SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)
Office of Strategic Services Morale Operations Training Leaflets
Training and war game leaflets are an interesting subject because by definition, they will be cruder and less finished than the leaflets produced by a psychological operations unit during a war.
In wartime, the unit will have the best artists, translators, writers and even printing presses and inks. The leaflets will be inspected, the quality of the printing and the color checked carefully and then they will be dropped over specifically selected targets. Their leaflets are meant to be dropped on an enemy and survive sun, rain and snow, pass the tests of time and convince that enemy to comply or surrender.
The training leaflet is generally a simple test given to students asking them to prepare a leaflet on some subject. It might just be one or two students and they are expected to do all the work with whatever data or instruction they have on hand. They are still in school and have not yet perfected their military occupational specialty. Because the training leaflets are so crude, they would generally never be used against a real enemy where credibility is important.
War game leaflets are similar, except the PSYOP troops will have graduated and joined a unit. However, since the war game is just for play and training by combat forces, to test their mettle and strategy, there will be just a few PSYOP people involved and they will make some simple and meaningless leaflets with very limited printing abilities in the field as part of the general horse and pony show. In other words, everyone knows it is a war game and the 82nd Airborne Division is not going to convince the 101st Airborne Division to surrender by implying their wives are lonely and seeing other men. So, it is an opportunity to produce propaganda in the field, to show what a PSYOP team can do, but it is understood that it serves no purpose except to train the troops.
How shall we approach this article? I hope to talk a bit about training, perhaps show some of the instructional books that teach students how to prepare leaflets and then show a selection of training and war game leaflets prepared by different people and units. I have about 150 articles on real leaflets used during wartime on this website and this is a good chance for the reader to see where the artists and writers that produced those leaflets came from and how they were trained. I will limit the leaflets I depict but the reader should understand that I could show hundreds of such leaflets. Every young soldier in school being trained in PSYOP is producing such leaflets as we speak. They learn by trial and error as the leaflets are picked apart and critiqued by their instructors.
A WWII Office of War Information Training Leaflet
It is worth noting that the students cheated and used a current Filipino Patriotic Image
One of the earliest mentions of training leaflets in my library is a booklet entitled OWI Leaflet Maneuvers dated 6 October 1944. It explains how a class was ordered to prepare a propaganda leaflet. The class was held in San Francisco without benefit of instruction or advice on leaflet technique from anyone with field experience. In other words, eight new OWI agents were tasked with producing five leaflets completely on their own. The leaflets were for use in Burma, New Guinea, the Philippines, Japan and Borneo. The students were assigned an artist named Gene Schnell, a Japanese translator named Sung Soo Whang, and a Davidson Printing Pressman names Richard Hubert.
Brave Soldiers of the Thirteenth Division!
The team was given no advice on how to prepare a leaflet. This was entirely their project. This leaflet is tactical in style and targets Japanese troops in Burma based on a change of command in the Japanese forces prior to a major counter-attack. You can tell this is an early practice leaflet because it bears a map on one side and yet it is never mentioned in the text and does not explain to the Japanese soldiers how it is to be used. This is a major error. The map depicts the military situation and is labeled Burma at the lower left. The Short text at the right says:
After the battles of the brave Kokang over the last three months you can see the status of it all.
The text on the back says in part:
Brave Soldiers of the Thirteenth Division!
Your victories in the campaigns of Malaya and Java have established you as brave and gallant troops. Because you fought so valiantly and heroically in the battle of Java, you were chosen as the spearhead of the drive into India Despite your courage, despite your great sacrifice, Imphal is not yet yours.
The planes in the skies belong to the Allies. Your supply lines become weaker day by day. Look about you. Is not the ground strewn with the bodies of your comrades who have died uselessly because of lack of medicine?
The Allied armies stand before you. They, too, are strong and brave. But, they are also well fed and there are many more of them than there are of you.
Soldiers of Japan! To die uselessly in a hopeless battle in which you can gain nothing for your country is ignominious.
The Office of Strategic Services also had such training programs and new agents were tested on their ability to produce meaningful leaflets that used specific themes for propaganda. Prospective OSS Morale Operation agents were given a project of a 100-day hypothetical military operation. They were given intelligence for an invasion of Japan and a review of combat operations. This exercise took place after the alleged capture of the cities of Shiogama, Matasushima and Sendai. The three communities would be governed by one administration. The agents also received a set of problems encountered by the occupying military government and were asked to solve them. At the top of this article we see a set of the training leaflets produced by one group of candidates.
OWI Students bound for Europe
Other OWI candidates trained for action in Europe. The above leaflet appears to be a legitimate leaflet for Germany and is titled German Soldiers Choose for yourselves! In fact, as the back of the leaflet shows, it was designed by OWI students at the technical Training School on Huntington, L.I. The leaflet seems to be an advertisement for the Davidson Printing Press.
PSYOP continued to be taught and practiced through the Korean War, the Cold War, Vietnam and up to the present time.
1968 Military Assistance Command Vietnam PSYOP Guide
In Vietnam numerous publications were used to train the troops on how to prepare and distribute leaflets. The PSYOP Guide has chapters entitled: PSYOP planning, Leaflets, Newspapers, Posters, etc.
Leaflet Printing and Dissemination Guide
The U.S. Army Broadcasting & Visual Activity, Pacific produced an undated Leaflet Printing and Dissemination Guide. It contained chapters such as: Leaflet selection, Leaflet sizes, Papers, Weight, and Preparing the Leaflet Bundle.
Why is this Viet Cong Guerrilla Confused? What did we do wrong?
Another 42-page training booklet was entitled: Communicating with Vietnamese Thru Leaflets. It was prepared in an effort "to improve the quality of leaflets being produced by American PSYOP personnel in Vietnam.
How to Prepare Copy for 7th PSYOP Publication
The 7th PSYOP Group was located on Okinawa and had PSYOP sections that worked in Vietnam, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand and Japan. They often prepared leaflets for other units busy on the battlefront. This booklet explains what the PSYOP soldier must do to make his leaflet ready to be printed by the 7th Group. The booklet is for the soldier in the field and discusses layout, printing, inks, color, text and a host of other features that go into a viable propaganda item.
How to Prepare Copy for RSC Manila
Sometimes the printing jobs were really big and needed a major printing plant. In such a case the material might be sent to Regional Service Center, run by the United States Information Agency. This booklet discusses photo offset printing, layout, photographs, artwork, different types and sizes. During the Vietnam War, RSC Manila ran around the clock and printed millions of leaflets, magazines and pamphlets.
Field Expedient Guide
The printing guide was prepared by the U.S. Army Broadcasting and Visual Activity Pacific, which would later become the 7th PSYOP Group on Okinawa with detachments in Vietnam, Korea and numerous other nations. The leaflet is meant for units in the field far from a professional printing operation. It explains printing that is portable, simple to operate, available, neat and inexpensive. What I like about this booklet is that it was meant to be used by Korean troops. How do we know? Someone has printed directions in the Korean language and taped them over the English-language instruction.
When former First Sergeant Charles Dryden of the 11th PSYOB Battalion (2nd PSYOG Group) saw this booklet he told me:
Back in the day......I was/had been an art major. When I was in the field, without any supplies, I begged, borrowed and stole materials. In EGYPT, I got/found some White and Black paint from a Quartermaster and made Gray for T-Shirts and Handbills using regular window screen (already "stretched" on a frame) and made paper stencils from large briefing pads/boards. You could also use Elmer's glue for words and letters "printed/painted" right on the screen....
How to prepare a silk screen
This section of the booklet explains to the Korean PSYOP soldier how to prepare a silk screen for printing.
I could show another dozen booklets and military manuals on preparing leaflets, but I think the reader has the idea. Lets move ahead and look at some training and war game leaflets used over the past six decades.
The Aggressor Forces Symbol
There are specified U.S. Army military units know as Aggressor Forces. They dress a bit odd with a helmet that looks something like the old Greek or Roman helmets and wear uniforms that look somewhat like Russian uniforms. They are taught Iron Curtain tactics, speak in Esperanto, and generally are used to train American troops how to fight against a foreign dedicated enemy. Their symbol was the Circle Trigony. They printed 4 manuals on tactics and an Esperanto language dictionary. The helmet was a standard helmet liner with a piece of wood attached by a wire. They were headquartered at Ft. Riley, Kansas.
The Aggressor Nations – Attention U.S. Troops
In most cases we do not know who prepared a training leaflets and the name of the exercise. This leaflet does tell us who printed it since at the bottom of the back we see Army - Ft. Riley, Kans L-1098.
1st Armored Your attack is no surprise to Aggressor
I added this war game leaflet because it shows an Aggressor Forces soldier wearing the helmet that allowed American soldiers to clearly see that he was the enemy. This leaflet tells attacking forces that they were expected and it was known that they were covering the retreat of the 47th Division.
I often played Aggressor when I taught infantry tactic to troops. All the instructors would get together in the middle of the night and sneak up on our own students in the field and try to catch them unprepared and kill them (in theory) That always led to an interesting class the following day. However, we had no special uniforms or tactics. We just played it by ear, maybe drawing a big soviet star or hammer and sickle with chalk on a vehicle if we decided to use one. Later, when I trained troops to hold try and defend Germany against Russian invaders in a training scenario called the Fulda Gap, I acted as both friendly and aggressor forces as I taught the men how to defend while at the same time using the scenario to slowly push them back as they were attacked by superior Russian armored divisions.
A package of Aggressor Leaflets loaded on an aircraft
Aggressors drop leaflets urging surrender
Since the Aggressors wanted the American troops to know what it is like in a real battle they used both leaflets and loudspeakers in an attempt to destroy their morale and cause them to surrender. In the picture above we see a package of safe conduct passes bearing the Aggressor symbol and the Surrender Now text being loaded on a small aircraft to be dropped on American troops.
The leaflets being read by U.S. Troops on the ground
I should mention that in the majority of small training exercises American troops would never see the formal Aggressor forces. They were used in the major war games where divisions were moved around the battlefield. In a small exercise it is more likely that a local PSYOP unit would play the aggressor and make the broadcasts and print the leaflets. Familiarizing the American soldier with enemy propaganda is a critical part of his training. The soldiers must be able to differentiate true news from fake news.
A Post Korean War Training Exercise
For those that would like an idea of what a real war game or training exercise is like, I present this report on EXERCISE FALCON from the Charlotte Observer of 1 November 1953. The Korean war had ended July 1953, and many of the lessons learned from that “Police Action” appear in this exercise.
