U.S. ARMY PWB LEAFLETS FOR THE PACIFIC WAR

SGM Herbert A. Friedman (Ret.)

Flag48Star.gif (4342 bytes)  AustraliaFlag.gif (1428 bytes) 

I have written about a dozen articles on various Allied and enemy leaflets of WWII. In general, there were two basic kinds of American white leaflets used in the Pacific. “White” leaflets are those that are clearly American in origin. “Black” leaflets are covert and hide their origin and might appear to be Japanese military or civilian documents.

The U.S. Navy used Office of War Information (OWI) personnel to produce leaflets on Saipan Island. The leaflets were coded numerically, examples being 350 or 2400. The U.S. Army under General MacArthur produced leaflets that were coded with the letter “J,” examples being 10-J-1 or 15-J-3.The first numeral is the number of the leaflet in the series, the last numeral is the unit, so 20-J-6 would be the 20th leaflet produced for the U.S. 6th Army. In some cases the same general leaflet was produced by both the Army and the Navy, though there might be minor changes in the vignette or the text. The Army also printed some leaflets with an “F’ instead of a “J,” these for the Filipinos. Readers who want to see more leaflets used in the Philippines should read my article A U.S. Army Newspaper Editor in the WWII Philippines.

There seems to have been some interchange between the Army and Navy PSYOP organizations. We see very similar images and text used by both, and in some of the leaflet data collected by Army personnel we find OWI leaflets. In the J. Robert Sandberg / Frank M. Hallgren PWB archives we find both types of leaflets. For example, they donated the following leaflets to the University of Nebraska:

Propaganda Leaflets and Text, Nos. 500-2026 (OWI)
U.S. Propaganda Leaflets, Serial Nos. 2J1-123J1 (PWB)

520Fuji.jpg (65909 bytes)

OWI Leaflet 520 / PWB Leaflet 04-J-1

We are not exactly sure of the extent of “partnership” but there must have been considerable interchange and correspondence between the two organizations or how would Sandberg and Hallgren in the Philippine Islands have accumulated so many leaflets prepared by the OWI in Saipan. We know that there were some OWI personnel attached to Allied headquarters to help with PSYOP planning and perhaps they were able to give the PWB propagandists some of their material to use as reference. For instance, OWI leaflet 520 “Militarists oppose Surrender” is found in the PWB files coded 04-J-1. OWI leaflet 518 “American Generosity” is found in the PWB files coded 03-J-1. The first “0” may indicate that the leaflet was also OWI.

The OWI Leaflet Newsletter dated 1 September 1945 (final issue). Tells us a little bit about the arrangement between the two propaganda agencies:

There was close liaison between the OWI representatives in PWB, and the OWI Honolulu office. Many of the leaflets distributed by the former were created and printed in Honolulu. Likewise, the “Rakkasan News,” a Philippines newspaper, was dropped in quantity by Superforts based in the Marianas.

Long before American forces landed in the Philippines, leaflets played a vital role. Prior to the first Philippine landings, the 0WI leaflet unit in Brisbane produced some 56 million leaflets. In Leyte, from November through February, 4 million more were printed, many of them being of the surrender type and beginning in March production in Manila mounted steadily, nearly two million being put out that month in spite of the difficulty of obtaining supplies and equipment in the ravaged city. Distribution figures for the period 20 October 1944 to 12 May 1945 totaled 53,360,150 leaflets. Leaflets for the Filipinos included texts of official proclamations, news leaflets, messages to the guerrillas, and instructions for helping in the liberation. Later, there were warnings of American landings, instructing Filipinos how to avoid death or injury by our bombings and shelling of beaches and military installations, and finally, the red, white and blue leaflet proclaiming that "MacArthur has returned."

FightingFilipinos.jpg (66297 bytes)

An Early OWI Training Leaflet

A booklet entitled OWI Leaflet Maneuvers dated 6 October 1944 actually has an example of early OWI attempts at preparing a leaflet for Japan. The class was held in San Francisco without benefit of instruction or advice on leaflet technique from anyone with field experience. Eight new OWI agents were tasked with producing five leaflets completely on their own. They were assigned an artist named Gene Schnell, a Japanese translator named Sung Soo Whang, and a Davidson Printing Pressman named Richard Hubert.

Richard and another agent named Vic Glasband designed and wrote the third leaflet aimed at Filipinos to encourage resistance and to urge the overthrow of the Japanese on the Philippine Islands. They used a rather famous 1943 “War Production Board” Manuel Rey Isip image of a fighting Filipino already being used as a patriotic poster on the front, and added a long propaganda text on the back. The poster of course is in full color, the leaflet printed on the Davidson Press is in black and white. Some of the text in Tagalog is:

Filipinos:

It was the dream of Rizal that one day the banner of National Sovereignty would wave over the Philippines

At the very brink of realization the dream of Rizal and the work for freedom of the Filipinos were frustrated by Japanese conquest and occupation…

People of the Philippines, soon you will have the opportunity to join hands with your old friends, General MacArthur, who respects and reveres the noble flame of freedom that burns within the hearts of all Filipinos. Together we will deal a smashing blow to the Japanese and thus assure the liberation of the Philippines.

GenMacArthur.jpg (10558 bytes)

General MacArthur

The story of General MacArthur’s escape from the Philippines is well known. American resistance was crumbling, and President Roosevelt, realizing the tremendous propaganda victory the capture of an American general would mean to the Japanese, ordered MacArthur to escape on PT boat 41, 11 March 1942, and on 18 April 1942assume the office of Supreme Commander, South West Pacific Area (SWPA) with headquarters in Australia. He was now in command of American Army, Navy and Air units as well as Australian, British and Dutch military forces in the Southwest Pacific.

Far Eastern Liaison Office

The Australians had been at war as part of the British Commonwealth for several years. Realizing the need for psychological operations (PSYOP), they began printing and disseminating leaflets in August 1942. Prior to 1944, the Australian agency known as the Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO) was responsible for disseminating propaganda to all enemy troops and civilians. FELO produced more than 58 million leaflets in six different languages and numerous native dialects. The Australian War Memorial has 2,635 different FELO leaflets in its collection.

The Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB) served as Gen. Douglas MacArthur's intelligence and covert action organization from July 1942 to the end of the war. It was a combined U.S.-Australian activity headquartered in Melbourne. FELO operated as Section D of the AIB. In June 1944 when MacArthur authorized the Psychological Warfare Bureau, FELO was confined to operations involving Australian, British and Dutch forces.

Author Martin Bennett mentions Allied propaganda booklets reaching the Philippines in late 1942. These could have been FELO or AIB products:

Mitsuo Fuchida was in the Philippines in the fall of 1943 establishing air bases and while in a Japanese-occupied military dwelling was thunderstruck to find, on a table, several copies of a booklet entitled “I Shall Return.” The issues that Fuchida referred to were from December 1942 to May 1943. “Now I understood much more clearly the hostility of the local people. Such literature as this gave them hope and encouragement, assuring them that their allies had neither forgotten them now written them off as expendable. If the United States could smuggle these into the Philippines, it could also bring in munitions, supplies and agents.” 

Note: Fuchida was the lead pilot in the attack on Pearl Harbor. He was interviewed by historian Gordon William Prange in a book entitled God’s Samurai: lead pilot at Pearl Harbor. 

Stanley Sandler, in Cease Resistance: It’s Good for you! A history of U.S. Army Combat Psychological Operations, 1999, lists the ten basic rules of psychological warfare adopted by FELO:

1. Be Paternal but not cold.

2. Avoid a superior attitude.

3. Do not offend or humiliate the enemy.

4. Avoid boasting.

5. Never blame the psywar recipients for the war.

6. Never corner the enemy without showing a way out.

7. Iterate that death is not the natural destiny of the Japanese soldier.

8. Be sincere.

9. Encourage psywar targets to draw their own conclusions.

10. Show that Japan could have a bright postwar future.

There were some members of the American Office of War Information assigned to the Australians, but MacArthur wanted none at his headquarters and no Office of Strategic Services (OSS) personnel in his entire theatre.On the rare occasion when MacArthur seemed to relent, his aides who were managing the various espionage and propaganda units put their foot down. They were very protective of the General. There are some wonderful stories of the “espionage” operations that took place as our friendly forces tried to infiltrate MacArthur’s headquarters. The OSS managed to get a naval officer into MacArthur’s HQ in the Philippines; he was ferreted out and sent home. Our British Allies in M.I. 6 were so frustrated at their lack of knowledge of what MacArthur was doing that they used Ian Morrison, a reporter of the London Times in Australia as a spy. When MacArthur’s chief of the Psychological Warfare Branch submitted a plan for secret operations against Japan the OSS criticized it. MacArthur’s headquarters responded, “Our experts state that your experts are obviously mere superficial observers.”

We find another mention of the general’s distrust of the OSS in A Covert Affair, Jennet Conant, Simon and Shuster, New York, 2011:

…MacArthur loathed Donovan with a monumental hatred. The antagonism between the two was so deep that MacArthur had even sworn to court martial any OSS member caught operating in what he considered his exclusive territory. Rumor had it that the feud had its roots in the fact that Donovan had won the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War I, for capturing a German machine-gun nest single-handed, while MacArthur had been twice nominated for the medal and been twice denied…

Note the word “rumor” above. There may be no truth to the story.

Major General Charles A. Willoughby defends MacArthur’s WWII decision in MacArthur 1941-1951, McGraw-Hill, NY, 1951:

In Washington, “Wild Bill” Donovan’s OSS operatives had a fixed idea that they were arbitrarily kept out of MacArthur’s Southwest Pacific Theater. Actually, MacArthur had to go along without the OSS because he couldn’t afford to wait for it. Unlike the war in Europe, the U.S. war in Asia was a “shooting war” from the start. Where the OSS in Washington had time to gather information about North Africa, about the “soft underbelly” of the Axis in the Mediterranean and about Europe in general, MacArthur had to improvise his intelligence from scratch with the Japanese breathing down his neck…

His G2 section was handed the job of organizing an Allied Translator and Interpreter Section (ATIS) to interrogate prisoners and translate captured documents; an Allied Intelligence Bureau (AIB) to conduct clandestine operations, sabotage and espionage behind enemy lines (a counterpart of OSS); an Allied Geographical section (AGS) to gather and publish geographical information; and a Central Bureau (CB) to provide crypto- analytical services. To help get accurate information about what the Japanese were up to, the AIB took over the Royal Australian Navy’s system of “coast watchers.”

Colonel Allison Ind gives another reason in for the rejection of OSS assets in Allied Intelligence Bureau – Our Secret Weapon Against Japan, McKay Company, 1958. Allison says:

MacArthur felt that the various unorthodox units he was taking over from General Blaney [Australia] and the Dutch might submit to a certain amount of control from him there on the spot, but he was convinced that an attempt at domination by or absorption into another intelligence unit based in Washington would prove to be unworkable.

Starting about mid-1943, all leaflets had to be approved by South West Pacific Area headquarters. MacArthur was starting to realize the value of psychological warfare.

Psychological Warfare Branch

PsywarBranchE.jpg (190988 bytes)

Psychological Warfare Branch Emblem

MacArthur used the Australians to help train his own people, drafted some FELO specialists and in June 1944 authorized the formation of the Psychological Warfare Branch (PWB). This agency actually existed to help MacArthur reconquer the Philippines, a burning desire that had driven him since his defeat by the Japanese. As a result, the two organization’s areas of responsibility were divided, with FELO targeting the old Australian, British, and Dutch areas while the PWB targeted the Philippines.

