Leaflets of Operation Desert Shield
and Desert Storm
(Continued)

C21Draft.jpg (67750 bytes)

Developmental artwork for C21

Artist draft concept leaflet which eventually became the leaflet shown below.

GulfWarIllustrator001.jpg (165371 bytes)

A U.S. Army PSYOP artist begins the drawing that will appear on the standard safe conduct pass.


Note: Colonel Noll’s evaluation states that U. S. and Joint Forces symbols and Coalition flags on surrender leaflets tended to confuse the Iraqis.

 C21F.jpg (20697 bytes) C21B.jpg (19908 bytes)

C21

F: Vertical message in Arabic and English. B&W.
"Cease resistance - Be safe..." Text as C20.

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming Coalition power, thinks of family, surrenders.

This has been called the standard safe conduct pass because it and its variants were produced and dropped in great numbers. The original printing order was for 1,500,000 leaflets. More were printed because the first air drop on 16 January consisted of 2,000,000 leaflets. This leaflet is found on a very white paper and variations exist where there is no Arabic on Saudi flag and the Arabic headline missing. There are a number of developmental artwork leaflets using this same front with various backs.

We know that this leaflet was inserted into artillery shells. 60 such shells with 150,000 leaflets identified as “Safe Conduct Pass 13A-26” were at Logistics base Charlie. Another 25 shells with 100,000 leaflets were at Logistics Base Alpha. Log Base Alpha (supported VII Corps) was an intermediate supply depot in the east located on the Tapline Road. Log Base Charlie (supported the XVIII Corps) was in the west, 7 miles from the Iraqi border near Rafha and designed to be ready by 11 February. This meant a five day supply of rations, 3.4 million gallons of fuel and 15 to 45 tons of ammunition.

LeafletArtilleryPlanningChart.jpg (202405 bytes)

Leaflet Artillery Round Planning Chart

Colonel Jeffrey B. Jones adds:

Despite facing a death penalty for possessing coalition leaflets, a large percentage of Iraqi defectors and Enemy prisoners of war were carrying leaflets when they surrendered. One prisoner was reported to have had 345 leaflets when he arrived at the EPW camp.

V21Back.jpg (36536 bytes)

V21

F: Vertical message in Arabic and English. B&W.
"Cease resistance - Be safe..." Text as C20.

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming Coalition power, thinks of family, surrenders.

A minor variation of the standard safe conduct pass C21 lacking the title in Arabic. It is believed that 1,000,000 leaflets were printed. Dissemination information is unclear. As I relate in my write-up of C35, a number of Gulf War leaflets were prepared for CIA use in clandestine operations. One of these safe conduct passes without title was discovered in a cache of material from a former CIA agent. I strongly suspect that this variant was prepared for CIA use and that is the reason that it is slightly different from the usual leaflet C21 with title.

C21F.jpg (20697 bytes)  C22B.jpg (25455 bytes)

C22

F: Vertical "Cease resistance - Be safe..." Text as C20.
Dragon symbol of the XVIII Airborne Corps.

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming power of coalition, thinks of family, surrenders.

Same as C21.

This is a deception leaflet used to hold Iraqi Army in central Kuwait. The symbol of the XVIII Airborne is on the leaflet in hopes that the Iraqi Army would  believe that they were facing that Corps. In fact, XVIII Corps had moved far to the west of the expected battleground. 900,000 leaflets were printed. In order for the deception plan to work, Task Force Troy, consisting of 460 service members from the 4th PSYOP Group, the Army and the Marines, drove their five tanks and their wheeled vehicles back and forth in front of the Iraqi lines broadcasting the sounds of heavy armor movement and transmitting a great volume of bogus radio transmissions. It worked. The Iraqis stayed in place awaiting a frontal assault.

C21F.jpg (20697 bytes)  C23B.jpg (18000 bytes)

C23

F: Vertical "Cease resistance - Be safe..." Text as C20. B&W.
VII Corps symbol. Similar to Star of David.

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming power of coalition, thinks of family, surrenders. Same as C21.

