,000 copies with 105 different kinds of leaflets. Ninety percent of the leaflets were delivered by aircraft, ten percent by the artillery of the 1st Marine Division and the 7th Infantry Division. The leaflets were addressed to four different audiences; enemy troops, enemy civilians, ROK troops and ROK civilians. The US should distribute at least 50 million leaflets a month. At least twenty different tactical leaflets should be prepared each month and loudspeakers should be used at a rate of at least 100 missions per week.
The dissemination of leaflets has been largely by B-29 bombers based at Yokota, Japan. The aircraft and the leaflet bomb are not satisfactory, but they were all that was available. The B-29 can load 32 M-16-A bombs, each containing about 22,500 leaflets. A more effective alternative should be studied and some leaflets have been dropped by the Air Force T-6 Texan, Marine F4U Corsair and C-47 Skytrain loudspeaker aircraft.
B-29 with bomb bay doors open prepared to disseminate leaflets
As the war went on the workhorse of air delivery of leaflets in the Korean War was the C-47 Transport Aircraft. Also used was the B-29 Superfortress, which could distribute one million leaflets per flight. Some B-26 gunships were equipped with special pods that held several hundred pounds of leaflets, which could be dribbled out at a slow rate or dumped in bulk in a few seconds. By the end of the war, more than 2.5 billion leaflets had been dropped over enemy positions.
What is the main purpose of the leaflet? Wolfgeher explains:
Leaflets are the work-horse of Psywar. After the North Koreans crossed the 38th parallel on 25 June 1950, enough leaflets were used in Korea to provide one for every person on earth. Leaflets were dropped by leaflet bombs and timed fused bundles. They were shot across the lines by leaflet shells, and carried and distributed by infantry patrols. The standard size of a leaflet used in Korea was 5 ½ x 8 ½. These leaflets could be retained and passed on from person to person without distortion. The leaflet could be hidden and read later in privacy.
Loading M16A1 Cluster Adaptor Leaflet Bomb
The primary means of dispersing leaflets was the leaflet bomb. Fully loaded with 30,000 fliers, a bomb weighed 225 pounds. Before the leaflets were packed into the bomb, a fuse was placed between the two halves of the bomb. The fuse was set to ignite at a predetermined altitude; the fuse detonated the primer cord, which separated the two body sections, detached the fins, and released the leaflets. Wind currents dispersed the leaflets, hopefully over the chosen area.
Charles Scalion in Korea 1951
The leaflets we will depict in this article are the personal collection of Charles Scalion. On 27 September 1923, Scalion enlisted in the U.S. Army in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. By 1941 he was a staff sergeant. In 1942 he served as a Recruiting and Enlistment Officer in Baltimore, where he administered the oath to all enlistees. On 3 July 1947, he was promoted to major. He resigned his commission after WWII. During the Korean War, Scalion reenlisted as a Master Sergeant. Scalion was assigned to the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company, where he worked as a printer for propaganda to be dropped behind enemy lines as a part of psychological warfare. His oldest son, Charles A. Scalion, also served in the Korean War as a member of the United States Air Force.
I was sent these leaflets by Mrs. Amie Dryer, a teacher at Calvert High School in Calvert County, Maryland. She asked me to credit Mr. Jim Scalion (the son of Major Charles Scalion), for providing artifacts, conversation, emails, and sharing his fathers story.
My intention is to select about a dozen leaflets that display a good mix of themes, images and color to show the scope of the propaganda printed by the Eighth Army G3. Remember that the U.S. Army was starting from scratch and learning as it went along.
My last comments here will appear strange. From a military point of view everything about this collection is wrong. We know that when the war started the Far East Command (FECOM) started preparing leaflets immediately in mid-1950. The responsibility then went to Eighth Army G2 (Intelligence) and then G3 (Operations.). In November 1950, the first personnel of the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company began to arrive to help with the preparation and printing of psychological Warfare (now psychological operations) leaflets. The 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet (RB&L) Group arrived in Tokyo, Japan, on 6 August 1951. There were three different units preparing leaflets. MSG Scalion was in the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company but none of the leaflets he saved were from that unit. They are all from Eighth Army G3 and The 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet (RB&L) Group (which I depict in another article). How can this be?