The U.S. 82nd Airborne Division playing itself was supported by the 2nd Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company (2 L&L). The company had four loudspeaker teams in the field during the exercise. The messages, both live and recorded were written by the company’s scriptwriters. Two of the Teams supported the Division, the other two supported the aggressor forces. The PSYOP forces on both sides worked in the front lines sending surrender appeals by loudspeaker and dropping leaflets. At night, the loudspeakers played soft music and the Aggressors broadcast the sexy “Voice of Monica,” an “Axis Sally” type broadcaster on tapes made by the 8th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Company in their mobile studios.
In addition to the loudspeaker messages, the 2 L&L’s Intelligence and Publication Sections produced a leaflet each day of the exercise, printed by the 7th Reproduction Company. Up to 40,000 of these leaflets were dropped daily on the opposing forces. To keep their own troops informed, the company also published 50,000 copies of a daily newspaper called Combat each day.
During the exercise, the Psychological Warfare Board conducted field and laboratory tests of the latest equipment designed for PSYWAR purposes. The Board had recently conducted a four-day leaflet dissemination test where they performed mock leaflet raids on 12 North Carolina cities.
Psychological warfare has proven its value in WWII where General Eisenhower complemented it had “proven its right to a place of dignity in our military arsenal,” and in the Korean War where General Mark Clark said that “65% of all prisoners were directly influenced by the intense propaganda campaign.”
The 5th Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company was deployed to Germany during the Korean War. Since there was no hot war in Europe at the time, the unit concentrated on training and preparing leaflets for war games. Above is one of my favorite leaflets by the Company. This October 1951 Combine war game leaflet is designed to frighten the enemy by telling them of the deadly (but imaginary) Kreuzotter snake. Allegedly the leaflet worked to some extent because the enemy troops are said to have been afraid to sleep on the ground, and instead slept in their vehicles.
We know very little about this cartoon bit it certainly fits well here
Some units also threatened the enemy with spiders instead of snake. The training leaflet produced by the 3rd Reproduction Company of the 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion at Ft. Bragg, NC, in March 1955 threatens the enemy with the poisonous black widow spider. The funny thing is that the back of the leaflet shows the black widow as a woodland spider when it is actually more of a house spider. They are mostly found in dark, dry shelters such as barns, garages, basements, and outdoor toilets. They are rather docile and will only bite if provoked. The back of the leaflet depicts the spider and the text:
Black widow spiders are known to be in this area. Smaller than an inch in size, it is impossible to see them at night. The poison which black widows inject into their victims is deadly fifteen times more potent than rattlesnake poison. The Widow seeks a warm place to rest at night like beside a sleeping man. If you remain awake you might feel it.
Lithographed as a training mission of the 3rd Reproduction Company
1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion, Ft. Bragg, N.C.
Danger – Black Widow Spiders
We don’t know who produced this variation of the black widow spider leaflet, but I think it is a bit more impressive. I don’t know if it scared any of the wargamers, but it certainly is a good biology lesson.
The 3rd Reproduction Company also produced this leaflet as a training mission. They appear to be offering medical care to troops of the enemy who are sick or injured. The text on the back is:
Please be careful out there. Have an accident nobody will take care of you. Twist your ankle or break your leg and youre stuck. Will we be able to help you? You may never know! Come over to our side where it is safe. Why risk your neck?
Lithographed as a training mission of the 3rd Reproduction Company
1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion, Ft. Bragg, N.C.
It isnt just spiders out there in the woods waiting to bite you; there are also blood-sucking ticks that cause many diseases. I can remember picking some wild raspberries one time and looking down to see about a hundred ticks coming up my pants legs. Thank God my pants were safely tucked into my boots. Chiggers are mentioned too. They are not deadly but they are almost invisible and will get onto your body around your belt line and leave a ring of very itchy blisters. They can lay eggs under your skin. I used to paint the blisters with clear nail polish to suffocate the little buggers. I remember one case where we had a young female soldier come into the medical tent. She was beautiful. All of the male medics congregated around her hoping to somehow get lucky. She pulled up her pants legs and there were a thousand chigger bites. All of the guys moved back and subconsciously started scratching. You cant help it. You just look at those bites and you itch.
In this leaflet a soldier on an exercise writes a letter home, and then maybe feels something on his neck. The text is:
Wood ticks can cause Epidemic
Blue Task Force is living pleasantly in garrison free from ticks, heat, chiggers and C-rations. We are saving a place for you, but you must hurry before you buddies take your place.
1LL 9-58 [1st Leaflet and loudspeaker Company, September 1958]
This leaflet was used during an Army Training and Evaluation Program (ARTEP) held in Germany. The 6th PSYOP Battalion illustrator that drew it took part in numerous NATO exercises. The front shows a rabies infected Coyote. It was dropped on a division of airborne infantry in the field and supported with loudspeaker broadcasts of snarling barking dogs throughout the nights of the exercise to cause worry and sleep deprivation among the division. Notice the official looking U.S. Army Medical Command (MEDCOM) signature at the bottom designed to create authenticity.
The reverse side of the Rabies Epidemic Leaflet played off of the sleep deprivation caused by the loudspeaker broadcasts creating disorientation, and paranoia with the troops. The troops were told of mosquitoes infecting soldiers with encephalitis. Sick call was swamped with patients throughout the ARTEP and the enemy unit strength suffered greatly.
Did I get you?
Ed Marek of the 6th PSYOP Battalion drew another tick at an exercise in 1982. Originally the analysts and officers did not like the image but Ed had been an infantry grunt and knew the tick would be effective. The Battalion Commander sent him a letter of appreciation and said:
Your thorough understanding of psychological operations was manifested in the tick leaflet, which incorporated every aspect of propaganda craftsmanship.
Your Water is Contaminated
This article is so long that I wonder about adding more leaflets. I found a group of these in the 7th PSYOP Group in archives. So many of these war game leaflets mention poison from snakes, spiders, ticks, etc., that I thought I would add one that just mentions water. The back depicts a skull and crossed bones and the text:
Do not drink your water! It is contaminated. The only safe water is in the aggressor camp. The water in your camp is infected with Tristapholococcus, a deadly virus. Continued use of this water will cause severe cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and finally death.
Tristaph is a virus produced in the Aggressor laboratories and your own medical personnel have no cure for it. Only the Aggressors can cure you. The Aggressors offer you rest and complete medical attention. The Aggressors will give you water, hot meals and showers. Come over. The Aggressors treats you well.
The Damn Cold can kill you!
I dont have a picture of this training leaflet, but I thought it was worth mentioning. A soldier from the 6th PSYOP Battalion told me:
Back in the early seventies, as a training mission, we would sometimes drop leaflets. We had a good time doing these and put in some time developing the message, doing the artwork, printing the leaflets and dropping a limited number of them on the combat units. We had one I can remember specifically. We distributed a leaflet ostensibly from the division surgeon. The message was to guard against life threatening hypothermia. The leaflet specified that if you had any of the symptoms, you should report to the nearest medical personnel as soon as possible. Then we described these Life threatening symptoms. The soldiers were told not to wait. Time was of the essence. Then we essentially described (in great detail) being cold and sleepy...The next morning there were lines formed at the Medics tent.
With the Blackness of Night
This interesting leaflet does not use spiders to scare the finder; instead, a pair of hands reaches out to strangle the soldier. The back is all text and uses guerrilla tactics to frighten the reader by saying that the enemy is bigger, stronger, faster, in better shape and knows the terrain better. Some of the text is:
Watching and waiting is our job and darkness is our ally.
Were used to it used to the terrain, used to the job, and used to the mistakes youre bound to make.
You run we wait. You stop we watch. You tire but we are still fresh and alert
Watch for us you wont see us but well be there. In your CPs, your bunkers, your foxholes tonight tomorrow night and the nights after that.
This leaflet was illustrated by Mike Griffin to be used by the OPFOR at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. The National Training Center is part of the US Army Forces Command. The opposing force at the National Training Center is the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, the Blackhorse Cavalry, who are stationed at the base to provide an opposing force to units on a training rotation at Fort Irwin. The OPFOR has its own PSYOP force and they produce propaganda against the units brought to the center for training. In this case the leaflet shows that the force being trained is the U.S. Army 24th Infantry Division.
Meet Combine Connie
This COMBINE leaflet was prepared by the 5th L&L Company to get the enemy to listen to its radio broadcasts. The back lists five different propaganda stations where you can hear Connies seditious messages. Combine Connie was Dorothea Kovelas who broadcast on American Forces Network Europe. She asked the men to visit Connies Inn, because she hated maneuvers but loved soldiers.
A Casualty of Total War
This 5th L&L Company leaflet numbered 150120 was produced on 4 October 1951 for Exercise Connie. At first it seems to be a standard leaflet depicting a weary soldier and his dog-tag. But, it was actually an informative leaflet to show the soldiers of the Seventh Army the value of psychological warfare. The message warns of the need to prepare soldiers for enemy propaganda. On the back there is a long discussion of the Korean War and the many Communist troops that surrendered due to American leaflets. The leaflet ends:
Can they recognize enemy propaganda and resist it? When the going gets rough, will they be able to withstand psychological attacks calculated to break their morale, to distract them from their battle jobs to induce them to surrender?
Combat readiness includes readiness for psychological warfare.
Exercise SOUTHERN PINE
The United States always wants the enemy to listen to its broadcasts during wartime. That is one way to get them to hear the surrender messages and eventually defect. In this 2nd Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company training leaflet used in Exercise Southern Pine in August 1951, a Lovely woman is depicted at the left with a microphone. The girl was a local named Gladys Mathews. The text is:
Listen to Lorelei
The velvet voice of aggressor in her nightly broadcasts
Just for you!
The back of the leaflet is in the form of a handwritten letter. It says in part:
Hello to all you fellows in the U.S. Army I do so want to please you, to comfort you, maybe to recall a memory or two of time you used to know Ill try to help you fellas, help you to maybe get away from all this sweat and dirt and the bugs, if youll only let me. How about it? Will you listen for me each night .
