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Morale Operations Branch

  • Date Submitted: 02/28/2012 09:29 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 40.1 
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Origins

William Joseph Donovan formed the Morale Operations Branch of the Office of Strategic Services on March 3, 1943. Donovan admired the perceived effectiveness of Nazi propaganda and saw the United States’ lack of similar operations as a significant weakness. To that end, he created the Morale Operations branch, which used deception and subversion to undermine belief in the German Wehrmacht, Hitler, and Nazism.

Organization

The Morale Operations Branch comprised five sections: the Special Communications Detachment, the Radio Division, the Special Contacts Division, the Publications and Campaigns Division, and the Foreign Division. The Special Communications Detachment was responsible for “combat propaganda operations in coordination with the U.S. Army in Europe.” The Radio Division “conducted all black or clandestine radio programs.” The Special Contacts Division “distributed propaganda to partisan groups.”The Publications and Campaigns Division “produced leaflets, pamphlets, and whispering campaigns.” The Foreign Division “conducted miscellaneous [Morale Operations] activities abroad.” Collectively these divisions carried out psychological warfare operations for the U.S. Army.
The Morale Operations Branch had outposts in several locations across the globe. Usually these stations were close to U.S. Army combat stations or integrated into Army intelligence posts. By 1945 the Morale Operations Branch had one station in Algeria, Egypt, France, and Britain, two in Sweden, and six in Italy. The most important of these stations was in London, Britain.

Campaigns

Leaflets
How Much Longer?
The “How Much Longer?” campaign was the first major black propaganda leaflet campaign. The campaign produced sixteen different leaflets. Each of these featured a cartoon depicting a burdensome situation and asked how much longer German citizens would tolerate it. These leaflets were “distributed throughout Italy, southern France, and the Balkans.”

Skorpion West...

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