I then had a revelation. As can be seen by the chart above, the Company is clearly under the control of the Eighth Army G3. So, although the company was always careful to place their name on training and war game leaflets, in Korea their leaflets were claimed by the controlling G3 organization. This also explains why in this article we show a 1st L&L artist drawing a G3 leaflet and why when I studied the reports of the 1st L&L I saw that the leaflets they mentioned as theirs were all those I knew to be G3. So, for the purposes of the Korean War, the 1st L&L was the G3. Scalion was a printer. The units were probably using the same printing plant and Scalion was saving leaflets that went through the printing presses, none marked 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company.
This leaflet depicts a lone North Korean soldier surrounded by bombs, bombers, cannons and tanks. He stands near the skulls of his comrade who have been killed already. He is next in line.
United Nations Firepower
Escape your unit; Come to the United Nations lines
The text on the back is:
Your unit has suffered heavy casualties.
MORE WILL DIE TOMORROW. WILL YOU BE NEXT?
The firepower of the United Nations is merciless. Do not throw flesh and blood into a flaming Hell. Why die for Russian imperialism? Friends, be wise! There is only one way for your safety.
ESCAPE YOUR UNIT! COME TO THE UNITED NATIONS LINES
You are guaranteed good treatment and will live to see your family again.
This leaflet uses the cold and self-pity as a theme. The image is quite good, depicting a North Korean soldier carrying his dead buddy through the snow. What is most interesting is that this leaflet was tested on 30 North Korean POWs and 29 agreed that it would cause a lowering of morale to their comrades. They were then asked to tell the G3 propagandist what they thought was happening. They listened to the POWs and then wrote the text. That is a novel way to prepare a leaflet:
A Winter Tragedy
Winter warfare is upon you for the second time. You bitter for THE COLD has already taken its toll of your comrades You can dig no grave for them in the frozen ground Comrades! Save yourselves! Warmth and food means life. Leave your units and come to the UN lines. TOMORROW MAY BE TOO LATE. Escape now!
This leaflet targets the Guerrillas in South Korea. At the top, Godless Communism sends the guerrillas to their death. Below, the God of Freedom points the way to peace and happiness. The artwork and text was produced by the Republic of Korea Army. The text on the front is:
LETS WELCOME THE RETURNEES WARMLY
WHICH ONE WILL YOU CHOOSE?
The text on the back says in part:
SAFE CONDUCT PASS
Come back to your home town at once with this safe conduct pass. This is the only way you can save your life. Do not miss the opportunity!
1 January 1952
Do not inflict any hazard upon the Partisans who come back to the Republic of Korea with this safe conduct pass.
Give warm clothes and food to Partisans who have come back to the Republic of Korea.
Report to headquarters at once those Partisans who have returned to the Republic of Korea and take them to the returnees camp immediately
A while back an Australian soldier wrote asking me about a leaflet that mentioned Napalm in Vietnam. It did not; it simply told the enemy to escape. This leaflet is entitled Napalm strike, but it never actually mentions napalm. It depicts a napalm strike on the 90th North Korean Infantry regiment. We see an enemy soldier being burned alive. This leaflet was requested by the X Corps. The text on the front is:
WARRIORS OF THE 90th NORTH KOREAN PEOPLE'S ARMY REGIMENT!
FOR WHOM DO YOU FACE A FIERY DEATH?
The text on the back says in part:
Again you have tasted the power and destruction of United Nations aircraft and fire bombs! Again fire rains from the sky and may soon kill you!
For whom must you face this horrible death without defense against it? Your leaders fill the air with false promises while the United Nations fills the skies with aircraft and fire bombs!
Your bravery is in vain. You die a dogs death for the Russian masters of you leaders. Are there Russian soldiers fighting with you? Why must a one-blooded race destroy itself while communists reap the profits ?