Exercise SOUTHERN PINE Map
(Photo courtesy of Veritas Magazine)
Dr. Jared M. Tracy mentions the Southern Pine exercise in an article entitled VOICE OF THE U.S. AND AGGRESSORS - The 2nd Loudspeaker & Leaflet Company in VERITAS, Vol. 12, No. 1, 2016. He says in part:
SOUTHERN PINE aimed to provide training for Army and Air Force units in large-scale offensive and defensive operations with emphasis on night operations, close tactical air support; airborne operations; rail, motor, and air movements; and logistical support, to include aerial supply. Soviet forces (played by U.S. Aggressor forces), after taking over the Caribbean, invading the American Southeast, and consolidating in South Carolina, were advancing toward North Carolina. They wanted to seize Fort Bragg en route to Raleigh-Durham. A 2nd L&L contingent was tasked to provide leaflet and loudspeaker support to the Aggressor forces. During Exercise SOUTHERN PINE, the 2nd L&L designed and printed some 485,800 leaflets that Aggressor forces employed against U.S. units. Loudspeaker appeals complemented printed messages. In addition, the 2nd L&L introduced Lorelei, the Velvet Voice of Aggressor. Promoting her nightly local radio broadcasts on Aggressor News Network, a mock enemy news station.
An Informal history of the 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion adds:
In the summer of 1951, the 2nd Leaflet and Loudspeaker Company participated in the first maneuver in which a psychological warfare unit was deployed. This major maneuver, Operation Southern Pines, took place in the Ft. Bragg area Supporting the aggressor, the 2nd L&L Company succeeded in the dissemination of some half million leaflets, despite the fact that the presses at the time could not operate under the humid conditions and leaflets had to be flown to Ft. McPherson, Georgia for printing. Local girls were recruited to record and type the L&Ls nostalgic appeal, The Velvet voice of Lorelei, the L&Ls answer to the Axis Sally and Tokyo Rose broadcasts of WWII.
Lorelei also appears in a Propaganda Newspaper
This idea of the pretty girl named Lorilei working with the Aggressors seems to have been popular, because we also find her in a Ft. Bragg wargame newspaper dated 24 August 1951. This is Volume 1, Number 6 of The Forward Observer. The front depicts a map of the battle with the 28th and 43rd Divisions pushing back the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division and the headline Aggressor smashes ahead. A second story is Life at Aggressor Rest Camp Described as real Vacation. Notice it is not a POW Camp, it is a Rest Camp. The back page depicts Lorilei and features stories like: Lorilei remains a mystery; "Lorelei visits captured GIs as Aggressor Rest Camps; and Many deadly reptiles here. At the bottom of the newspaper we see "Lorelei, the beautiful velvet voice of Aggressor chats with a GI besides a luxurious swimming pool at an Aggressor Rest Camp during her tour last week and: Army Ft. McPherson GA 1323 51.
Your Platoon Sergeant never looked like this
This wargame leaflet also uses a pretty female face to catch the attention of the enemy. The back is covered with kisses and says in part:
Miss something out here friend?
The dreamy armful on the reverse side is one of those things youll have to do without on this maneuver. The only armful you get out here is some sweaty tent partner rolling over in his sleep. And besides, he snores .
What I found most interesting about this leaflet is that the owner placed it for sale estimated at $99.99 and described as Original 1940's WWII Enemy Propaganda Flyer/Leaflet Germany/USA/British. This training leaflet was so well done that a dealer 60 years later assumed it was a genuine German leaflet aimed at the Allies and valued it at about $100.
While the 1st L&L Company was in Korea and the 5th L&L Company was in Germany, the 2nd L&L Company (November 1950 to February 1955) remained in the United States for training purposes. They took part in several war games and exercises, most noticeably Southern Pine at Ft. Bragg in August 1951 where they printed 485,800 leaflets, Snow Fall at Ft. Drum in February 1952 where they printed 50,000 leaflets, and Long Horn at Ft. Hood where they designed 16 different leaflets and printed over 500,000 leaflets.
Exercise SNOW FALL
Exercise SNOW FALL Map
(Photo courtesy of Veritas magazine)
Tracy mentions SNOWFALL in Veritas:
In late 1951, the 2nd L&L received notice of upcoming Exercise SNOW FALL at Camp Drum, New York. SNOW FALL would emphasize: 1) individual survival, over-snow movement, and the use and care of weapons, equipment, and supplies; 2) planning and executing offensive and defensive operations, to include defense on a wide front [and] night operations; 3) airborne operations; 4) tactical air operations; 5) air, motor, and rail movement; and 6) logistical support. According to the hypothetical SNOW FALL training scenario, Aggressor forces occupying and consolidated in New Brunswick, Quebec, and Montreal, Canada had recently pushed southward into the U.S., advancing toward Potsdam. Thanks to the 2nd L&L, U.S. forces dropped nearly 50,000 leaflets and made fifteen loudspeaker broadcasts to Aggressor. Propaganda Platoon personnel wrote and designed leaflets and six issues of Frigid Times, an exercise newsletter.
We show several leaflets above that have Allied radio stations as a theme. This leaflet for Exercise Flintlock depicts a rather odd looking dragon and tells the enemy where to find the radio station WIZZ that broadcasts four times a day. Eurock (European Rock) was apparently a popular form of music for young men at the time.
This exercise Flintlock was supported by the 6th PSYOP Battalion in Germany in 1987. Later the same name, Exercise Flintlock, was used for an annual regional exercise among African, Western, and U.S. counterterrorism forces. Occurring in nations across the Sahel region of Africa, the exercises were planned by Special Operations Command-Africa to develop the capacity and collaboration among African security forces to protect civilian populations. Flintlock participation has included ground and air forces from over 16 countries across a broad spectrum of operations.
Operation Equinox Germany 1952
As the Korean War continued American troops in Baden-Baden, Germany, took part in an Operation Equinox Training Exercise in September, 1952. This major exercise pitted the French I Corps, the U.S. 43rd Infantry Division, The French 5th Armored Group and the French 2nd Infantry against the US VII Corps, the U.S. 28th Infantry Division, the French 4th Infantry Division and the French 24th Airborne Division. This exercise was designed to produce better communication and coordination between the U.S. and their French allies and this goal was achieved.
The leaflet is quite good and shows the circulatory system of a man and warns of the danger of an imaginary disease called mud typhus, and basically tells the soldier to go on sick call immediately or suffer the consequences. Of course, when enemy soldiers go sick, they are off the front lines and cannot fight.
Soldiers of the French 5th Armored Division
This is one of the few war game leaflets I have seen in the French language. The owner thought it was a German propaganda leaflet and priced it at $24.99. I would have thought the origin was clear because it does mention aggressor twice and at the bottom actually says: This is an example of a psychological warfare leaflet. The image is a caricature of the symbol of the French 5th Armored Division and it is about to be enveloped by an Aggressor pincer movement. After the end of WWII the French 5th Armored Division served as occupation troops in Germany. The text is:
Soldiers of the 5th Armored Division.
[From the] Aggressor Army
You overestimated your strength and have gone too far. Now you could be encircled .
You have no reason to continue the fight. Avoid unnecessary losses and further weariness!
Come to the Aggressor army! You will be well treated.
This is an example of psychological warfare leaflet
Hell on Wheels
Another leaflet that mentions a unit talks about the 2nd Armored Division, the famous Hell on Wheels unit. The 2nd Armored played an important role during World War II in the invasions of North Africa and Sicily and the liberation of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands and the invasion of Germany. During the Cold War, the division was primarily based at Fort Hood, Texas, and had a reinforced brigade forward stationed in West Germany. After participation in the Persian Gulf War, the division was deactivated in 1995. This leaflet tries to divide the enemy infantry and armor by telling the foot soldiers that the tankers are nice and dry and ride everywhere. The back of this leaflet is blank.
Another leaflet that mentions encirclement depicts a giant pair of pincers surrounding the military map symbol of the 9th Infantry Regiment. The text is:
Encircled! Now, what can you do?
The back of the leaflet has a rather long message that we will quote in part:
Infantry of the 9th Regiment
The high ground on your left and right is controlled by our forces and ahead of you we have superior firepower. Behind you, you have the sea. What will they expect you to do now?
The Jaws of this trap can close at any time
Be smart and come on over to our lines. Take a break as many of your buddies have already done.
Remember - Aggressor treats prisoners right.
The 9th Infantry Regiment was one of the first units authorized in the United States Army; 16 July 1798. During WWII, they broke out from the beachhead at Normandy and then took part in the Battle of the Bulge. They crossed the Rhine in March 1945 and ended the war with three Presidential Unit Citations. During the Korean War they were part of the 2nd Infantry Division. They were successful at Bloody Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge, Old Baldy, and Pork Chop Hill.
Aggressor treats Prisoners right!
Since the leaflet above uses a line of almost the same text as the title of this leaflet it seemed like a good place for it. We see an Aggressor soldier lighting a cigarette for a soldier who has surrendered himself. Notice the old helmet that was used in the 50s to clearly indicate that they were the enemy. The back depicts a group of prisoners and pretty women enjoying themselves at a Service club and the text:
AGGRESSOR HAS A GOOD TIME. JOIN US! SURRENDER NOW
Counting the days?
This leaflet reminds the soldier that although the weather is nice at present, he will be back playing again in January and it will be much colder then. It mentions Maneuver, so we know it is a war game leaflet. The text on the back of the leaflet recommends malingering and surrender:
A heavy cold means a trip to the hospital long enough to keep you out of the rest of maneuvers Aggressor troops have it made during this exercise. Theyre based in warm comfortable barracks. If you are smart you will get away from these war games and come over to Aggressor Stay high and dry with Aggressor!
This is a dogface
This is a nice low-key leaflet that almost reminds one of Beetle Bailey. It depicts a beat-up dogface at the top looking tired and confused. He is in the field and poorly fed during night maneuvers. Below we see another soldier, happy and sleeping in a warm, bed. He has come over to the Aggressors and is being treated well.
He isnt Getting Anywhere .are you?
This is another leaflet that mentions maneuvers. This training leaflet hints that taking ones time is the way to travel on maneuvers. In other words, take it easy, malinger and dont tire yourself. Of course, if a military unit practices that, they will not accomplish any missions and will be regularly late for everything.
Two Ways to End a Maneuver
Another leaflet that mentions maneuvers. Many times you can tell who was involved in a maneuver or exercise because the training leaflet mentions the unit. In this case the leaflet mentions the 84th Infantry Division. The 84th Training Command (Rail splitters) is a formation of the United States Army. During World War I and World War II, it was known as the 84th Infantry Division. From 1946 to 1952, the division was a part of the United States Army Reserve. In 1959, the division was re-designated once more to the 84th Division. The division was headquartered in Milwaukee in command of over 4,100 soldiers divided into eight brigades, including an ROTC brigade, spread throughout seven states. In September 2010, the 84th was renamed 84th Training Command and began reorganization. The 84th mission currently supports three training divisions: The 78th Training Division, the 86th Training Division, and the 91st Training Division. We assume that when this leaflet was printed the 84th was taking part as a training command. The back of the leaflet has alternating horizontal bands of red and white.