The PWB is mentioned in the classified report Intelligence in War – MacArthur’s Intelligence Service 1941-1945. It says in part:

The establishment of an American Psychological Warfare Branch (PWB) was approved by the Chief of Staff as a continuation of FELO, then operating primarily in British and Dutch territories. Leaflets were fired from 25-pounders and mortars, and thousands were dropped by the U.S. Air Force. Front-line broadcasts were developed to send messages to Japanese troops. Mobile propaganda units exploited recently reoccupied and enemy occupied territory to win native support for the Allied forces. In the battle for Manila, radio broadcasts were frequently employed in the expectation of lowering enemy morale and inducing the Japanese to surrender…In the period 1942 to 1945 a total of 222 million leaflets and news sheets were produced [this would be by FELO and PWB combined].

PWB initially consisted of seventeen U.S. Army officers, and twenty enlisted men. They were joined by nine Australian members of FELO. Some OWI personnel were also attached to Allied headquarters to help with PSYOP planning. We should point out that the two organizations often worked closely together and some leaflets appear to have been dropped by both. In this article we will call all the “J” leaflets Psychological Warfare Branch, but it is understood that they might have been created with the help of the Australians and may have been disseminated in some of FELO’s areas of operations. For instance, although a “restricted” document dated 1 December 1944 from The Psychological Warfare Detachment at SWPA headquarters clearly shows leaflet 6J1 (Abandoned) as a U.S. product, the Guide to the FELO Collection of the Australian War Memorial states that it is an Australian leaflet to Japanese troops. It is possible that since the Americans and Australians worked in partnership at PWB both sides took credit for the leaflet. In general the fact sheets that translated all the PWB leaflets used the following heading: Psychological Warfare Branch, U.S. Army Forces, Pacific Area, APO 500.

GenBFellers.jpg (43865 bytes)

Brigadier General Bonner F. Fellers

Brigadier General Bonner F. Fellers was MacArthur’s personal secretary and assigned as his psychological Warfare (PSYWAR) chief and thus in charge of PWB. In 1935 he wrote a paper entitled: The Psychology of the Japanese Soldier. Colonel Al Paddock says in U.S. Army Special Warfare - Its Origins, University of Kansas Press, KS, 2002:

Fellers, a 1918 West Point graduate, was one of a very few U.S. senior officers in the Pacific who had actually studied the Japanese military in some depth prior to the war. His “Basic Military Plan for Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area,” completed in August 1944, provided the Psychological Warfare Branch with its organizational structure, goals, and operating procedures. Fellers believed that the purpose of psychological warfare was “to further the military effort by weakening the fighting spirit of the enemy and thus hasten Japan's decision to surrender.”

In his Foreword to the Basic Military Plan for Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area he wrote:

All commanders realize the importance of high morale as a major factor in military success. To lower morale in an enemy army is as vital a mission as to establish and maintain high morale among our own troops.

A soundly conceived, effectively executed campaign of psychological warfare is as basic a part of any modern military operation as are tactics and logistics.

Enemy armies are comprised of soldiers who are individuals - people. What these people think and believe governs what they do, how well they fight and how long they fight. The mental attitudes of enemy civilians likewise have a direct and important bearing on the duration of the war and a close relationship to the fighting effectiveness of enemy troops.

Psychological warfare is the MILITARY application of the science, which analyzes, predicts and influences the behavior of people. In this theater, it includes all activity directed against Japan except guerilla and orthodox warfare and physical sabotage.

A properly directed psychological warfare program in the Far East could achieve objectives of far reaching consequence. A stubborn China, the heroic resistance of the Philippine people, and the stupidity of the Japanese aggressors prevented a racial war. Only by winning the peace can we avert a future racial war.

The favorable reaction of Oriental peoples to invading forces from the West is dependent upon a clear understanding of Western tolerance and liberalism. It is a responsibility of psychological warfare agencies to inform Oriental peoples of the idealistic and unselfish purposes of our war aims. Establishment of mutual respect and trust between Occidental and Oriental peoples presents to psychological warfare agencies a challenge of the highest order.

Allison B Gilmore says in You Can't Fight Tanks With Bayonets, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1998:

Feller's “Basic Military Plan” established three functional divisions with PWB: the Collation Section, the Planning Department, and the Production Section. Situated between these three sections and the Office of the Military Secretary in the chain of command was the executive officer, Colonel J. Woodall Greene. As executive officer, Greene implemented Feller's plans and policies, supervised administration, and coordinated the work of the three section chiefs and the field units. He also comprised the “Weekly Military Plan for Psychological Warfare” designed to achieve the organization's objectives in light of the changing military situation. Each week's plan was submitted to Fellers for his approval, and then distributed to the Collation, Planning and Production divisions to insure a coordinated effort.

The Collation Section studied intelligence reports from all over the Asia and the Pacific and identified Japanese vulnerabilities and ways to exploit them. The Planning Department prepared the PSYWAR operations. It scheduled leaflets drops, newspaper publication and radio broadcasts. It forwarded weekly directives to the Production Section where the newscasts, leaflets. news-letters and magazines were actually produced.

WhatJapPWThinksCover.jpg (104619 bytes)

What the Japanese PW thinks of Thought Warfare

Since we mention the Collation Section we should depict one classified confidential publication that was produced by that section entitled What the Japanese PW thinks of Thought Warfare. This 3 May 1945 PWB booklet was meant to teach the PWB staff what was right and what was wrong with their leaflets. The reader will notice that we mention Japanese critiques of many of the leaflets in this article. In most cases those comments came from this booklet.

Many of the Japanese prisoners were more than happy to help the Americans. One suggested three major themes:

  1. The Japanese soldier must be convinced that he will be treated humanely upon surrender.
  2. The Japanese soldier must be convinced that American weapons are far superior to his own.
  3. The Japanese soldier must understand the hopelessness of his own situation, and those of other Japanese in other sectors.