This is a deception leaflet used to hold Iraqi Army in central Kuwait. The symbol of the VII Corps is on the leaflet in hopes that the Iraqi Army would believe that they were facing that organization In fact, VII Corps had moved far to the west of the expected battleground. 270,000 leaflets were printed. It is alleged that because the Corps symbol of a seven-pointed star was similar to the six-pointed Hebrew Star of David, the Iraqi troops fought more fiercely where it was dropped. It is believed that Iraqi intelligence told their troops that they were facing Israeli forces and this motivated the Iraqi soldiers to fight with religious fervor. It was also thought that this symbol might infuriate the other Muslim Coalition allies who would not want to be aligned with the Israelis. As a result, the symbol was quickly changed to a Jaybird (see C24).

C21F.jpg (20697 bytes)  C24B.jpg (18809 bytes)

C24

F: Vertical "Cease resistance - Be safe..." Text as C20. B&W.
A New Corps symbol, the mythical jaybird.

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming power of coalition, thinks of family, surrenders. Same as C21.

This is a deception leaflet used to hold Iraqi Army in central Kuwait. The VII Corps symbol has been changed to a Jaybird. 270,000 leaflets were printed.

C21F.jpg (20697 bytes)

C25.jpg (11746 bytes)

C25

F: "The USA respects the Geneva Convention. If you quit fighting we assure the following; Humane treatment, food and water, medical care, and shelter. Return home after the war is over."

B: Iraqi thinks of overwhelming Coalition power, family, surrenders. As C21.

The final variation of the standard surrender pass. 776,000 leaflets were printed.

The internal code name for this leaflet is “MARCENT SURRENDER.” This implies the leaflet was prepared for use by the Marine Corps.

The U.S. Marines were issued 18 leaflet artillery shells and 356,000 copies of this leaflet identified as “Marcent Surrender – Mar 2.”

C26B.jpg (23215 bytes)

C26F.jpg (25707 bytes)

C26

F: Joint Forces seal, 0 flags. Cardboard. 200x 90mm. Color.
"Invitation card. From HQ Joint Forces and Theater of Operations. You are invited to join the Joint Forces and enjoy full Arab hospitality, security, safety, and medical care. You will return to your homes as soon as the situation Saddam has placed us in has ended. My brother Iraqi soldier...this invitation is open to you and your comrade soldiers. We hope you will accept this invitation as soon as you have an opportunity. Commander, Joint Forces in the Theater of Operations."

B: Iraqi surrenders, is fed with two other prisoners of war.

This is an oversized card at about 4.5 x 8 inches. The first use of this leaflet was on 18 January when 40,000 were dropped. Because it is a bit larger than the usual Coalition leaflet it was called “Invitation 4 x 8.” It is also labeled “Saudi” which implies some Saudi influence, possibly the single Saudi flag waving in the POW camp.

Note: Colonel Noll’s evaluation states that leaflets depicting the plate of fruit (and containing bananas) were the most popular among the Iraqis.

V26b.jpg (24187 bytes)

V26.jpg (29329 bytes)

V26

F: Joint Forces seal, 0 flags. Color. Paper. 144x74mm.
"Invitation card..." As C26.

B: Iraqi surrenders, is fed with two other prisoners of war.

A standard-sized leaflet with the same image as C26. About 120,000 were dropped on the 24th and 25th of February.

C27B.jpg (24566 bytes)

C27F.jpg (20066 bytes)

C27

F: Joint Forces seal. 0 flags. B&W. Text same as C26. 155x79mm.

B: Iraqi surrenders, is fed with two other prisoners of war. Similar to C26.

This black and white leaflet was produced in great numbers on cardboard, whiter paper 153x76mm in size and on tissue paper. About 1,000,000 were dropped on 19 January. Because it was a standard sized 3 x 6-inch leaflet, it was simply called “Invitation.” It is also labeled “Saudi” which implies some Saudi influence, possibly the single Saudi flag waving in the POW camp. This leaflet was often used as filler; placed in a leaflet bomb if there was any empty space.

V27B.jpg (21846 bytes)

V27F.jpg (17416 bytes)

V27

F: Joint Forces seal. 0 flags. B&W. Text same as C26. Cardboard.