Courtesy of Veritas
This leaflet was produced by the 2nd L&L Company for use in Exercise Southern Pine targeting the 28th U.S. Army Division that had just been federalized. The triangle in the handle of the scissors is the symbol of the Aggressor forces. The major U.S ground units were the 82nd Airborne Division, the 28th Infantry Division and the 43rd Infantry Division. The major aggressor ground units were the 315th Airborne Infantry Regiment and the 511th Airborne Infantry Regiment. The text is:
Wondering where to go now since youve been cut off?
Exercise LONG HORN
The 2nd L&L printed this issue of The Brieflet (Vol. 2, No. 1) just prior to the kickoff of Exercise LONG HORN (24 March-10 April 1952), to explain the exercise and the role of psywar to residents of Fort Hood and surrounding areas. (Photo courtesy of Veritas magazine.)
The U.S. Will Return
(Photo courtesy of Veritas magazine)
The above 2nd L&L Company above was printed for Exercise Long Horn. The U.S ground troops were the 31st Infantry Division, the 47th Infantry Division, the 508th Regimental Combat Team, and the 1st Armored Division. The aggressors were the 82nd Airborne Division and the 17th Armored Cavalry Group. The text is:
While Aggression troops are in your city while Aggressor cockily parades in your streets the U.S. is preparing the counterattack which will drive the enemy from your city.
Exercise LONG HORN Map
(Photo courtesy of Veritas Magazine)
Loudspeaker Platoon member PFC Presley D. Holmes (R) applied his knowledge from graduate study in Speech to coach PFC Shirley Attebury (L), Womens Army Corps, who played Laura, the Voice of the U.S." Teams from Loudspeaker Platoon played her recorded messages to distract Aggressor Forces during Exercisce LONG HORN. (Photo courtesy of Veritas Magazine)
Tracy mentions LONG HORN in his article in Veritas.
Exercise LONG HORN at Fort Hood, Texas that was scheduled for 25 March-9 April 1952. LONG HORN had the same basic objectives as previous exercisestest and validate joint SOPs in order to better prepare U.S. forces to defend Europe from a Soviet attack. The hypothetical training scenario for LONG HORN was as follows. The aggressor invaded Texas in September 1951, pushed inland, captured San Antonio by December, and was advancing northward up the Colorado River toward Brownwood. The 2nd L&L PSYOP efforts during LONG HORN surpassed those of SOUTHERN PINE and SNOW FALL. Throughout the exercise, the 2nd designed sixteen leaflets (eleven for the U.S. and five for the Aggressor) and printed over 500,000. Finally, for LONG HORN the 2nd L&L created "Laura, the Voice of the U.S.," the equivalent to Lorelei during SOUTHERN PINE ten months earlier. They selected PFC Shirley Attebury, Womens Army Corps, to play Laura.
This is a different type of leaflet, aimed at ROTC students on maneuvers. One side is a safe conduct pass; the other mentions the college and the students name. This cadet told me:
I attended ROTC Advanced Camp at Fort Riley in 1983. During one of our field exercises, the OPFOR got into our perimeter and scattered these safe conduct passes near the different fighting positions. These are a bit unusual as they were personalized with the names of the cadets in our company. Here is the one with my name on it.
The PSYOP units in Germany also practiced making mock leaflets against the Communist German and Soviet troops. This 6th PSYOP Battalion Russian-language Cold War training leaflet was made in conjunction with the German 800th PSV (Psychological Defense) Battalion. The front depicts two Russian soldiers with the girlfriends and the text:
On the back of the leaflet the two Russian soldiers have disappeared and only the girls remain. The text is:
Today, tomorrow, and then how long?
Waiting for You?
You can never go wrong using a woman in a propaganda leaflet. In this training leaflet a lonely woman sits in Macs Bar while behind her we see a soldier with a slightly devious smile. He looks like he might get lucky tonight. The back is all text and says in part:
Is this the girl you knew back in Kentucky? Or is it the girl youd like to meet if you werent stuck out in the front line? She must be waiting for someone. Why shouldnt it be you?
It could have been you if you werent tramping around in the snow, trying to avoid frostbite, someplace out in the Colorado boondocks. You might try consoling yourself by saying She isnt the only doll in the world, or was she?
Of course, all the girls dont do their waiting in bars, but those that do, dont have to wait too long
We dont know what unit designed and printed this leaflet or what the unit was that is targeted, but the wargame seems to be played in Colorado and the target appears to come from Kentucky.
When military paymasters are in training they are tested in various difficult situations. Banknotes go missing, soldiers or civilian employees try to pass through the pay line more than once, people are paid too much or too little and other problems that their instructors think will be beneficial to the paymaster's career. The notes above are a front and back of a training banknote series used in Vietnam dated August 1964 to help train paymasters that might be involved in paying U.S. Troops or Vietnamese guerillas. The U.S. Army Finance Corps insignia is depicted at the lower right on the one dollar note. The code to the side of the note indicates: Army Field Printing Plant, work order 974, August 1964, 15,000 copies.
Army Finance School $10 Dollar Bill
Another banknote to teach the students at the Army Finance School how to safely pay troops and assure accuracy when handing out or taking in cash. Notice the character in the center. That is the famous character “Sad Sack,” a woeful Army draftee that never did one thing right in his whole career. Sad Sack is a comic strip and comic book character created by Sergeant George Baker during World War II. Set in the United States Army, Sad Sack depicted an otherwise unnamed, lowly private experiencing some of the absurdities and humiliations of military life. The title was a euphemistic shortening of the military slang "sad sack of shit", common during World War II. The phrase has come to mean "an inept person" or "inept soldier." The U.S. Army Finance School moved to Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Indiana, on 1 June 1951. Fort Benjamin Harrison was closed as part of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
Training Leaflets using the Korean War Banknote Image
During the Korean War the Unites States parodied Korean banknotes with safe conduct messages signed by Ridgway, Van Fleet and Clark. It is interesting to note that long after the end of the Korean War, American Special Forces were still using the Korean safe conduct pass format as a training aide. One green safe conduct pass banknote has the following message in English and Esperanto:
This official certificate guarantees your safety by the Aggressor Nation. You may present this certificate to any Aggressor soldier when you decide to cease fighting. The Esperanto statement at the left is my official order to my troops to give you safe passage and reads as follows . . . (Signed) Wolfgang Francois Umberto, Field Marshall, Aggressor Army, Commander-in-Chief, Northeast Asia Forces.
It is doubtful that any of the young soldiers finding the pass knew of its Korean War origins.
A War Game Leaflet using the Cuban Invasion Banknote Image
Just as the PSYOP personnel were familiar with Korean War safe conduct passes, they had also worked on counterfeit money for the Bay of Pigs invasion and probably still had all the images in their files. As a result, for years afterwards various war game currencies were prepared using the image of the Cuban 20 peso note. This war game note is similar to the counterfeit except for all the additional text and the changing of the title from Banco Nacional de Cuba to Banco Nacional de Red.
A Training Leaflet using the Cuban 5 Peso Note
Since much of the American war game training was against Communist nations in South and Latin America, it was common to use a Cuban currency facsimile. I have at least six different of this specific image in my files. The banknote is a safe conduct pass from the Republic of Costa. The war game was usually between the nations of Costa and Ventura. It is also interesting to point out that a real American propaganda leaflet banknote using this image was used in Grenada where there were Cuban troops and construction people building an air field for the Communist nation.
A Group of Cuban 5 Peso Notes used in Various Exercises
We see that the propagandists liked this 5 peso note and used it over and over with minor changes to the text on the front and back.
A Mock 10 Peso Note
This one features not Che Guevara, but Che Martin. Perhaps they were second cousins. More likely that was the name of one of the main characters in the training exercise.
A Safe Conduct pass in the form of a 25 Cents Military Payment Certificate
This safe conduct pass is party a reproduction of the 25 Cents U.S. Military Payment Certificate, Series 692. These were first introduced into circulation on 7 October 1970 and withdrawn on 15 March 1973. These notes were therefore in use at the end of the Vietnam War. This is the last official series of military payment certificates ever issued by the United States and used only in Vietnam. We don’t know who reproduced this note as a safe conduct pass, but we assume it was either for training purposes or for use in a war game. Curiously, the blue back of the safe conduct pass is a perfect replica of the real note.
Exercise ROBIN SAGE
8th PSYOP Battalion Exercise Robin Sage - Pineland Cartoon
Pineland is a fictitious country located in North Carolina, developed by the United States Army Special Forces Command to train Special Forces, PSYOP and Civil Affairs in unconventional warfare. The basic scenario of Pineland is that the government has been overthrown through a violent coup and US forces are now assisting a guerrilla force that aim to overthrow the de facto government and restore order to the nation. Around eight times a year Special Forces soldier infiltrate into Pineland via parachute, vehicle, helicopter and foot and link up with their guerrilla forces. The guerrilla forces are comprised primarily of Active Duty soldiers and volunteer civilians who participate in the exercise often referred to as Robin Sage.
Robin Sage, derives its name from the town of Robbins, N.C., a central area of operations for the exercise, and former Army Colonel Jerry Sage, a World War II veteran and an Office of Strategic Services, or OSS officer who taught unconventional warfare tactics. Steve McQueens character Hilts in the film The Great Escape was based off Sage.
Fun in the woods - Need we say more?
The guerrilla forces are comprised primarily of Active Duty soldiers and volunteer civilians who participate in the exercise often referred to as Robin Sage. There is a fake currency known as Don which can be used to pay guerrilla forces, transportation and even food in some of the participating restaurants. This is excellent training in how to manage and safeguard funds used to pay guerrillas.
Pineland Resistance Forces Flag
Thousands of residents in North Carolina have participated in Robin Sage for years acting in various roles from town mayors to CIA contacts all designed to help train the Special Forces soldiers. There are a great number of documents and printed material that have been prepared for this exercise.