Of course, it was not only the Americans who wanted to influence the Filipinos by the use of propaganda. The Japanese were also busy from their first day of occupation as is documented by the classified confidential G2 (Intelligence) report, Japanese Propaganda in the Philippines, dated 25 February 1945. The report says that from the beginning of the Japanese occupation an extensive and systematic propaganda program was set into motion. The report quotes from a captured “Most Secret” Japanese military administration document. The Japanese document is over 20 pages long so we shall just mention a few pertinent points:

We must promptly revive in the Filipinos the spirit of the Far East. We must encourage them to live and die along with us by rousing their racial pride…We must study and understand the Filipinos as to their character, values, racial characteristics, racial feelings, customs, habits, virtues and faults…Propaganda must be promptly adapted to the characteristics of the area, to the existing attitudes of the people, particularly where they are concentrated.

Curiously, after studying their new proposed allies, the Japanese listed their characteristics. These were not very flattering. Of the 26 Filipino traits, we note:

They are four-flushers and show-offs; they are lazy and despise labor; they are much inclined to gambling and idleness; their standard of good taste is very low; they like drinking exceedingly; they can tell lies so calmly that it is very hard to tell whether it is true or not.  

With this attitude toward the Filipinos, it is easy to see why they treated them badly and were never able to win their loyalty and friendship. The Japanese Propaganda campaign was four steps.

1. The first was anti-American propaganda with the regular use of such terms as “American Imperialism,” “American exploitation,” and “American tyranny.”

2. The second step was the liberation of the Philippines with constant reminders that America did not liberate the Philippines, but the Japanese had every intention of doing so. The Japanese regularly used such terms as “the free and independent Philippines, “the Philippine Republic,” and “the Philippines for the Filipinos.”

3. The third step was the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Once the Philippines were free of American influence and believed itself to be an Asian nation the Japanese would absorb it into their Co-Prosperity Sphere, a union of all Asian peoples they called, “one big family of equitable give and take.”

4. The final step was the use of pro-Japanese propaganda to create a willingness of the Filipinos to submit and accept guidance from the Japanese Empire.

GenKreuger.jpg (48167 bytes)

U.S. Sixth Army Commander Lieutenant General Walter Krueger

General MacArthur had personally selected Walter Krueger as one of his commanders. He said about him:

I don’t think history has given him due credit for his greatness. I do not believe that the annals of America have shown his superiority as an army commander. Swift and sure in attack; tenacious and determined in defense; modest and restrained in victory – I don’t know what he would have been in defeat because he was never defeated. The great mantle of Stonewall Jackson would certainly fit his ample frame.

MacArthur argued with Krueger on several occasions when he wanted the Sixth Army to race into enemy territory to gain ground at the risk of his soldiers. On one occasion he demanded that Manila be taken by his birthday, on another he moved his HQ ahead of Krueger’s trying to embarrass him into an attack. Krueger was a soldier’s general and refused to send his men forward with exposed flanks where they might be surrounded and killed. He believed in Special Forces and used the Alamo Scouts as a long range reconnaissance unit to find and identify the enemy. He formed his own Ranger Battalion. In the early fighting in New Guinea, Krueger had a 14 to 1 kill ratio over the Japanese troops. When he landed in the Philippines and was greatly outnumbered against a dug-in enemy, Krueger upped the ratio to 19 to 1. Near the end of the battle when he was fighting die-hard fanatics in Manila, Krueger reached a 21 to 1 ratio. Even after the arguments about Krueger’s careful planning and the way he nurtured his soldiers, MacArthur chose him to lead the ground forces for the prospective invasion of the Japanese homeland. He had complete faith in his subordinate. Of course, the dropping of the atom bombs assured that invasion would never take place.

6thArmyHQTankBW.jpg (81150 bytes)

U.S. Army Tank Approaches 6th Army Headquarters in the Philippines

The U.S. Sixth Army, Commanded by Lieutenant General Walter Krueger, the son of a WWI Prussian Army officer, was deeply involved in leaflet design and production even before they reached the Philippines. Carl Berger mentions their PSYOP during the Philippine campaign in: An Introduction to Wartime leaflets, The American University Special Operations Research Office, Washington D.C., 1959. He says in regard to the U.S. Sixth Army:

On 11 September 1944 the G2 (Intelligence section) of the Sixth Army, which had been designated to make the invasion, drew up a detailed "Basic Sixth Army Plan for Psychological Warfare." The plan concluded that it was essential that the propaganda campaign against the Japanese should “create a receptive attitude toward leaflets, to develop confidence in our truthfulness and possible dependence upon our leaflets as a source of news concealed by their own leaders.

The PWB published an 11-page booklet entitled Psychological Warfare in the Sixth Army – The Luzon Campaign. Some of the more pertinent facts in the booklet are:

The strategic dropping of leaflets on the target was begun by PWB, General Headquarters in mid-November 1944. 8,500,000 leaflets for example, being dropped during the month of May, and a total of 29,500,000 were dropped throughout the period 9 January to 30 June.

Of all leaflets, 92% were dropped by supporting units of the Fifth Air Force (the 308th Bombardment Wing, the 310th Bombardment Wing and the Fifth Bomber Command), 8% were dropped by artillery liaison planes. Artillery shells were employed to distribute leaflets on only a few occasions because of the difficulties of transporting the ammunition.

PaperBulletsBeatJaps.jpg (125486 bytes)

Paper Bullets – How they Beat the Jap

Speaking of artillery, it was very difficult to get the U.S. Army cannon-cockers to shoot leaflets at the enemy. They wanted to send high explosives over the front lines and cause extensive death and destruction. The PWB knew that the leaflets would expedite surrenders which would lead directly to military intelligence and a more efficient method to fight the war and a quicker victory. The PWB printed the restricted booklet Paper Bullets – How they Beat the Jap in an attempt to motivate the artillerymen to use the leaflet shells. The booklet even asks the rhetorical question:

What the hell kind of war is this firing leaflets at the enemy? Nobody ever got killed with a hunk of paper…Psychological Warfare, that’s what the Army calls it.

The 8-page booklet features one of the early “I surrender” leaflets aimed at the Japanese Army, explains the power of combat propaganda, and instructions on how to load and fire the leaflet shells. The back of the booklet depicts a Japanese soldier surrendering.