B: Iraqi surrenders, is fed with two other prisoners of war. Same as C27.

There is no information on the dissemination of this leaflet and it is possible that it was never disseminated due to its inability to properly auto-rotate when dropped from aircraft.

On the other hand, as I relate in my write-up of C35, a number of Gulf War leaflets appear in the CIA Museum in Langley, Virginia. There is an example of this style of safe conduct pass on display. If it is the cardboard variety, that would explain a lot. The CIA states that they either received or disseminated 166,000 copies of this surrender leaflet. We cannot tell if their leaflet was the paper version C27, or the cardboard variant V27.  However, in almost every case the CIA leaflets have been a variation of the standard leaflet so we can make an educated guess that the cardboard leaflet was produced for the CIA to hand out rather than air drop. This is strictly conjecture, but fits the pattern of the CIA leaflets being just a bit different than the standard military leaflet.

C28B.jpg (27113 bytes)

C28F.jpg (23825 bytes)

C28

F: Joint Force seal. 0 flags. Color. Paper.
"Safe conduct card. The bearer of this card is permitted to cross the borders to the Joint Forces, whether Arab or friendly, in particular American, British or French forces. He will receive good treatment so that he reaches the nearest Joint Forces headquarters in complete safety without being exposed to any danger. He will be treated according to the Geneva Convention. Commander, Joint Forces and theater of operations."

B: Iraqi soldier thinks of family, surrenders. Joint Forces flag.
"If you want to save yourself, follow these instructions: Remove the magazine from your weapon. Carry the weapon on your left shoulder, muzzle down. To assure us that you are surrendering, place both hands over your head. Approach our lines slowly. Hold this leaflet over your head so we will know that you want to live. You will be transferred into the hands of your Arab brothers as soon as possible. Welcome."

They were disseminated by Coalition aircraft on the night of 15 February, but the numbers are unknown.

The U.S. Marines were issued 25 leaflet artillery shells and 75,000 copies of this leaflet which is identified as “Surrender 50-32-2.” The leaflets were due to be delivered near Qasumah on 25 February 1991.

This leaflet was drawn by Tim Wallace. He told me:

I drew this joint leaflet with a Kuwaiti artist. I did the American soldier and he did the Iraqi soldier. This leaflet is another example where they reworked my original artwork to create something else.

v28.jpg (22699 bytes)

V28

F: Joint Forces seal. 0 flags. Color. Plastic Coated paper.
"Safe conduct card..." Identical to C28.

B: Iraqi soldier thinks of family, surrenders. As C28, except thicker text and slightly changed format.

These leaflets were coated with a plastic compound to make them sturdier and better able to resist desert sunlight. 800,000 were scheduled to be dropped on 15 February. This leaflet was one of the items allegedly disseminated by German PSYOP balloon specialists during the war. The mission name for the distribution of this leaflet was "German S." That could be one reason for the plastic coated paper. It may be that the coalition did not have to worry about auto-rotation since the leaflets would be carried by balloon rather than be dropped from aircraft.

C29.jpg (25615 bytes)

C29

F: Joint Forces seal. 8 flags. Color. Paper.
"Safe conduct card..." Identical to C28.

B: Iraqi soldier thinks of family, surrenders. As C28, except U.S., British, and French flags. (!)

This leaflet was dropped near French Daquet Division at As-Salman. Note the three flags on front (U.S., British and French) and the eight flags on back. 6,050,000 leaflets were printed to be dropped on the night of 15 February and later missions.

V29b.jpg (32986 bytes)

V29F.jpg (26282 bytes)

V29

F: Joint Forces seal. 8 flags. B&W. Paper.
"Safe conduct card..." Identical to C28.

B: Iraqi soldier thinks of family, surrenders. Identical to C29.

200,000 of these leaflets were scheduled to be dropped on the night of 15 February.

C30.jpg (25782 bytes)

C30

F: Saddam walking away from bombed soldiers. B&W.

B: "You are unarmed!! Your supply lines have been cut and you will not receive any more. Saddam does not care about your end. He has deserted you. Put down your arms and join your other Arab friends in the love of peace!!!"