The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service (DVIDS) wrote about the operation in an article titled Role Players Teach Lessons in PSYOP Exercise. The article says in part:
On the continent of Atlantica, between Europe and America, lies the rural village of Pine Branch, in the northern part of the Republic of Pineland. The villagers were in the middle of a little civil war and the U. S. Army had arrived to stabilize the region. Pastor Bowen Scott was on hand to mediate and counsel. Scott had settled in Pine Branch from Franklin, Tennessee, was set apart from the locals by his southern accent and black cowboy hat. But thats not the least of his differences. Hes also been a terrorist and a mullah.
He is actually Edward Hudson, the man who pretends to be Pastor Scott. Hudson is a civilian role player, hired by the Valbin Corporation, to provide realistic training for the Psychological Operations students taking the class offered by the 80th Training Command several times a year. Hudson is actually from the town of Lockwood, and Pine Branch is in a Fort Hunter Liggett training area.
At least a dozen other role players, most from the local area, took on personas of villagers in order to challenge the Soldiers with situations they may encounter on real missions
Pineland Government Flag
The missions that take place within Pineland include everything from hostage rescue to building a bridge for the local populace. Special Forces soldiers conduct raids on bridges and emplace fake explosive charges after killing or capturing UPA (Unified Provinces of Atlantica) or they meet with underground forces to gather intelligence on enemy movements and operations. The goal of the exercise is to train the resistance forces to a point where they can successfully overthrow the UPA government and restore order. This is done through ongoing training of the resistance forces while in Pineland and an operations plan where the SF soldiers gradually pass the responsibility of training and operations to the forces to the point where they can operate unilaterally. This is designed to train Special Forces, PSYOP and Civil Affairs soldiers for real world scenarios such as Afghanistan where they are conducting similar operations. In many ways the Special Forces soldiers job is to train themselves out of a job and leave behind a fully operational force that can conduct ongoing operations without the help of US personnel.
My pal Ray Ambrozak mentioned Pineland in a recent email:
The Pineland Exercise happened at the end of the PSYOP and Special Forces courses. It took place in the small towns, farms, and countryside near Ft. Bragg. The PSYOP students were the Pineland government. Special Forces students were an insurgent force trying to overthrow that government (and made a jump into the local territory). The 82nd Airborne provided the government army, and the exercise citizens were for the most part the folks who lived there. Some of the locals supported the Pineland government, others the insurgent Special Forces teams. A minister let his church be used for secret meetings. Farmers housed the insurgents in their barns. Public gatherings in the town squares were attended mostly by townsfolk and tourists who listened attentively to the speeches of Pineland government officials (played by PSYOP students).
Ray found out quite by accident that the Special Forces play for real, even if it is a game:
As an instructor, my function in the exercise was that of a controller. Generally, this meant you kept the exercise moving, but contained within parameters that would steer the students towards confronting problems that helped achieve teaching objectives. On one of the exercises, I inserted myself into a problem as a local insurgent leader. It seemed just some harmless role playing to add some realism at a critical point in the exercise. This did not go unnoticed by the 82nd Airborne troops who raided our meeting, taking me prisoner and spiriting me off to Headquarters. for further questioning. I decided to continue to role play under questioning from the 82nd lads as there were two Special Forces students in the room. Since I was not being cooperative, they said I was forcing them to use stronger methods of interrogation. At the time, I did not know what water boarding was, but I soon found out. I was on my back on a table with my head hanging back over the edge. Two of the 82nd’s finest sitting on each arm. My loudest protests and telling them I was an instructor, fell on deaf ears. A wet washcloth was placed over my face which made breathing a struggle. Each intake of breath caused the wet cloth to be plastered to my face, further restricting air flow. As suffocation became a thought, they began pouring water over the washcloth which I was not prepared for, so the water went up my nose, down my throat and now the thought was about drowning. Eventually, someone called an end to it, and I went back to controller status. When asked about this later I managed enough bravado to say, “It was damn fine training.” I did not do any more role playing in future exercises.
It is a fact that to some people a game is a game and to others it is dead serious. I told my buddy retired Major Ed Rouse about a war game where they put a prisoner in a big 20-gallon drum, filled it with water right up to his nose, put the lid on and then banged it with batons until he spilled his guts.
He told me about a Pineland he attended, and a guerrilla shown a big 6-foot diamondback rattlesnake in a glass aquarium tank. The prisoner was blindfolded and questioned. When he refused, the interrogator said, “Get out the rattler” and then took a big friendly black snake out of a gunny bag and put it on the guerrilla while shaking a rattler on a stick he bought from a roadside tourist store. Ed said that the guerrilla would have confessed to killing John F. Kennedy once that snake started crawling over him. Wargames can really be fun!
The Anthem of Pineland is as follows:
This is the Land of the of the Tall Pine Tree
Where All of Us used to Live so Free
THIS IS PINELAND
A Place to Live and a Place to Play
But the UPA took it all away
THIS IS PINELAND
A Place where we are all free to Work Together
Where our Crops can Grow and the Sun will Shine Forever
A Beautiful Land with Much to Give
This is where well Always Live
THIS IS PINELAND
Before we end this discussion of Robin Sage and Pineland, we should remind the readers that although these are called exercises and war games, they can be deadly.
In February 2002, as part of Robin Sage, two soldiers were on a reconnaissance mission when Deputy Randall Butler pulled them over in a traffic stop. The soldiers were driving in an unmarked vehicle and dressed in civilian clothing. Butler was unaware of the military exercise, while the soldiers believed the deputy was part of the training exercise. One soldier, believing the officer was playing the part of policeman, attempted to disarm him, while the other attempted to draw his military weapon. Local civilians are enlisted in role-playing, as are non-special operations soldiers from the U.S. Army base. All ammunition used in the exercise is blank, so there was no safety risk to civilians or their property. The deputy believed that the two individuals intended to kill him. The soldiers thought he was putting up a mock resistance. The deputy shot both suspects in self-defense, killing one and seriously wounding the other.
The Sheriffs’ Office said:
Moore County had never participated in such an exercise and was never told of any such training scenarios. This is a tragic incident, and our heart-felt prayers go out to the families of all involved.
The Army later said:
It's clear that it was a breakdown in communications between the deputy sheriff and the soldiers involved.
Students and Cadre of the Psychological Operations Qualification Course Class conduct a nighttime combat equipment airborne infiltration operation to kick off their culmination exercise (CULEX). The exercise tests the students in their ability to apply their skills and knowledge they have gained during the MOS Phase of their training in the Pineland scenario.
Joint Training Exercise Solid Shield 1977
Why Risk Needless Injury
This handsome leaflet was prepared by the 6th PSYOP Battalion based at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The back warns of increased military activity in the area and asks the families to stay inside their home for their safety.
U.S. and Blue Allied for Victory
Armored Soldiers of Red
Although I have about a dozen leaflets from this exercise, most are in black and white. I add two that were printed in color here.
Identification Card from the Civil Affairs Battalion
There are many similarities between a PSYOP and a Civil Affairs Battalion. Sometimes their duties can get confused. In the simplest terms the PSYOP unit has to do with battle, lowering the morale of the enemy and raising the morale of the friendly peoples, and sometimes helping in relief operations. The Civil Affairs is more in line with peace operations, getting the people food, water, a stabile system and generally raising their standard of living. In some areas one can move slightly into the area of authority of the other. In the case above we have an identification card designed and requested by the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion, printed by the 6th PSYOP Battalion. The term DPRE on the card usually means Displaced Persons, Refugees, and Evacuees. [Note: Both the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion and the 6th PSYOP Battalion were part of the 4th PSYOP Group at that time.]
Solid Shield was an annual massive military exercise that lasted one week each year. It emphasized command and control in a unified environment. More than 50,000 personnel from the U.S. Army's Forces Command, the Navy's Atlantic Fleet, the Marine Corps' Fleet Marine Force Atlantic, TAC MAC and the Coast Guard joined in the massive exercise.
Will you Ever Return to Her?
This Solid Shield leaflet depicts a lonely woman thinking of her man. It is the kind of leaflets that is always used in every war. The back is also interesting since it shows the insignia of the American 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions.
Speaking of the 82nd Airborne Division, these two interesting leaflets were dropped during an early exercise using U.S. Army Special Forces. The local clans and families in Southwestern North Carolina were considered similar to the indigenous peoples of the Vietnam highlands, very tight-knit, and the Special Forces hoped to use them to test their strategy in building and training a guerrilla movement. They built relationships by helping the locals and working on their farms, fish in the ocean as Mao wrote. Then, the United States sent the 82nd Airborne Division in to root the insurgents out.
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
This is an interesting training leaflet. It was used as a reference and a training aid in the 1962 class for Psychological Operations students at Ft. Bragg. The front is fairly standard showing an unhappy G.I. and the text:
WHY ARE YOU HERE?
The back is more interesting. It is designed to destroy the morale of the soldier at the front. In a clever way, it never mentions promiscuity of infidelity but it hints at it in such a way that the soldier is led to believe that his wife or girlfriend (she is never actually identified) is about to cheat on him. She explains that she has been lonely and a male friend down the street has taken her to dinner and now a movie. What is next? It appears that sex is on the horizon. One wonders if his name is Jody? I think the message is cleverly written and could be effective on the right person.
Ray and Ann Ambrozak
A member of the Psychological Operations Veterans Association told me that this leaflet was the product of the 1st L&L Company in support of 82nd Airborne Division and Special Forces at a field Exercise Ft. Bragg, N.C. The young lady was the wife of the publications platoon leader 2nd Lieutenant Ray Ambrozak, and 60 years later she still is, and is still supporting that lucky retired platoon leader in PSYOP efforts through the Psychological Operations Veterans Association. Her name is Ann Ambrozak. I asked for a picture of her today (in 2019) and she was kind enough to send me one.
Speaking of 1962, that same year the 3rd PSYWAR Detachment of the 1st PSYWAR Battalion, (Broadcasting & Leaflet) produced a booklet entitled The Pictorial Story of the Psychological Warfare Soldier. There were about a dozen images of PSYOP soldiers at work. The one above was captioned:
Various types of leaflets produced by Psychological Warfare sections are designed
to gain sympathy toward our cause.
Four leaflets were displayed with the titles:
Danger – Fallout
Danger! your water is contaminated
Cease Resistance – Cross to Safety
Arise Loyal Citizens – Take up arms against the Aggressor – Help Yourself by Helping Us.
The booklet does not mention the fact that these were clearly training leaflets. We recognize that fact because the images were very basic, and the language was English in every case.