Headquarters, Sixth Army, produced a record of their PSYOP campaign entitled Enemy on Luzon: an intelligence summary. It says in part:

When hostilities broke out between Japan and the United States, it was the common belief that no Japanese would ever fall into our hands, much less that he would surrender to our forces. Past events have shown, however, that such belief was erroneous. Japanese prisoners were captured, and more than half of those taken on Luzon voluntarily surrendered. A total of 7,297 prisoners of war were taken during the Luzon Operation; of these, approximately 5,100 were voluntary surrenders.

The strongest and most effective of the forces which reduced the Japanese morale was hunger brought on by the disruption of enemy supply lines. This factor was exploited, as well as other motivating forces, by Psychological Warfare. Among these were the cruelty of his officers, the hopelessness of the situation—accentuated by the devastating effectiveness of our bombing and shelling.

Japan102J6F.jpg (354639 bytes)

Sixth Army Leaflet 102-J-6

This example of a tactical Sixth Army leaflet was prepared to be used against the Japanese defenders of Mt. Malepunyo. It depicts the Japanese in a box and clearly surrounded. Some of the text is:

SOLDIERS OF THE FUJI HEIDAN

This is the position of the Fuji Heidan on Southern Luzon. There is no safe place where you can retreat. We have prepared receiving stations for Japanese prisoners who are crossing our lines. You can stay in your isolated positions or you can come over to us and live…

By December 1944 the unit known as the Fuji Heidan consisted of about 6,000 troops under the command of Colonel Masatoshi Fujishige. This unit was “hard Corps” and the Colonel is known to have told his troops, “Kill American troops cruelly. Do not kill them with one stroke. Shoot guerrillas. Kill all who oppose the Emperor, even women and children.” Since the leaflet mentions Mt. Malepunyo we can pinpoint its use to about the second week of April of 1945.

Berger goes on to point out that before the invasion of the Philippines, advance leaflets were dropped including bomb warnings, messages from General MacArthur and Philippine President Osmena announcing the return of the legitimate government, and a warning to the Japanese to treat Allied prisoners properly. Just prior to the landings, leaflets were dropped as part of a disinformation campaign to make the Japanese think that the invasion would hit the beaches of Mindanao. A week before the landings, 60,000 leaflets were dropped over Mindanao with the title, “Coming events cast their shadows.” General Yamashita (the Tiger of Malaya) later admitted that he expected Mindanao to be the target instead of Leyte.

The Leaflet Newsletter dated 1 June 1945 talks about the immediate production of propaganda when U.S. troops landed in the Philippines:

Most psychological warfare is fought with words. But words can have high explosive power. When MacArthur finally returned with men and weapons, his landing craft also brought portable printing presses, radio equipment and loud-speakers ashore. A unit of the Office of War Information came in with the first wave and moved into Tacloban with the infantry. The OWI boys hunted up the local printer, re-opened his print shop while Jap planes still roared overhead. Within 24 hours the first Free Philippines Leaflets were being dropped, with the banner headlines:

Americans Land in Philippines

Underground workers placed a copy on the-desk of Jose Laurel, puppet president.

In less than a day, the Voice of Freedom went on the air and MacArthur was broadcasting to the people of Mindanao, Leyte and Luzon:

“I Have Returned”

This was part of a growing, general offensive against the pillboxes of the Jap mind.

The OWI forces in the Philippines are mentioned in the December 1944 issue of the WWII classified magazine Outpost News; U.S. Office of War Information Outpost Service Bureau. Some of the comments are:

First newspaper to be published in the Philippines since our men landed there October 20 was the Leyte –Samar Free Philippines, which made its appearance Sunday, October 29. Its headline read “Japan’s 16th Division Shattered.”

Romulo began making daily broadcasts October 31, President Osema has agreed to go on for us whenever he has something official he wants to announce.

Acting Deputy Director George E. Taylor adds:

Naturally, our first target is the Japanese home front. And after that, the Japanese troops in the field...One of our greatest problems is getting enough workers who speak Japanese…At present we are working a PWB arrangement under MacArthur…

FreePhilippines01.jpg (77080 bytes)

Free Philippines Magazine - 1 August 1944

William B. Breuer mentions the Free Philippines Magazine in MacArthur’s Undercover War, Castle Books, Edison, N.J., 2005:

Hundreds of thousands of copies of a pictorial magazine entitled Free Philippines were printed each month and shipped into the islands in huge cargo-carrying submarines. Splashed across the covers in huge, bold letters were the words “I shall return.” Loaded with pertinent photographs, the magazines reviewed the progress of the war on a factual basis. Maps, with angry-looking arrows pointing directly toward the Philippines, helped explain the true war picture – and MacArthur’s goal – to the hard pressed natives and guerrillas.

FreePhilippines11.jpg (350711 bytes)

Free Philippines Newspaper, Volume 1 Issue 1

This newspaper dated “Sunday, March 25, 1945 – Manila
reports the landing of General MacArthur on the Philippine islands.

As soon as the Sixth Army made landfall on Leyte the first thing they printed was a copy of the propaganda newspaper Free Philippines.

Stanley Sandler mentions the newspaper:

The most widespread and popular PWB Philippine news sheet was Free Philippines. This daily journal had actually pre-dated the American landings, being delivered to waiting guerrillas by submarine…Free Philippines was published in both English and Tagalog, but English was strongly preferred as being more “official.” Citizens would wait in line patiently for up to an hour for a copy….In all the areas through which we passed the people were famished for news. Whenever we stopped to deliver a few copies of Free Philippines, people literally stormed the weapons carrier for their copy.

LeyteNewspaper2.jpg (64355 bytes)

The Japanese Newspaper "The Leyte Newslette"

The Japanese had their own propaganda newspaper in the Philippines printed in Manila and entitled The Leyte Newlette (sic) for some unknown reason. I have read a few copies and they are generally full of German and Japanese military victories. The headline of the 8 December 1944 issue is: “Philippines joins other East Asia nations to celebrate 3rd Anniversary of GEA War.” “GEA” of course stands for “Greater East Asia.”