This leaflet was called “Cut Off” by the Coalition and various documents list it as “4E” and “38L-04-1.” Of course, none of these codes appear on the leaflet. 500,000 of C30 were printed on 19 February 1991 but there is no record of them being disseminated. Tim Wallace drew this leaflet and notes that in some other versions other heads were drawn, and with the Iraqi flag covering over the dead and dying troops.

C31.jpg (10696 bytes)   C31b.jpg (8853 bytes)

C31

F: Bomb 33x78. B&W.
"Warning! This is only the beginning. This could have been a real bomb. We have no desire to harm innocent people, but Saddam is leading you to certain death and destruction. We want you to know the truth! Saddam is the cause. Yes, the Multi-national forces have the ability to strike anywhere, and at any time. Warning!"

B: The truth...eight years of war with Iran. Half a million needless deaths. The victories - gone. Now, a generation in peril. A world united against Saddam. No bargaining with him. Don't allow him to be the reason for your annihilation. Don't let Saddam lead you to destruction." 11 lines.

This is the first of four bomb leaflets that are very similar in size and image. One has to carefully inspect the leaflet to determine exactly which one he has. This particular leaflet has been found with a blank back. 1,515,384 of these four bomb leaflets were requested in November of 1990. These were probably among the earliest leaflets dropped in the war. We know that 675,000 were dropped as early as 26 December.


C32.jpg (16565 bytes)  C32back.jpg (7202 bytes)

C32

F: Bomb 40x95. B&W.
"Warning! This is only the beginning..." Identical to C31.

B: "Saddam Hussein's policy of aggression towards neighboring countries is the sole reason for the bombing of Iraq and the targeting of military positions. The blame lies on Saddam Hussein." (9 lines)

All the known data on this item is mentioned under C31.

C33.jpg (17074 bytes)   C33back.jpg (8169 bytes)

C33

F: Bomb: 40x95mm. B&W.
"Warning! This is only the beginning..." Identical to C31.

B: "Iraqi military forces: Saddam Hussein's policy of aggression is the only reason for the bombing of Iraq. The bombing is for military targets only. The Multi-national air forces have overwhelming air superiority. Resistance is useless. The outcome is inevitable. Save yourselves. Leave your weapons and immediately go to a safe area. Saddam is to blame!" 12 lines.

This leaflet has been found with a blank back. All the known data on this item is mentioned under C31.

C34.jpg (15491 bytes)   c34back.jpg (12415 bytes)

C34

F: Bomb 40x95mm. B&W.
"Warning! This is only the beginning..." Identical to C31

B: "The truth...Saddam has isolated you from the world. The Arab League, Muslim World League, and United Nations have all condemned Saddam's actions. Forces from 28 countries have assembled as a direct result of his actions and more countries join daily. Don't let Saddam lead you to destruction!!" 11 lines.

This leaflet has been found with a blank back. We will see these same bomb leaflets again later when we look at the items produced by the PSYOP forces in Turkey. All the known data on this item is mentioned under C31.

C35b.jpg (12007 bytes)

C35.jpg (16376 bytes)

C35

F: Bomb. B&W. Paper.
"Warning! We will bomb this position soon. Leave your equipment and save your life. Warning!"

B: Stealth fighter fires rockets at tank and fuel truck. "It is too late!"

The following four leaflets, C35, C36, C37, and C38 are known as the “Strategic Air Series.” All of them have the exact same back, a threatening bomb. Each of the fronts has a different vignette telling the Iraqis that they are about to be bombed and that their only hope is to flee. We have a lot of rather confusing data about these leaflets. Documents indicate that 515,000 of the four “C” varieties were printed. They were usually dropped together as a mix. They were probably ordered as a mix so we have no individual data on any of them. It appears that the bond paper version (C35-C38) was prepared for dropping by USAF C130 Hercules and F16 fighter aircraft. There are also four tissue-paper versions of the same leaflets (V35-V38). These were apparently produced for clandestine use by the CIA.

v35back.jpg (14292 bytes)

v35.jpg (17117 bytes)

V35

F: Bomb. B&W. Tissue Paper.
"Warning! We will bomb this position soon. Leave your equipment and save your life. Warning!"