VIP Visit Leaflets
The John F. Kennedy “visit” leaflet
One of the traditions at Ft. Bragg is when a particularly important person visits the post, the PSYOP unit photographs him, usually upon entering, and then prepares leaflets while that individual tours the base. At some point aircraft fly overhead, usually while the visitor is giving a speech, and drop leaflets depicting the VIP, showing the ability that PSYOP units have of reacting to an important event quickly.
A Film made During the Visit depicts the Leaflet Drop
I believe the first time was when President Kennedy visited Ft. Bragg on 12 October 1961 and the president made his vision for a dedicated counter-insurgency force clear in a letter penned to the school’s commander, then Brigadier General William Yarborough. The photo above depicts the leaflets from an L-19 “Bird Dog” dropping commemorative leaflets upon the assembled caravan of cars. Specialist Four Bruce R. Armstrong, 3rd PSYWAR Detachment (Reproduction) of the 1st PSYWAR Battalion (Broadcast & Leaflet) did the artwork on the leaflet dropped during President John F. Kennedy’s visit.
The Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson VisitOn 9 January 1965, Chief of Staff General Harold K. Johnson visited Ft. Bragg and once again a leaflet was made and dropped to show him what the PSYOP Unit could do on short notice. Once again, the 1st PSYWAR Battalion produced the leaflet.
Talking to other soldiers after I first wrote this, I was told that one day a week back about 1968-1969, there were tours and a display at the Ft. Bragg Gabriel Demonstration Area. Photos of the crowd in the grandstands were taken by members of the 1st PSYOP Battalion, the negatives forwarded to a mobile printing van and quickly turned into a leaflet. At the end of each demonstration, the leaflets were disseminated to amaze the visitors. It would appear these visitor leaflets are not as rare as I believed. Major Ed Rouse, the webmaster of this site told me that in the early 1970s when he was a member of the 1st PSYOP Battalion they were still doing these demonstrations. By the way, the Gabriel Demonstration Area was featured at the start of the John Wayne movie, The Green Berets.
The Only Way a Leg
Leg is an insulting term used by airborne troops for any soldier that is not airborne. The Airborne trooper can blouse his Class A pants inside his jump boots while the non-airborne qualified soldier cannot. I found these training leaflets in a file from Okinawa and I thought they were for a war game at first, but I now believe they were being used as a recruitment tool by the 7th PSYOP Group headquartered there. There are four different backs. The messages are mixed, some pro-Special Forces, others anti-Special Forces. In order of length of message the first is:
LEGS ARE ALWAYS LOSERS
JOIN THE WINNERS THE GREEN BERETS
The second message is:
As wise investors, we would sure like to buy several Special Forces soldiers for what they are really worth and then be able to sell them for what they think they are worth.
The third message is in the form of a safe conduct pass.
SAFE CONDUCT PASS
Working more but enjoying it less? Misunderstood? Understood? Underfed? Overfed? Treated unfairly? Treated fairly? (But who wants to be treated fairly? You deserve a head start, right?
If so, come over to our side where you will be treated as you desire and deserve. All are welcomed except Special Forces types. We are all out of peanuts.
The 7th PSYOP Group
The final message is rather long and basically congratulates soldiers for their high scores in the PT tests and in an IRONMAN contest.
We Are Your FRIENDS
These leaflets were produced by the 1st PSYWAR Battalion for the 82nd Airborne in an attempt to gain the locals trust. We know the 1st PSYWAR Battalion existed from 1960 to 1965 so that dates the leaflets. The first leaflet depicts a member of the Airborne Division shaking hands with a local. The text on the front is:
We Are Your FRIENDS
The back is a text message that says in part:
CITIZENS of FONTANA
The men of the 82nd Airborne Division, Americas Guard of Honor, have come to your great nation as friends and protectors. We ask that you cooperate with us in every way possible to put down the guerrilla movement in your land Please help us to help you. Each piece of information you supply to the 82nd Airborne brings you one step closer to that peace which we all so dearly seek.
We Are YOUR Friends!
The second leaflet bears the All American patch of the 82nd Airborne and depicts paratroopers dropping from the skies. The text on the front is:
We Are YOUR Friends!
The back is a long text message that says in part:
People of Fontana:
The 82nd Airborne is capable of handling any situation which it might face, but there are two ways of executing any job. Theres the hard way and the easy way. We think you will agree people choose the easy way whenever possible. That is why we are making this appeal to you. We are seeking your help so that our job of freeing your country of subversive elements will be swifter and less painful for all concerned If you hear of a planned raid or something of that nature, dont hesitate to tell us about it. It may quicken the enemys downfall. It is your patriotic duty as loyal Fontana citizens to assist the 82nd Airborne, your friend in time of need, just as soon as you gain any information which may be of value to us.
The 82nd Airborne Division
Looking at this article today there are 17 mentions of the 82nd Airborne Division. Since they were part of the war games on so many occasions, I thought I might add some of the tactics that the PSYOP units used against them. All of these are comments directly from PSYOP troops. It just shows how serious their efforts were, and curiously, also shows that some members of the enemy forces gave them information to see how it would work on their own people:
My favorite mission against the 82nd on Bragg: their Company Commanders and Personnel Section (S-1) gave us detailed personal information. We got some amazing feedback because one of our troops happened to get separated from us and ended up in the middle of their movement and radioed back the reaction to the personal tidbits we used. It was highly effective, and they sent people to try and stop the broadcasts by catching us. We managed a high-speed exit without getting detected or stopped.
On a few training missions we went through their dumpster down in the 82nd to get Intelligence on the unit we were to aggress against. Other times we would try to get close to their encampment and glean intelligence that way. The senior Non-Commissioned Officers loved it but the officers and lower enlisted hated it. In fact, during the run up to operations and during planning, it was the senior NCO's from the 82nd that provided valuable information that we could use during our broadcasts while keeping a not so comfortable distance. We did the same sort of stuff to Ranger students during techniques training (swamp phase) down in Florida.
On one mission a radio telephone operator fell off the back of a truck with a full CEOI (Communications-Electronics Operation Instructions – “Code book”). We hit them by loudspeaker and on their secure nets. It stymied them for days. Our vehicles with the full list of Passwords and challenges walked right in the front door and we were able to broadcast and wreak havoc in their perimeters.
I never took part in such high-tech operations. I go back to the 50s, where you lined up against each other and fired blanks or sometimes just said “bang.” There were cases when the two sides would argue about who fired first and who was dead and that might lead to a fistfight on the battlefield. When in the Headquarters tent, I saw bird colonel told his unit was destroyed and throw a hissy fit with “I did not move my unit 2000 miles to be told I was decimated on day 2 of this wargame,” win the argument, and his unit returned to the battle. When I was training troops and acting as the aggressor, I pulled some little tricks on them. American kids are not born killers and rather than pull the trigger immediately, will sometimes argue. When asked a password, I would give a false one and when challenged tell the sentry that he should have been told it was changed an hour ago. I “killed” many a kid while he argued. Once I did a cartoon trick when we got them to pop up and defend their location on a pitch-black night. You literally could not see your hand in front of your face. I backed into their formation as they returned to the foxholes walking backwards, I was just another defender. When everyone was settled down, I popped a “Flashbang” grenade in the middle of them and wiped them out. The oddest thing we did as aggressors was drive out in the dark in a truck marked with a big Russian star and call “chow.” A bunch of the kids learning infantry tactics came out of their holes to get fed. We killed them all of course. One kid said, “I would have come out if you had yelled “pizza.” I remind the readers, these were young soldiers just learning their trade, not hardened veterans.
Another leaflet that mentions the airborne troops is aimed at the 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment of the United States Army, part of the 82nd Airborne Division. Its subordinate units currently constitute the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division. This leaflet actually uses a little humor on the front, something not often seen. A trooper tries a taste from a boiling pot made by the mess sergeant and his face explodes. The sergeant innocently asks:
The back of the leaflet discusses the next few days of the maneuvers and how boring they will be. The PSYOP unit promises to send reading matter from out of the blue and voices in the wind. The unit that prepared this war game leaflet is the 3rd Reproduction Company of the 1st Radio Broadcasting and Leaflet Battalion based at Ft. Bragg, NC.
This is what your life can be like
Leaflets that promise sex and good treatment are always popular. One war game leaflet that just barely uses a sexual theme is coded Army Ft. McPherson Ga 1277 / 51. It depicts a young man in a swimming pool talking to a pretty girl on a diving board. The text on front is:
This is what your life can be like in an Aggressor Rest Camp. It's up to you.
The back is all text and tells the American troops how to defect to the aggressor side where they will be sent to a "rest camp" to meet young women. One of the more interesting lines of text is:
How about a Holiday?
This hand sign [Two hands up in surrender] is your ticket to an Aggressor Rest Camp.
And dont forget to bring some ready cash. Remember, you can buy beer, cokes, cookies and other snacks at an Aggressor Rest Camp
While you could be enjoying a holiday
A similar leaflet obviously made by the same unit using some of the same people is Army Ft. McPherson Ga 1277/51 in that it shows the same pool on one side but with two men and two women sitting under an umbrella and the test:
You could be enjoying a holiday like this at the Aggressor Rest Camp. How about it Soldier? The choice is yours.
The back depicts a tired and dirty soldier in the field with the text:
Why sweat your guts out day after day under a burning sun crawling through the brush and sand and dirt
Vacation on Vieques
Another war game leaflet that uses sex as a theme was prepared for use on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. This island was used for naval training for several decades since about 1941 and the eastern end of the island was used for live training exercises, ship-to-shore gunfire, air-to-ground bombing and US Marine amphibious landings. There is a roughly 11,000-acre Eastern Maneuver Area for Marine Corps ground exercises. Puerto Rican nationalists demanded that the U.S. Navy stop using the island for live firing exercises and the Navy agreed.
The front of the leaflet is coded TID 3- 2 (Tactical Information Detachment 3, leaflet 2?) and depicts two beautiful girls in bathing suits. The text is:
Vacation on Vieques
Beautiful Caribbean isle but
The back of the leaflet is all text and says:
Not for you soldier. Only heat, barracuda, sharks, bad chow, mosquitoes, poison cactus and Aggressor, a first class fighting man. Remember aggressor treats prisoners right!
Sometimes leaflets can be used to train the troops on various survival methods and military knowledge. This training leaflet depicts a Special Forces Staff Sergeant on the front wearing his Green Beret with a belt of ammo and a rappelling rope over his shoulder. He points at the leaflet reader and says: WATCH OUT. The back of the leaflet is a discussion of sabotage with information on Molotov Cocktails, arson and hand grenades.