Returning to the Sixth Army:

Between October 1944 and January 1945, when organized resistance on Leyte practically came to an end, an estimated 20,000,000 leaflets had been distributed throughout the islands. In January, Sixth Army moved onto the main island of Luzon... In a six month period an estimated 28,500,000 leaflets were disseminated over the island. During the final stages of the Luzon fighting, the emphasis in the American leaflets was on surrender. About 4,500,000 of the leaflets aimed at the Japanese emphasized the “good treatment” theme; some 6,670,000 other leaflets were safe conduct passes. 

Perhaps because of the leaflet campaign, 12,000 Japanese surrendered in the Philippines. That is more than in any other campaign in the Pacific. The Sixth Army captured 7,297 Japanese troops and 70% of them came over holding surrender leaflets. Sixth Army reported:

The psychological warfare campaign during the Luzon Campaign was the most effective one carried on by the Sixth Army and demonstrated the power of propaganda as a tactical weapon.

There was also a Basic Military Plan for Psychological Warfare Against Japan prepared by the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff. This plan included the following objectives or themes:
 

Undermine morale by convincing the Japanese that:

Military defeat is inevitable. Their land and air forces are inadequate; their tactics and equipment inferior; their fleet impotent.

Their country is blockaded; their Pan-Asian dream is dead.

Their country is divided. Disunity exists among the army, navy and air forces; between the civil and military population; and between officers and enlisted men.

Continuation of the war will destroy Japan.

Charge the military clique with the responsibility of the war:

Cite their incompetence in foreign affairs and on the home and fighting fronts.

Prove that they have lied and are still lying about the war.

Explain the exploitation of racial prejudice.

Show the misrepresentation of Western people.

Charge them with the responsibility for national disaster.

Drive a wedge between the Emperor and the people on one hand, and the military clique on the other.

Encourage the people to:

Seek self-preservation.

Rally to save what is left of their country.

Destroy the military clique and form a peace government.

Throw themselves on the mercy of the United States.

Sue for peace on our terms.

As you will see as we study the leaflets by theme. Almost every one of the above concepts is found in one or more leaflets.

Staff Sergeant Richard A. Cross

SSG Richard Cross was the Editor-in-Chief of the Daily collation summary of the Psychological Warfare Branch at General Headquarters. As we stated above, the Collation Section studied intelligence reports from all over the Asia and the Pacific and identified Japanese vulnerabilities and ways to exploit them. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his exceptional performance from 7 May to 2 September 1945. His citation states that, “Through his effort, a system for analyzing enemy reactions to psychological warfare was instituted which proved of inestimable value in operational planning.”

CrossleafletIdea2.jpg (134127 bytes)

Suggestion for a Propaganda Leaflet

Richard Cross had many talents. We can see from the above suggestion that besides doing important intelligence work he also wanted to take part in the design and wording of leaflets. Here, he forwards the following comments to his superiors on 23 July 1945:

One of America’s biggest assets in this war is her superior productive capacity in relation to Japans’…This power has been consistently played up in our propaganda I know, but how specific have the statements been? I am again suggesting a leaflet which avoids generalization. The story of our production is so powerful that if told clearly it will do much to show the Japanese the futility of further resistance.

I suggest a map contrasting the land mass of the two nations. I would then add text comparing the production of planes, ships or tanks. We could also talk about the comparative production of steel, aluminum, etc.

On another occasion he suggested a threatening leaflet to the Japanese people:

The Japanese people expect a sharp increase in the air and naval bombardment in the coming months. Just how much of an increase can be clearly shown in a simple chart broken down into three 6-month periods.

    1. From the fall of Saipan, July 1944 to January 1945.

    2. From January 1945 to July 1945.

    3. Estimated from July 1945 to January 1946.

I believe that this chart, with a heading such as “What can the Japanese people expect in the coming months?” can be used without additional copy. However, it might be advisable to conclude, “In the next six months Japan will feel heavier bomb loads than ever experienced by Germany.”  

PWBBOOK.jpg (41536 bytes)

Official PWB Product Scrapbook

PWBBOOK01.jpg (199302 bytes)

Sample pages from the Official PWB Product Scrapbook

During his time with General Headquarters in the Philippines Richard Cross kept several scrapbooks of the material that PWB produced. At the end of the war he was given permission to bring them home. The official letter authorizing the scrapbooks is dated 1 November 1945. I tell you all this because the majority of leaflets that we depict in this article came directly from the scrapbook put together by SSG Cross.This personal scrapbook of Richard A. Cross bearing 86 PWB leaflets, 29 photographs and 70 typed pages was sold on EBay in June 2012 for $717. That was a bargain price considering the historical value. A second Cross scrapbook containing 128 U.S. propaganda leaflets, 26 Japanese leaflets and 29 official Signal Corps photographs sold in August 2012 for $4050. Perhaps seeing the prices these scrapbooks were sold for, the scrapbook of Major William Taylor was offered in November 2012 for $5,000. However, this book had already been heavily picked and contained just 40 different leaflets, many in duplicate to show the backs. As a result, the book received no bids. It was auctioned again in July 2013 estimated at $400. It sold for $484.

Staff Sergeant Bill Wooley

BillWooley.jpg (45518 bytes)

Bill Wooley was a member of the Psychological Warfare Branch who started as a U.S. Army Private First Class with the invasion of the Philippines and ended up as a Staff Sergeant by the end of the war. He had been recruited by the PWB about March, 1944, while in the Replacement Depot in Milne Bay, New Guinea. He was sent to Australia where he spent the next three months learning the art and science of psychological operations. He was then assigned to the Army Air Force 308th Bomber Wing in Hollandia, New Guinea, a unit flying the North American Billy Mitchell B-25 twin-engine medium bomber. It is worth noting that other members of his unit were assigned to the Fifth Air Force, the 7th Bomber Group, the 494th Bomb Group, the 319th Bomb Group, the 11th Bomb Group and the 41st Bomb Group. Apparently every bomber organization got a PWB representative.