This leaflet really exploits the Communist vulnerabilities by pointing out that damage caused by UN air attacks after two years of Warfare. The leaflet was printed on 10 June 1952 upon the request of the
Ninth Air Force. It depicts UN aircraft attacking various targets on the front. The aircraft chosen is the F-80 Shooting Star. The text to the right of the images is: United States
THESE ARE THE RESULTS OF COMMUNIST AGRESSION
The back is all text and a long list of targets attacked and destroyed. There are eleven categories of destruction listed. Some of the text is:
WARRIORS OF THE NORTH KOREAN PEOPLES ARMY
Two years ago your Communist leaders launched an attack on you brothers and sisters in the
. The attack was cowardly and unprovoked. Republicof Korea
What are the results after two years of war? What has happened to your beloved country? Read these figures and you shall know what UN aircraft alone have done in answer to Communist aggression:
Buildings 127,769 109,186
Vehicles 56,230 4,409
Supply Dumps 1,346 593
Bridges 2,100 5,233
This is the UN answer to Communist aggression. UN aircraft fly in your skies unchallenged. Have you not seen this with your own eyes?
Your Communist leaders have caused your country to be destroyed and have placed the chains of slavery on your people.
In general it is never a good idea to attack the leader of another country. In WWII, the Emperor of Japan was never attacked because he was held in awe by his people. In this 17 June 1952 leaflet, the artwork and text was written by the South Korean Army and they apparently did not love Kim Il Sung. They depict him as a beast standing on a pile of skulls. The G3 printed it as 8302 but notice that the South Koreans gave it their own code number IE 150. 500,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text says in part:
KIM IL SUNG, THE GREATEST TRAITOR IN OUR HISTORY HAS COVERED
OUR BEAUTIFUL FATHERLAND WITH A PILE OF SKULLS
REMEMBER THE TRAGEDY OF 25 JUNE!
Kim Il Sung started the tragedy of 25 June. Kim Il Sung has ruined our country and people. Kim Il Sung has turned our beautiful country into a pile of ashes Turn your heart against Kim Il Sung, puppet of Russia and the greatest traitor in our history!
Mark R. Jacobson tells us more about the problems in his PhD dissertation Minds then hearts: U.S. Political and Psychological Warfare during the Korean War, the Ohio State University, 2005:
For at least the first year of the war, the PSYWAR specialists lacked basic cultural information needed to develop effective propaganda for both Korean and Chinese audiences: what songs were widely known and sung, favorite foods, recreational activities, the role of women in society, superstitions, etc. Psychological warfare personnel were poorly informed on the customs, religions, superstitions, prejudices, taboos, political history, and geography of Korea and China but were still expected to churn out vast quantities of leaflets and broadcasts. Leaflets often did not appeal to the average foot-soldier as they were written in a complicated manner that went far beyond the soldiers ability to comprehend them. Many of the anti-morale and surrender leaflets simply missed the mark and not until the middle of 1951 did the Psychological Warfare Branch finally reach out to the range of Koreans and Westerners residing in Korea and seek their services and advice in building psychological warfare programs.
Few experts in Chinese or Korean culture existed in the entire U.S. military, much less Far East Command or EUSAK. The lack of knowledge about either PSYWAR or Asian cultures made for some interesting bureaucratic situations during the production and approval of psychological warfare materials, notably when American officers thought the English language translations of the leaflets sounded too Chinesey. As one veteran recalled, a lack of cultural expertise did not prevent operations officers from editing and changing the PSYWAR leaflets as in one incident when the PSYWAR writers approached a colonel in the operations shop and asked him about a change on the leaflet:
One of our writers, mystified by this Colonels peculiar editing of a particular leaflet, had the hardihood to approach him and ask for elucidation. The Colonel replied: I made the change because I thought it should be that way. Maybe it was better before I edited it, I dont know. I dont know anything about the Chinese and I dont know anything about psychological warfare. Im here because the Army put me here.
The G3 did try to get up to speed quickly. A two page letter was prepared by the Commander on the subject of Essential Elements of Information. It attempted to determine the attitude and beliefs of the enemy to help make the propaganda message on the leaflets more meaningful. Some of those questions are:
Determine the enemy's attitude toward the following, and the reasons therefore: Tangible factors, including: Food; Clothing; Weapons; Shelter; Medical attention; Logistics; Casualties - Combat and non-Combat; Supporting Weapons.
Training and Experience, including: Veterans; Recruits; Combat training; Condition and training of replacements; Specialist training; Command.
Homesickness, including: Length of Combat duty; Length of time away from family; Furloughs and leaves; Mail; Traditional holidays.
Republic of Korea propaganda operations primarily focused on South Korean civilians. Interestingly, the ROK information and education battalion conducted PSYWAR focused on enemy forces while the ROK psychological warfare battalion conducted troop indoctrination and education missions the nomenclature being exactly the reverse of that of US military units.