We're Getting Combat Ready Too
This training leaflet is instructional and tells the soldier about the Field Service organization designed to make life in the field just a bit easier. It doesn't hurt that the leaflet shows a pretty blond girl in a jeep on the front. The text on the back explains that the teams will go into the field to help run "rest camps" so that the men need not be sent back hundreds of miles. The teams need training too so they are taking part in the maneuvers. Each unit has books and magazines, a snack bar, beer, and when weather permits will sponsor dances for the troops. I have never heard of this organization so am not sure if this is propaganda or legitimate. I have my doubts
Not many of the training leaflets use the atomic bombs as a threat. This one does. It shows what appears to be a mushroom cloud on one side and the other is all text. The leaflet was printed on very thin paper so the text bleeds through the picture. We dont know who prepared this leaflet, but the code is FPP-USARAL-761-53-(C). We have no idea what that means but it seem to be an Army Reserve unit in 1953. Some of the text on the other side mentions Cease resistance and that is interesting because it seems to be using WWII American leaflets for Japan as inspiration. The mention of secret weapons seems inspired by German WWII propaganda. The text is:
We have bad news for you today. A large number of our secret weapons have arrived. We have tried to point out that your lives will be forfeited if you did not cease resistance. You have not heeded our words.
SURRENDER OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES.
You are probably saying, What are the consequences. That, only we know. We control your destiny. We will not tell you if death will come fast or slow and agonizing. But, come it shall if you do not
Cold Pine 1
This 6th PSYOP Battalion leaflet depicts a prison camp and a graveyard. On the back the text is:
You have nothing to loose. This is what the red liberators have in mind for you.
There is one error in the spelling that makes the leaflet virtually worthless. Propaganda language should be perfect, but this one uses the word loose instead of Lose.
Soldiers of the Red Army
This sort of leaflet has been very popular among military forces for decades, I call them death and disfigurement leaflets, and they are generally considered to be ineffective because the people that study the field claim that it appears to the enemy that the maker is bragging and shows no mercy toward his foes. I have seen them in every war and usually they look worse than this with the dead soldier horribly burnt or scared. Military field manuals warn against their use, but the PSYOP troops just love to make them.
The back of this leaflet warns that the enemy is facing an elite U.S. Division and they are dying for nothing:
How can you continue to fight for leaders who consider you expendable? Give up this needless bloodshed; sling your weapons muzzle down and resist this incompetent leadership.
I have a large group of leaflets prepared for Cold Pine 1, but I am unable to find any data on the exercise. I do see that one leaflet is addressed to the citizens of Charleston, so I assume this game was played in South Carolina. If any reader can tell me more, I encourage you to write.
Leave before its too late
This 9th PSYOP Battalion training leaflet is from the early 1980s. The message is very modern and warns the enemy that aircraft can follow the radar beams right back to the source and send rockets to destroy them all.
Iraqi Freedom Leaflet IZD-1006
During Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 the Iraqis were warned about turning on their radar. The leaflet depicts a Coalition aircraft attacking a radar position. The text is:
Before you engage coalition aircraft, think about the consequences.
Bright Star 1977
Operation Bright Star started about 1981; a biannual 10-day war game with the United States and Egypt working together. This went on until 1991 when Operation Desert Storm occurred and there was no need to play at war. The war games returned after the end of the Persian Gulf War. The leaflet depicts a face in the clouds blowing against Soviet tanks and aircraft and protecting Allied tanks and aircraft. The text on the front and back is:
The Bulletin of Bright Star 1977: With the strength of the Khamsin winds. The Allies of the Green Country have arrived in Egypt.
The International Alliance promises to end the aggression of the Orange country. You are now about to meet the strongest military in the world. You will surely suffer defeat.
6,000 American troops took part in this exercise with the Egyptians, Italians, French, Kuwaitis, British and United Arab Emirates. The Khamsin is a hot, dry, dusty wind in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula that blows from the south or southeast in late winter and early spring. It often reaches temperatures above 104° F, and it may blow continuously for three or four days at a time
A Vietnam Practice Leaflet
As I said above, PSYOP troops believed that leaflets showing dead enemy would destroy their morale while psychologists believed it would make the enemy fight more intensely. Here is a practice leaflet drawn during the Vietnam War. This particular leaflet was never perfected and disseminated, but a dozen others very similar were prepared and airdropped over the Viet Cong. The artist also drew a leaflet with rats eating a freshly killed corpse but it was considered too controversial to be placed on a leaflet.
Without seeing them Again
The training leaflet was prepared by the 1st Leaflet and Loudspeaker Company, probably in Korea. It depicts a dead American soldier bleeding from the head on the ground. Near him is his M1 carbine. The back of the leaflet depicts a mother with two young children.
The 1st Loudspeaker and leaflet company was sent to Korea in 1950 and officially authorized in January 1951. The M1 carbine was an issue weapon during the Korean War. The language is in English. The only logical reason would seem to be that it was prepared by our own people prior to or during the Korean War as a training exercise. Perhaps at some later date the text would have been translated into the Korean or Chinese language and the dead soldier would be dressed in a Communist uniform with a Russian or Chinese-made weapon.
Surrender and Stay Alive
This training leaflet was prepared in Korea, I believe as a training exercise for the Eighth Air Force. It is a standard surrender leaflet with the offer of good treatment and food. It is odd that the text is in both English and Korean, but perhaps the English writers were being graded as were the Korean translators.
Dont worry about it, Pal
This training leaflet was prepared by the 15th Psychological Operations printing branch on Okinawa in 1966. We can tell that although it targets U.S. Forces, it was used in South Korea because there is a line of text in Korean at the bottom. It attempts to divide the clerical and non-combat troops from the infantry and other combat specialties by pointing out that this is not their job and they should just relax and wait for it to end. We could call it a malingering leaflet. Such were printed and disseminated by the Germans in WWII.
Feasting with laFemme
The 1st Leaflet and Loudspeaker Company also prepared this training leaflet that depicts a Leader of a mythical foreign country having a feast with a beautiful woman. The text on the back is in the form of a poem. It says:
Your Commanders chow is caviar with wine,
While upon cold chow you dine.
Hell commit you to slaughter make no mistake.
Join Blue forces and of freedom partake.
Curiously, in 1990 when Saddam Hussein attacked the rulers of Kuwait he disseminated similar leaflets of their royal family in Europe drinking with western women.
This leaflet was prepared by the 6th Battalion for Practice ARTEP III. In the military an ARTEP is an Army Training and Evaluation Program. The front depicts a family being marched away by armed soldiers. The back is all text and says in part:
Repressed citizens of White! Leave this area immediately. Do not let yourself be used as a human shield behind which the cowardly capitalist forces will hide themselves in the struggle for liberation.
Handshake of Freedom
The Island of Aragon is roughly six hundred miles east of Atlantica, and is divided into three distinct nations: Peoples Democratic Republic of Acadia, the Republic of Cortina, and the Republic of Victoria. Cortina is rich in natural resources and vital to U.S. interests, but is highly unstable due to political corruption, ethnic strife, and right wing insurgencies. The Cortina Liberation Front, a domestic terrorist organization, is supported by the PDRA and has recently stepped up its violence. Their goal is to overthrow the Cortina government. The United States isnt going to let that happen. Joint Task Force Cortina, comprised of conventional land, air, and sea elements, as well as special operations forces, has been sent to the area. Theyve been ordered to help with the counterinsurgency, provide security, and offer humanitarian aid where its needed. This simulated invasion is one scenario used during the three-week field training exercise at the U.S. Joint Readiness Training Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana.
The large poster-leaflet (8 x 10-inches) was printed by the 745th PSYOP Company from Dallas Texas. It depicts the friendship between U.S. forces and the Government of Cortina.
The above leaflet depicts a family with the option of following the path to democracy and peace, or death and the grave. Text on the back is:
You choose, the enemy is death and the Government is Democracy and Liberty
Attention U.S. Soldiers
Two more colorful leaflets were dropped on U. S. Army basic training recruits at Ft. Stewart, Georgia, in 1971. They were dropped from a helicopter during a mock war game. The leaflet above and below were both printed by the 92nd PSYOP Company, based on Ft. Stewart. The above leaflet is very colorful and depicts the flag of the Aggressor (enemy) force. The short text is:
ATTENTION U.S. SOLDIERS
SAFE CONDUCT PASS
The back is all text and addressed to soldiers of the 30th Infantry Division. It tells the finder that he can defect to the enemy and will receive a one-day pass to Savannah, Georgia. Upon his return he will be allowed to play tennis, swim at the pools and go to the movies. He will get full credit for his basic training. There will be no harassment or details. This has all been approved by the 3rd Army and even if his commander denies it, he knows he must follow the rules.
Did you enjoy being gassed?
The second Ft. Stewart leaflet is more comical. Every recruit goes through the gas chamber where he gets to know what it is like to be tear-gassed for a few minutes before being allowed to put on his mask. There are lots of funny stories of recruits standing in the tear gas and singing the Marine hymn or the Ballad of the Green Berets. The idea is to have the men confident in their masks and understanding that tear gas will not kill, it will simply make you really uncomfortable. This leaflet depicts several recruits probably just leaving the gas chamber and they are suffering. The text is:
AMERICANS: Did you enjoy being gassed? Did all of your masks work? Dont worry, theres more to come.
In general the masks always work, but sometimes in haste to put on the mask the recruit will not get a tight fit and then the gas will seep into the mask. That is why you drill on getting the mask on quickly and properly.
The text on the back is:
GAS!! Compliments of the Circle Trigon [the Aggressor symbol of a triangle within a circle] and theres more to come.
I am old enough to remember training with the old MSA chemical masks. They had the chemical in a canister at the bottom of the mask and since dampness would harden the chemicals, you had to remember to pull off a piece of tape that covered the air holes and kept the interior dry or you could not breathe. There were always a few people that forgot.
I can remember a particularly cruel lieutenant that loved to squeeze the rubber hose going down to the canister and once said to me Cant breathe, can you Johnny?
My pal Major Ed told me another story:
My father told me about his worst gas experience. He was a judge during an exercise conducted after WWII. The exercise included a CS tear gas attack. My dad positioned himself where he could best observe the attack yet have minimal exposure to the gas. Although he would still be exposed to a little gas my father believed that putting up with a minor irritation would still let him see better than restricting his vision with the protective gas mask. As the first whiffs of gas came his way he realized something was horribly wrong. He quickly put his mask on only to vomit into his mask all the way to his eyeballs. Someone either unknowingly or intentionally had substituted vomiting gas for the tear gas. That was the first and last time my father opted not to use his gas mask.