B: Stealth fighter fires rockets at tank and fuel truck. As C35. "It is too late!"

This leaflet is printed on a tissue-thin paper. About 1993 I was in the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. There is a small museum just outside their cafeteria. I looked through some of the exhibits of exotic weapons and cameras, and found a display of leaflets which were identified as “CIA-Produced Pamphlets.” The text said, “During the Persian Gulf War, copies of this CIA-produced pamphlet were air-dropped over a designated area prior to an Allied bombing run. These leaflets gave the civilian population time to evacuate and military units an opportunity to surrender.” I immediately recognized the leaflets as the “Strategic Air Series” and assumed that the CIA was taking credit for an Army PSYOP campaign. When I looked closer, however, I realized that each of the four leaflets on display were the tissue-paper varieties. That was different. It explained why they were different from the other leaflets in the series. The code name for this leaflet is, "Time is up!" The CIA lists 86,000 leaflets, but does not explain if that is the number received or disseminated. 

C36b.jpg (9497 bytes)

C36.jpg (19832 bytes)

C36

F: Bomb. B&W. Paper.
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Two burning Iraqi tanks, 3 jet fighters overhead. "Your equipment is subject to bombing."

See C35 for details. Notice the darker flames from the explosion. This leaflet was designed by 4th PSYOP Group artist Tim Wallace.

USAF Major Jon Huss mentions the dangers of being near an Iraqi tank in “Exploiting the Psychological Effects of Airpower - a Guide for the Operational Commander,” Aerospace Power Journal, winter, 1999:

A captured Iraqi general summed up the common feeling of helplessness among Iraqi tank crews by saying, “During the Iran War, my tank was my friend because I could sleep in it and know I was safe…none of my troops (in Desert Storm) would get near a tank at night because they kept blowing up.” By the time the ground offensive started, it was apparent that airpower had convinced a significant number of the enemy that the best tactic for survival was to separate themselves from their weapons.

V36back.jpg (14323 bytes)

V36.jpg (30219 bytes)

V36

F: Bomb 63x108mm. B&W. Tissue paper.
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Two burning Iraqi tanks, 3 jet fighters overhead. "Your equipment is subject to bombing."

The code name is,"Your equipment will be bombed!" The CIA lists 36,000 leaflets, but does not explain if that is the number received or disseminated.

C37b.jpg (10776 bytes)

C37.jpg (17652 bytes)

C37

F: Bomb. B&W. Paper.
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Soldier runs from burning tank, soldier dead by burning tank. Black flames. "Leave your equipment - or defend it and die. The choice is yours!"

See C35 for details. As in the previous leaflets in this series the paper version has black flames on the tank.

V37back.jpg (13756 bytes)

V37.jpg (24590 bytes)

V37

F: Bomb 67x115mm. B&W. Tissue paper.
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Soldier runs from burning tank, soldier dead by burning tank. White flames.
"Leave your equipment - or defend it and die. The choice is yours!"

The code name is, "The choice is yours." The CIA lists 86,000 leaflets, but does not explain if that is the number received or disseminated.

v38back.jpg (11784 bytes)

leaf2.jpg (24210 bytes)

C38

F: Bomb. B&W.
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Stealth fighter firing rockets at Iraqi jets on ground. Black flames.
"This position is about to be attacked. Get out quickly and save yourself"

See C35 for details. Another leaflet printed on paper with black flames around the burning MiG fighter.

v38back.jpg (11784 bytes)

v38.jpg (23084 bytes)

V38

F: Bomb. B&W. Paper
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Stealth fighter firing rockets at Iraqi jets on ground. White flames. "This position is about to be attacked." Shorter text.

See C35 for details. This leaflet is a little different. It is a paper variant with white flames around the burning MiG.

v38back.jpg (11784 bytes)

v38.jpg (23084 bytes)

V38

F: Bomb. B&W. Tissue Paper
"Warning..." Same as C35.

B: Stealth fighter firing rockets at Iraqi jets on ground. White flames "This position is about to be attacked." As V38.

The code name is, "This location is subject to bombing." The CIA lists 126,000 leaflets, but does not explain if that is the number received or disseminated.

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