This is a rather oversized leaflet at 5.25 x 11-inches. I suspect it did not spread well when dropped from UN aircraft. It depicts a Communist fist squeezing the life out of North Koreans over a pile of skulls. We have seen leaflets in this article that had the artwork and text done by the South Korean Army; this 28 June 1952 leaflet was designed by the U.S. X Corps. It targets the North Korean 1st Division on the 2nd anniversary of the war. 200,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the front is:
THE THIRD YEAR BEGINS THE DESTRUCTION OF THE LIFE BLOOD OF KOREA!
HOW LONG WILL THE MANHOOD OF KOREA CONTINUE TO BE TURNED INTO BLOOD AND BONES ON THE TESTING GROUND OF COMMUNIST AGGRESSION?
Officers, Sergeants and Privates of the North Korean 1st Division:
Your division has been in this war for two long years now. There have been many casualties, many replacements Officers! How many of you have replaced fallen comrades? Do you remember Colonel Kim Kyong Mo and Colonel Kang Chong Su? They never lived to see the elusive victory promised so often by the Communists Demand peace for Korea now. Save your life so you can return to your loved ones
Two generals signed this leaflet. Lee Chong Chan is most famous for refusing to let the Army interfere in politics in 1952. I could find nothing on Lee Yong Moon. This 19 July 1952 Eighth Army G3 leaflet depicts a family eating a meal together and the wife thinking of her husband in the mountains. The artwork and text is by the ROKA and their code for this leaflet is K-125. 200,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. Some of the text is:
GO BACK TO YOUR HOME AT ONCE!
YOUR PARENT AND BROTHERS SHED TEARS, FOR THEY WORRY
ABOUT YOU IN THE MOUNTAINS WHENEVER THEY EAT GOOD FOOD
SAFE CONDUCT PASS
The bearer of this leaflet is determined to become a true citizen of the Republic of Korea again, and Army and Police are ordered to guarantee his life and treat him well.
LEE CHONG CHAN LEE YONG MOON
LT. GENERAL K.A. BRIG. GENERAL K.A.
CHIEF OF STAFF
ASST CHIEF OF STAFF
I like this 23 April 1953 leaflet because it almost looks like an American advertisement. We see a really attractive Korean man and woman and they would seem not to have a trouble in the world. On the back of the leaflet we see female Korean Army soldiers marching and manning an anti-aircraft gun. Instead of telling the female that she is about to lose her boyfriend which is what we might expect, this may be the only leaflet I have ever seen that implies the male may lose his girlfriend. The artwork and text was done by the ROKA. 750,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the front is:
YOU CANT ENJOY A HAPPY HOME LIFE BLAME KIM IL SUNG!
The text on the back is:
SUFFERING UNDER UNHAPPY CONDITIONS OF TRAINING AND WORK
BLAME KIM IL SUNG FOR DENYING YOU A HAPPY HOME LIFE.
As I say elsewhere in this article, I like leaflets that use leaflets as a theme. This is a perfect example. A Chinese soldier has found a UN leaflet and has sat down to read it. A political officer, knowing that the message might open the soldiers eyes and cause him to defect covers his eyes and grabs the leaflet. The text on the front of the leaflet is:
The hands that keep you from safety
The text the back says in part:
Why are you not allowed to discuss the contents of UN leaflets?
Is it because the Communists fear that you will learn the truth and realize that thousands and thousands of your comrades have died in a foreign land for the Russian Communists?
Is it because the Communists fear that you will learn and realize that thousands of your comrades have come to UN lines and that they ate all receiving good treatment?
Suppression of leaflets is an unmistakable sign of guilt.
Do not be oppressed any longer. Come over to UN lines and safety
Major Albert C. Brauer mentioned this leaflet in an article titled Psychological Warfare Korea 1951:
Intelligence reports indicated Communist officers and cadre were continuously forbidding men to read UN leaflets. This leaflet was designed to counter this. It was considered such a good leaflet by me and others that it was not tested on POWs prior to dropping. Later a survey was conducted and to the question: What does this leaflet mean to you, a large percentage of POWs answered, If you read leaflets your officers will punish you. Needless to say, we stopped dropping it.