Team Spirit 1990 South Korea
ROK/US Team Spirit
Team Spirit was a joint military training exercise of United States Forces Korea and the Military of South Korea held between 1976 and 1993. The exercise was scheduled from 1994 to 1996 but cancelled as part of diplomacy to encourage the Government of North Korea to disable the North Korean nuclear weapons program.
The above leaflet bears the flags of the United States and the Republic of Korea. It depicts troops on parade. The back of the leaflet used cartoon characters and symbols of the United States and Korea inside designs. The text is:
This exercise will help maintain peace by building the strength of ROK/US combined Forces
Blue Forces are Invincible
This leaflet is more in the form of a tactical leaflet and depicts Jet planes, helicopters, rockets, tanks and fighting men and the text in English:
Blue forces are invincible through ROK/US partnership
The back of the leaflet depicts various Korean troops in action and the Korean language text:
Sky and Land, ever victorious invincible Blue Force.
Orange/Brown forces, you have been surrounded. Any futile resistance against Blue Force would mean nothing but death. You have one chance...
Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm)
During the First Gulf War (Operation Desert Storm) the United States produced about 29 million leaflets. As always, there were many practice and test leaflets prepared and evaluated by the PSYOP units as they prepared for war. These are called Developmental artwork. The leaflet above did not make the cut. I have copies of about 100 of these early drafts of leaflets. Here is a very early sketch one artist drew of Saddam holding his soldiers over a fire which certainly is meant to represent the Coalition forces.
Death from Strafing
This leaflet did not quite make the cut but it is pretty good. A U.S. fighter strafes, bombs and virtually annihilates an Iraqi soldier. No text needed. Notice the developmental art is signed at the bottom right and dated 14 December 1990 at Al Jubayl, Saudi Arabia.
Coalition Forces bombing Iraqi Tanks
American Air Force, Naval, and Marine aircraft, the British RAF, and Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched against military targets in Iraq from 16 to 19 December 1998. The official explanation for this four-day attack was that it was retaliation for Iraq's refusal to allow the inspection of sites as stated in the United Nations Security Council Resolution 687, agreed upon at the end of the Persian Gulf War. The name of this operation was Desert Fox. Four leaflets were prepared early, then another four. Of the eight, only four were actually dropped. We show one of the non-disseminated leaflets which we will call developmental art.
The front of this leaflet depicts three A-10 Warthog fighters flying over a pair of burning Iraqi tanks. The text is:
Iraqi Soldiers. Go back or face your destruction.
The back of the leaflets depicts two A-10 Warthog fighters being directed to an Iraqi tank by U. S. satellites. The text is:
Iraqi Soldiers. We are watching you.
Here is another early leaflet prepared before the actual shooting phase of the war that did make the cut. However, the artist was one of the Army's best so very similar leaflets depicting Coalition aircraft attacking Iraqi tanks were prepared and dropped and this is clearly a precursor to those leaflets.
People who Co-operate
Four years after Desert Storm in 1994, The United States entered Haiti as part of a military campaign named Operation Uphold Democracy aimed at returning President Aristide to power. A number of propaganda leaflets were prepared and disseminated. At least six were prepared and not approved for distribution. I show one here. It depicts a Haitian solder throwing his rifle away at the left and shaking hands with a U.S. soldier at the right. I suspect the leaflet was disapproved because an almost identical leaflet was used during Desert Storm, except it was reversed because Arabic is read from right to left. Text on the back is:
People who cooperate will be paid. People who cooperate will have jobs. People who cooperate will be part of Haiti's future.
Russian Training Propaganda Messages for Interoperability 2016
Many of the leaflets above mention radio broadcast and tell the enemy what stations to listen to. In 2016, the Russians held a war game where they broadcast anti-NATO messages. I thought it might be interesting to add their training broadcasts here. The training exercise was called Interoperability 2016 and combined the forces of Russia and its old colonies; Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. The message was transmitted in several languages, including Russian, German and English:
NATO soldiers! You are being deceived! You are not peacekeepers! Lay down your weapons! You are fighting on the foreign territory. With your treacherous invasion, you have interrupted the peaceful life of an innocent country. You will be brought down by a just revenge and an anger of the people that have never been defeated in war. Drop your weapons and stop being puppets in the hands of your leaders!
The Gray Wolf
Loudspeaker operations can sometime go wrong. In August 2020, the Canadian Army’s 36th Canadian Brigade Group was training when their Reserve PSYOP people thought up a wonderful plan that could be used to demoralize and frighten an enemy force. Such things had been done in other wars, most notably the sound of tigers recorded and played against the Communist forces during the Vietnam War. The Canadian plan used loud recordings of WOLVES howling in the woods through a loudspeaker. To make the campaign more realistic and forceful, they also prepared a leaflet in the form of a forged letter that appeared to be from a government ministry. The letter used a forged logo of the province’s wildlife division and was signed be an official of that division. The letter stated in part:
On the 3rd of August 2020, the Department of Lands and Forestry of Nova Scotia in conjunction with the Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada untook [sic] the significant act to reintroduce the Gray Wolf to the forests of Nova Scotia, Unfortunately, the ‘pack’ has migrated to the Annapolis Valley floor in search of easy pray [sic] and livestock…If a Gray Wolf is encountered, do not provoke, engage, or feed the animal. Back away slowly while remaining calm—do not turn and run.”
That is a common leaflet used in such operations and I have seen training leaflets that mentioned disease, spiders, ticks, poisonous snakes, and similar creatures meant to scare the enemy. Of course, the PSYOP specialists edit the text carefully to be sure it is correct. Misspelled words immediately point it out as a fake and the PSYOP unit producing such an item loses all creditability.
The letter somehow got out into the public who flooded the ministry with question which led to the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry stating on Twitter:
Alert: This letter has been showing up in some mailboxes. It’s fake. We do not know who circulated it or why. There have been no Gray wolves released anywhere in Nova Scotia by any government agencies.
In this case, Reserve troops put together a campaign that embarrassed the Canadian Army and the PSYOP unit. The Canadian Army’s 36th Canadian Brigade Group apologized for the fake letter. The entire operation was investigated by the government to make sure such a panic was not created again.
Training Leaflets used for Recruitment
Try a Real World Mission
Tired of the Same Old Thing?
I had no intention of adding these two leaflets because they are clearly recruitment tools. But, I looked at my old notes from about 1998 and although it was a recruitment drive, it was used as a training exercise for the 6th PSYOP Battalion. I wrote at the time:
The leaflets were targeted at all the soldiers at Ft. Bragg, NC, who were coming to the end of their first enlistment. It was a training exercise, with target audience analysis and pre and post dissemination testing. The leaflets were issued as a boarding pass for the aircraft at a Saturday fun jump [Only paratroopers can jump out of perfectly good airplanes and call it fun] run by the 4th PSYOP Group. Posters were also printed and placed on manned sandwich boards along the route of the 82nd Airborne Division Run during All American Week in 1998. One of those was a photo of a division run with the term "Step out from the group. Some of the PSYOP troops were called out by senior Airborne Division NCO's who didn't take kindly to the poaching attempts.
Memories of War Games
A Wartime Postcard features Maneuvers
I always like to add a little personal touch to these stories. Way back when, about six decades ago, when you took part in a war-game, if you saw an enemy you literally called out: Bang! You are dead! Sometimes the enemy would agree and sometimes he would argue that he was not dead. If there was an umpire he would decide, if not, it got interesting. I recall one pitch black night when we were protecting an installation and spotted some enemy troops. One of our guys shouted: Bang, you are dead and the enemy shouted back F-you! That meant war. There were no umpires, so our guys rushed out and immediately there was a brawl and members from both sides decided to solve the problem with fisticuffs. The good old days!
Soldier outfitted with MILES equipment
Years later, to solve just such problems, the multiple integrated laser engagement system, or MILES was invented. Both sides had attachments to their rifles that only shot a laser when the weapon was fired, and both sides wore multiple sensors on the uniform and helmet so that if he was hit, a bell rang until an umpire came and shut it off. If you shot him, everyone within a city block would know it and there was no argument. This was an excellent training tool and ended a lot of late night brawls. Also, since the laser only worked when the blank rounds in the rifle were fired, it required the soldiers to keep the weapon clean and in good condition and use good firing discipline. No ammo, no MILES.
MILES "God Gun"
Decades later, when I acted as a judge, I had a God Gun. That was a hand-held laser that shot out a wide beam that covered a large area. If I wanted to check and see that all the soldiers had batteries in their MILES (Yes, soldiers have been known to cheat,) I could just pull the trigger and they all would go off. If I did not get a loud ringing from every single soldier, somebody was in deep doo-doo.
I should also mention that the God Gun was a great training tool. I could tell my squad to totally camouflage themselves and make sure that no part of their head or body was exposed to the enemy. Once they were ready and thought they were invisible in the vegetation I could use the god gun to see if they were vulnerable. There were always one or two squeaks or whistles that told me that although there was not enough exposure to set off the alarm, the sensors had picked up the waves coming close. That was such a valuable teaching tool because it showed the soldier that part of his body was exposed and taught him to really use cover and concealment. After a while I could shoot the gun at them all day and not a peep from the brush. They were truly invisible.
I was thinking of all the funny things that happen during a war game and another situation came to mind. It was 60 years ago and I am probably a private First Class up on the Canadian border. It is about zero degrees and freezing cold and it is maybe 0200. We are all suffering from the cold with just fatigue jackets. Your nose runs to the knot that holds the hood closed and freezes and you need a screw driver to chip the ice and untie the knot. I discover there is a heated latrine just behind our defensive position. I go and in find this wonderful warmth, sit down on the toilet and promptly fall asleep. I awake about 0400 and look down and there are heads all around my feet. I carefully open the door and there are bodies all over the floor, maybe as many as 20, some heads practically in the urinals. Apparently, I was not the only person to discover that a heated latrine is a nice place for a quick nap on a bitter cold night. Americans will find a way to adapt, adjust, and persevere.
This has been just a very brief look at some of the early leaflets drawn by artists who were being training to work in PSYOP and those leaflets produced in the field for war games or as developmental art. This story could be 10,000 words long, but most of the leaflets are not very good because of the experience of the artists and the conditions they worked under. The leaflets would get much better as they learned their trade and were placed in an organization that had the finest papers, pens, inks and cultural experts.
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