When the Americans hit the beaches of the Philippine Islands on 20 October 1944, Bill was on an LST and arrived at Leyte the day after the initial landings. He saw the entire battle of the Leyte Gulf and regularly dropped propaganda leaflets using C-47 Skytrain military cargo plane, B-25s and various fighter aircraft. He points out that most fighter pilots did not want to do leaflet missions (they had to fly low and slow and were targets for enemy anti-aircraft), but they always performed their mission. Apparently the fighters were P-47 Thunderbolts because a letter from 5th Air Force asks:

Your activity with P-47s in carrying out PWB missions is most interesting. Would you give me a description of the technique used in getting the leaflets out of the planes without injury to the pilot or canopy? I’d like to pass this information on to the 310th Wing.

Leaflet bombs are still in the theoretical stage. If you find the opportunity to use the caps and fuse, give it a try, especially utilizing a 12,000 to 15,000 foot altitude. If the caps detonate anywhere below 3,000 feet, the result should prove satisfactory. Pin-pointing must be narrowed to an area less than a mile square.

P-47s using dive-bombing tactics or coming in at tree-top level seems to be our only answer at present.

Leaflets were also sent to Tinian Island for dissemination by bombers, and Navy carrier planes dropped them on Manila and other targets. Bill sometimes took part in the night drop of tactical leaflets on Manila in support of the U.S. Army Infantry and Cavalry units. Although he had no part in the printing of leaflets he did have some input into their content. He also took part in some loudspeaker operations, including one occasion in southern Luzon where he rigged an amplifier on the wings of a small two-man Stinson L-5 Sentinel observation spotter aircraft and flew over a tough Japanese unit dug into a deep canyon and broadcast surrender appeals from American Nisei troops.

pwbtentleaf.jpg (31304 bytes)

One of the Psychological Warfare Branch tents in the Philippines.
Notice that many of the leaflets hanging on the wall are also depicted in this article.

Bill received a commendation from his commander on 4 December 1944 that stated in part:

Captain Anderson has shown me your leaflet dropping report for 30 November. This is one of the finest pieces of work so far accomplished in our PWB activities and I want to take this opportunity to congratulate you upon your endeavors.

Bill also had a PWB scrapbook and told me that he believed that every member of the unit was awarded such a souvenir scrapbook upon discharge. Many of the leaflets in this article are from Bill’s scrapbook. Bill is probably correct because a Fifth Air Force Letter dated 28 October 1945 says:

The following item of American military equipment is hereby declared to be the personal property of SSG Bill Wooley. This equipment is surplus to the various agencies of the War department and its release conforms to the rules and regulations established by superior headquarters. 

One PWB Leaflet Book

Okinawa – the Testing Ground

Japan138J1.jpg (451966 bytes)

Leaflet 138-J-1

The first large-scale use of PSYOP in the Pacific was the Okinawa campaign. More than six million leaflets were dropped on Japanese troops. The result was the surrender of 11,409 Japanese prisoners of war. Fifth Fleet carrier planes alone dropped some five million leaflets on the island. The psychological warfare teams' immediate objective was to depress Japanese morale so that the enemy soldiers would surrender rather than resist. The long-range goal was more ambitious: to promote the idea that Okinawans were ethnically and culturally different from the home island Japanese. The leaflets told the Japanese soldier why and how they should surrender and the Okinawan citizens not to be afraid, for they were not regarded as the enemy. The PSYOP campaign was considered a great success and a similar campaign was planned for the Philippines.

It is interesting to note that there were a great number of trained personnel in the PSYOP field that had studied the Japanese in depth and regularly told their superiors that a proper psychological warfare campaign against the Japanese would be successful and lead to their surrender. They saw the Japanese morale cracking and read the dairies of dead soldiers and interviewed prisoners who were generally more than happy to talk. Politicians in Washington and field commanders did not believe them. In regard to Okinawa, according to John W. Dower in War without Mercy – Race and Power in the Pacific War, Pantheon Books, NYC, 1986:

…Until the final stage in the invasion of Okinawa, psychological warfare was seldom employed against the Japanese, who were regarded popularly as too inhuman to be propagandized.

To be honest, the propaganda campaign against Okinawa was mostly carried out by the Navy-OWI unit on Saipan. They dropped a series of leaflets coded 131, 416, 535, 536, 1027, 1050, 1055 and 2079. However, the PWB did prepare leaflets that used Okinawa as a theme. The above leaflet depicts American soldiers meeting Okinawan children and families. Some of the text is:

On Okinawa, once a grim battlefield, the storm has passed and peace is returning…

Under the friendly protection of Americans, reconstruction is going on. The present conditions in Okinawa clearly refute the propaganda of the militarists.

The statement of U.S. President Truman that unconditional surrender does not mean enslavement or extermination is fully borne out by the situation on Okinawa.

It is very interesting to note that the Japanese also employed some propaganda against U.S. troops on Okinawa. They never had air superiority, so I assume that their leaflets were left where they believed American troops might congregate. The leaflets were apparently prepared by a band of German propagandists that worked out of Shanghai even after the German surrender. One of the leaflets had the image of a dead American soldier draped over a machine gun and text in part:

Today at the front, he died. A young American soldier, a human being, like you or I.

Tomorrow, more will be killed – there will be no end to human suffering in months and years to come…

Formosa – Techniques are honed

Japan1FO01F.jpg (160746 bytes)

Leaflet 1-FO-1

It is hard to believe now, but there was a time when there was a bitter debate about whether the United States should invade Luzon on the Philippines or the Island of Formosa. Of course, MacArthur wanted The Philippines and he eventually had his way. However, a great number of leaflets were prepared and dropped over Formosa in preparation for a possible future attack by both the Army and the Navy. The PWB leaflets bear the letters “FO” for “Formosa,” examples being 1-FO-1 and 2-FO-1.