This is a rather dull leaflet but there is an interesting back story. In WWI we told the Germans that 1 million fresh young Yanks were coming to fight them, then 2 million, then 3 million, etc. During the Vietnam War the Communists printed postage stamps claiming that they had shot down 3,000, 3,500, 4,000 U.S. aircraft. Everyone knew it was fake news but it was interesting to see them inflate the numbers. As the war went on they claimed to have shot down more aircraft than the Air Force had. This earlier Korea War leaflet shows that the Americans were using the same general theme. A number of these leaflets were printed, each giving the latest count of Communist killed or wounded. Hopefully the leaflet is more accurate with its numbers.
The text on front and back is:
Do you know 11,646 what this number means?
11,646 of your comrades are dead and wounded in the last five days, October 4 8
THINK! Will you be next?
This leaflet features a common theme used in almost every war. Soldiers are away from home and they miss their families. Quite often we find leaflets where a loved one, a wife or mother, cry for the son far away in mortal danger. Here a mother weeps as she thinks of her son and he weeps on the battlefield. The Chinese text says in part:
Come back, my son!
How much longer are you going to be away from home? My eyes fill with tears when I think of what is happening to our beloved China. Thousands and thousands of peaceful Chinese are killed every day by the murderous Communists. The Communists took your father away days ago and we have not seen him since My son, only you, the young generation, can save us you and the others must come back and save us from these brutal Communists.
I, your mother, who has never said an unkind word, nor quarreled with anyone, could hardly tolerate the Communist's atrocities. We have to avenge. The Communists are mad dogs - they are murderers: I shall die hating them: Oh, my son, my son, come back:
Major Albert C. Brauer mentioned this leaflet in Psychological Warfare Korea 1951:
This Chinese anti-morale leaflet was, in my estimation, the most effective leaflet prepared in the Korean War. All the emotional ties between mother and son are stressed to create maximum home sickness. A survey of this leaflet with five other leaflets was conducted on one hundred POWs. 90 picked this leaflet as the most effective. It was easily understood by both literate and illiterate and was so effective that some cases POWs burst into tears as they discussed the leaflet. Everyone has a mother, was the comment made time after time.
The artwork for the leaflet was prepared by an anonymous Chinese artist in South Korea. He gave the sketch to the Chinese Nationalist Embassy from where it found its way to my desk. It was almost not printed as our art section did not believe it would reproduce satisfactorily.
In general, American PSYOP troops are told not to depict dead bodies on leaflets because it seems to indicate that they are bragging about those killed, and it has been found to anger the enemy and perhaps cause him to fight harder. Still, propagandists love these images and in this leaflet we see a dead Chinese soldier at the left and a live surrendering one at the right. This leaflet was printed after intelligence reports indicated that the Chinese forces consisted of young men under the age of 25. The text says in part:
You can live or you can die
Will you be a corpse before you are 25?
Recruits of the Chinese Army:
The dead Chinese soldier is only 17 years old. He was forced to leave his home and his parents. He was cheated and forced to come to Korea. He was untrained and frightened and did not want to be a soldier. Friends, your chances of living through this senseless foreign war become less each day. You can save your life by coming to the UN lines. The UN welcomes all who come in peace and guarantee good treatment.
This is a direct appeal to Chinese Communists under 25 years of age, stressing the choice of life or death. Intelligence reports had indicated that in some units a large percentage of the personnel were composed of individuals less than 25 years of age. The leaflet was tested on POWs and despite its similarity to similar previous leaflets proved to be very effective.
Both illiterate and literate were able to comprehend the theme, Surrender or Die. The leaflet was prepared some time later than the previous similar leaflets and the ease in which it was understood may in part be due to the educational effect our leaflets were having.
I love leaflets that depict leaflets. I have always thought that I should write an article about this self-serving propaganda. This particular leaflet is even more interesting because it is designed for illiterates. The G3 called this a Mute because it bore images that could be read and understood without the use of a written word. It depicts a Chinese soldier in a flock of airdropped UN leaflets. He looks at it, like what he sees and comes over to the UN forces. There is a brief four stanza text on the back in the form of a jingle. It says in part:
You suffer more when it snows,
You have to hide yourself when you hear the sound of an airplane.
The strafing makes you shudder.
Friends, think it over!
Youll find safety by coming over to the UN lines.
Decent food and good quarters are guaranteed.
Stoves are already installed here.
This is a strange leaflet, but these were used in both Korea and Vietnam. Sometimes rather than propagandize the enemy, the US forces just send an interesting leaflet that is not propaganda; it is something to motivate the enemy to pick up the leaflet and look at it. The idea is to get them used to picking up and reading the leaflets. It would also confuse their Communist leaders who would expect it to be propaganda but find it quite neutral. This leaflet bears a colorful map of Korea and southern Manchuria with the major cities named, and interesting information such as the distance between those cities. This leaflet would be mixed in with regular propaganda leaflets and dropped together. The official information sheet says about this leaflet:
This is a brightly colored pictorial map of Korea and the Southeast portion of Manchuria showing principal ports and cities, industry, forestry, agriculture and fishing. Arrows show distances to principal Chinese cities.
The Cut sheet for this leaflet says that there is a dragon in flight on the front. I guess there is but it is not very clear. The text on the back bleeds through the image on the front. The back depicts a dead Chinese soldier on the ground. This tactical leaflet was prepared for use against specific enemy units as selected by the I Corps Commanding General, and was requested by the U.S. Army I Corps. The text on the front and back is very short:
THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON
WILL YOU BE SNATCHED AWAY BY THE CLAWS OF THE DRAGON?
This leaflet attempts to divide the Chinese from the Russians. The front top shows U.N. war material being delivered to South Korea. We see long lines of vehicles, trucks, tanks, fighter aircraft and bombers. The front bottom contrasts the first picture by showing Chinese foot soldiers slogging through the snow on their way to battle. The image on the back shows a lonely Chinese family longing for the man of the house, now far away in Korea. The leaflet was requested by the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division to target the Chinese troops in the line directly opposite them. The text says in part:
Are Russian weapons equal to those of the United Nations? What is Russia providing for you? Is it equal to what the United Nations is providing South Korea? Do you have enough trucks? Are you able to ride or must you walk? Do you have enough artillery? Does it keep you from being killed by the United Nations artillery? Do you have enough aircraft? Do they keep United Nations aircraft from bombing you?
Text on the back continues to attack the Russians and the way the Chinese troops are treated by their own government and officers. It points out that the Chinese are being used by the Russians to fight a war of conquest that the Soviets wanted.
This is another leaflet that features death showing a group of Chinese soldiers being mowed down in battle. I show it because it is a perfect example of a tactical leaflet. These leaflets are sometimes requested by front line troops against an enemy they are fighting and will name the enemy unit. The propagandists make it personal. This 19 June 1952 leaflet is titled Useless death and targets the Chinese 113th and 117th Divisions. 500,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text says in part:
WARRIORS OF THE 113th AND 117th DIVISIONS!
WILL YOU LIVE OR DIE IN THE NEXT ATTACK?
Night after night your leaders have hurled you in futile attacks against UN positions! Soon you will be hurled into the jaws of death again! Next time will you live or die? More than 2,000 of your brothers have been killed or wounded in attacking the same objectives, and still this horrible slaughter goes on
FRIENDS! THE CHOICE IS YOURS! WILL YOU LIVE OR DIE?
I added this 30 June 1952 leaflet because it is the only example of a triangular propaganda leaflet that I have ever seen. It is a very odd shape and one wonders how the flight characteristics of the leaflet were figured out by the propagandists who were assigned the task of dropping it on a target site with some accuracy. The leaflet was dropped on Chinese troops and depicts a Communist soldier being forced to confess to fellow troops on the front, and the same troops escaping from the dark to the light on the back. Leaflet 8650 used the exact same theme. There was a belief that pointing out the demeaning and embarrassing nature of these so-called confessions might motivate an enemy to desert the Communist forces. 1,500,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text is:
THREE CONFESSIONS, ONE EXAMINATION IS A CRUEL TRICK THE COMMUNISTS USE TO ENSLAVE YOU.
Come over to the United Nations and you wont have to torture yourself.
Come over to the United Nations and be free of humiliation by the Communists.
Come over to the United Nations and you will not be pressed with three confessions and one examination.
I thought the readers might be interested in the Chinese Communist concept of confessions so pulled out my 1972 Peking copy of Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse Tung (The Little Red Book) and found this passage:
We should not become complacent over any success. We should check our complacency and constantly criticize our short-comings, just as we should wash our faces or sweep the floor every day to remove the dirt and keep them clean.
I added this 6 August 1952 leaflet because it is the only one I have seen that was requested by the British forces, in this case the 1st Commonwealth Division. What Americans call friendly fire the British call blue on blue. British reconnaissance patrols apparently saw Chinese patrols firing at each other. The image depicts such a scene and the British point out that it occurs due to poor leadership. 75,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the front is:
YOUR CADRES INCOMPETENT LEADERSHIP MAKES YOU KILL EACH OTHER
The text on back says in part:
Night after night UN troops have seen the patrols of your units engaged in fire fights with one another. Because of incompetent and confused leadership on the part of your cadres, you rain a fiery death from rifles, machine-guns, mortars and grenades upon your own men.
As Soviet running dogs, the Chinese Communist cadres are not only militarily incompetent in causing you to fight each other, but also politically cruel in that your loved ones at home are plunged into an inhuman life like being burned in a fire or drowned in water.
Note: Being burned in a fire or drowned in water is a Chinese term meaning distress and misery.
I like this leaflet because it is an escape map. Going back as far as WWI propagandists used maps to show the enemy where to go to surrender safely. It is a large leaflet, about 8.5 x 11-inches. This 2 September 1952 map shows the Chinese how to go through their own lines and be welcomed by the Americans. It targets the 113th Chinese Division. 100,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the front says in part:
This makes-the-rounds paper [A Chinese term for leaflet] points to the escape road from Communist ghost hands [A Chinese term for control]. Communist Party members of the 113th Divisions 339th Regiment are not invited to look upon this makes-the-rounds paper. This makes-the-rounds paper is given only to those true, hot blooded descendants of Huangdi to look upon. [Huangdi: the Yellow Emperor, was the third of ancient Chinas mythological emperors, a culture hero and patron saint of Daoism].
The back says in part:
Obstinate Communist Party members need not walk this road. True descendants of Huangdi, however, should clearly remember the map-pointed road. Walk along this road in the space of one night. The break of day will bring safety.
This leaflet is clearly a EUSAK G3 product, though it was drawn by artist Dick Zayac of the 1st Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. I mention above that the 1st L&L was subordinate to the Eighth Army and that their G3 claimed authority for all of the leaflets printed under their command. The leaflet depicting a map and routes through the lines was actually reconnoitered by Zayac himself. He wanted to assure himself that the map depicted everything in its proper perspective.
This is another large leaflet about 8.5 x 11-inches. In the Vietnam War mathematical equations and experimental drops showed that the best sized leaflet for a wide controlled dispersion was 6 x 3-inches. These big pages probably blew all over the field with no real control. The images on front and back are very strong. The front depicts a map of Korea and the ships of the Allied navies, B-29 bombers, and F-80 shooting star fighters. The casualties for the Communist forces during the month of October 1952 are depicted on tombs. The back of the leaflet features a Chinese mother grieving over her dead son. 860,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. Some of the text is:
The Communist forces suffered especially heavy casualties in October 1952, a month of death.
These are the dead, wounded and captured soldiers of different units:
The 65th Chinese Army 2,396; The 39th Chinese Army 1,241; The 15th Chinese Army 11,878; etc. Your incompetent cadres sent you to the road of death.
The Chinese Army has suffered more than 990,000 casualties in the past two years in Korea. Just think how heartbroken their families must be. Who will take care of the widowed wives and fatherless children? Why must the Chinese be cannon fodder for the Russians?
This leaflet simply shows a pretty woman. However, the communist Chinese were rather prudish about such things and I suspect that many troops carried this leaflet around as a sort of pin-up. It might be as close to a sexual leaflet as the Americans used against the Chinese. This leaflet was dated 8 March 1953. The leaflet is designed to stimulate longing for normal human relationships and to create dissension against the government which denies them. The front depicts a photograph of Pretty Chinese woman in a formal silk dress. 500,000 of these leaflets were dropped on 14 May 1953, and they also were dropped on other earlier occasions. 500,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text is:
No mans Life is Complete without a Wife and Sons.
The back is blank.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this leaflet is that it turned out that the pretty young woman was the very patriotic daughter of a South Korean Minister who had never given permission for its use. Allegedly, the minister came upon a copy of the leaflet and raised Hell with the American propagandists.
The same propaganda theme was used in leaflet 8735. On this leaflet, USAF F-80 "Shooting Stars" are seen bombing a Red Chinese convoy. This leaflet was requested by the U.S. 5th Air Force. It was to be dropped immediately after a U.S. air attack to show the lack of Communist air support. One million copies of this leaflet were printed on 26 April 1950, but dropped in May. Once again, the title is:
WHERE IS THE COMMUNIST AIR FORCE?
The text on the back is the same as leaflet 8426 and says in part:
Day and night U.N military air power destroys military targets in North Korea without opposition. Your Communist leaders promise airplanes to protect you BUT HAVE YOU SEEN THEM?
I love flags. Often countries will discover that the enemy does not recognize its flags or their own so will show them on a leaflet. There is no point in saying come to this flag if the enemy does not know what it is. Some propagandists think they are not good images because the enemy can cut the flag from the leaflet and it can raise his morale. In Vietnam, leaflets attacking Ho Chi Minh had the propaganda cut away and the enemy had a nice picture of Uncle Ho to put on the wall of his bunker. In this case, a full color flag of the Peoples Republic of China was dropped. It was requested by the U.S. I Corps and targets the 67th Chinese Division. 350,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The leaflet was prepared on 21 May 1953 and says in part:
FIGHTERS OF THE 67TH DIVISION, 23RD CHINESE ARMY, ATTENTION!
TO SAVE YOUR LIVES IS MOST IMPORTANT
ESCAPE TO THE UN SIDE
Many of your comrades have needlessly died in futile attacks. Others such as Huang Shui-chaun and Chou Chich, both of your division, have followed the road to safety by escaping to the UN positions. You should follow their paths to escape from Communist control. Dont sacrifice your lives needlessly. The UN welcomes you and assures you good treatment.
This leaflet depicts the Chinese attacking and dying in a rain of fire. The theme is Futile Chinese attacks The text is:
Your selfish Communist Chieftains are wasting your lives in futile attacks against the United Nations Sea of Fire. Dont be driven to a dogs death for the benefit of Russia. Live for China.
I mentioned earlier that we often see flags on leaflets and it may or may not be a good idea. This 6 June 1953 leaflet bears the flag of the United Nations. It is designed to let the enemy recognize the flag and come toward it if they care to surrender. It was requested by the U.S. I Corps and targets the reserve forces of the Chinese army and tells them to plan their escape. 800,000 copies of this leaflet were printed. The text on the front is:
CHINESE SOLDIERS IN RESERVE UNITS, ATTENTION!
The text on the back says in part:
You have all felt the power of UN aircraft or artillery and have seen your dead and wounded comrades brought to the rear. To those of you who desire to escape from the slavery of Communism and the horror of this war, the UN sends the following instructions:
While in the rear areas, plan your escape to the UN lines. When your unit is sent to the front lines there will be much confusion during the relief of the old unit. During such confusion, your leaders cant watch you too closely. Therefore, take the opportunity and escape. Escape from your lines during the night, hide yourself, and at first light of day come into the UN lines
Another 8th Army Safe Conduct Pass
This is one of the strangest leaflets I have seen. The code is all wrong; 615130 is not a standard U.N. code, all of which had a maximum of four digits. At the top, instead of an Eighth Army insignia, we see a red star which would seem to imply it is Communist. Blue doves of peace are at each upper corner. The text even sounds Communist. Who else uses a term like warmongers? The text is Korean on one side and English on the other. I suspect this was designed by the South Koreans and printed by EUSAK G3, then dropped by U.N. aircraft. Some of the text is:
Officers and Men of the CCF, NKPA, & Other foreign Forces!
What are your thoughts today?
Over a year of bitter warfare How much longer this useless, futile fight Death for me or crippled for life Let the warmongers do their own dirty underhanded work How can I help stop this death and destruction Surrender Go home?
SAFE CONDUCT PASS
I have not seen the official cut sheet for this leaflet, the sheet that explains its purpose and who printed it. Since the heading of the leaflet is Eighth U.S. Army Korea I am going to assume this is a product of EUSAK G3.
This has been a very short look at a few of the more interesting leaflets from a group of hundreds. If any reader wishes to talk about or comment on the subject they are encouraged to write to the author at email@example.com.