This leaflet depicts a Chinese War God on the front and a Chinese religious figure on the back. Formosans would recognize both these figures. The text is in Chinese and Japanese. The label is entitled “Future of Formosa,” and attempts to give hope to the people awaiting their liberation. Some of the text is:

Since the Battle of the Solomons, one defeat has followed another. Now even Manila, the heart of the “Greater East Asia” has been lost. The Japanese homeland and military installations on Formosa have been subject to almost uninterrupted bombing…

…What of Formosa?

…The so-called Cairo Declaration states that Japan’s aggression and imperialism must go. Korea shall have independence and Formosa shall be returned to China so that each race shall be able to build its own freedom and happiness…

Japan2FO01F.jpg (426473 bytes)

Leaflet 2-FO-1

This leaflet was also prepared to inform the Formosans of the Allied plans for their future. It depicts a dove of peace holding the propaganda message in its beak. One side is in Chinese, the other side in Japanese. Some of the text is:

On December 1, 1943, the conference of President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, and Generalissimo Chiang Kai Shek, held in Cairo, Egypt, made public the so-called “Cairo Declaration.” It read, in part, as follows:

…It is their purpose that Japan shall be stripped of all the islands in the Pacific she has seized or occupied since the First World War in 1914, and that all the territories Japan has stolen from China, such as Manchuria, Formosa and the Pescadores, shall be returned to the Republic of China…

The Philippines

PhilippinesflagXL.gif (8251 bytes)

Before we start to depict what was actually prepared for the Philippines, we should mention what the original recommendations were as found in the June 1943 report entitled General Headquarters, Southwest Pacific Area, Military Intelligence Area, General staff, G2 Information Bulletin – Report on Conditions in the Philippine Islands. The report says in part:

The enemy has used every possible angle to line the Philippine people up for “Asia for the Asiatics,” “Philippines for the Filipinos,” and Greater Co-Prosperity Sphere.”

[U.S] Printed propaganda directed to the Philippine people would be of definite assistance throughout the islands…Such propaganda should be carefully prepared and lithographed in good quality work so that its having been prepared in America will not be doubted…The subjects most likely to help at the present time would include short messages to the Filipino people indicating a positive plan to return to the islands to evict the enemy; messages from General MacArthur to booster the morale of the Filipino people; Messages from President Quezon and President Roosevelt…Messages pointing out the actions of the enemy such as commercial monopolies by the Japanese, taking down the Filipino flag, the implanting of Japanism, etc.

Pamphlets containing messages to the people, containing news of Allied victories, with pictures…They should contain messages of achievements in other theaters to indicate to the Filipino people the strength of the Allied forces and assurance of ultimate victory.

There should be included cigarettes, late American magazines, and propaganda leaflets.

General MacArthur's PSYOP staff prepared a great number of leaflets for the Philippine campaign. There were close to 200 different leaflets produced by MacArthur’s PWB in Brisbane in the "J1" series. Examples are 6J1 (Abandoned), 25J1 (I cease resistance), and 159J1 (Surrender order, 38th Division, Southern Luzon, signed by Colonel Kobayashi).

The US Sixth Army used leaflets coded “J6.” Examples are 1J6 (Germany surrenders), 33J6 (Manila Falls), and 103J6 (Japanese officers, please read this). Sixth Army PWB was established in September 1944 at Hollandia. It was made up of the X Corps, XIV Corps and the First Cavalry Division. I am aware of no complete count of all the leaflets prepared by the U.S. Sixth Army, but I have records of 37 different types in my own WWII Pacific files.

The US Eighth Army used leaflets with the code "J8." Examples are 2J8 (Straggler surrender) and 31J8 (Japanese Army and Navy Officers).

Other leaflets in this same series bear the codes J2, J3, J10, J11, J21, J24 J38 and J40. The meaning of many of these codes is unknown and most of them exist as only one or two specimens so they were probably tactical leaflets used for a specific purpose on a special occasion. For instance, we do not know who prepared the J3 leaflets (1-J-3 “Officers and NCOs of the Fuji Heidan” and 4-J-3 “The Way to Safety”), The J10 leaflets are from X Corps (1-J-10 “To the Men of the 9th, 23rd and 33rd Regiments). The J11 leaflets are for the U.S. Army XI Corps. Leaflet 3-J-11 is “General Patrick’s Surrender Leaflet” written by the Commanding General of the Sixth Division, but that division was part of XI Corps. The J21 leaflets were believed to have been for the 21st Infantry Regiment of the 24th Division, but a PWB data sheet indicates that they were for the 11th Airborne. The J24 leaflets are from the 24th Division reinforcing the X Corps of the U.S. Eighth Army. The J38 leaflets are believed to be special requests of the XIV Corps. The single J40 leaflet I have seen is listed as 2-J-40 “Negros Surrender.”

The cause of some of this confusion was that every Army and every Corps (Normally three Corps to an Army) had its own PWB unit. The Air Force bomber wings also had PWB teams attached. Each of these teams was at the beck and call of the unit it supported. So, there were 200 PWB members in units of various sizes working for commands of various sizes at different locations. Some confusion was surely inevitable. An Army division (normally three Divisions to a Corps) might request a leaflet run, discover it could not disseminate them and forward a request for an aircraft to Corps. Corps might find itself unable to comply and forward the request to Army. The people at SWPA headquarters might have no input into the division-designed leaflet and this was acceptable as long as the themes complied with the Basic Military Plan for Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area.

One starts to see the complexity of this operation. Headquarters has a general list and surplus of leaflets which was regularly sent down to Army and Corps for their general use; and at the lower levels leaflets are being produced as needed for tactical operations. There were a lot of leaflets moving back and forth between the various combat units in the Philippines. PWB teams and combat officers at the lower levels could refuse to use a leaflet if they felt it was at cross-purposes with their mission.

William E. Daugherty and Morris Janowitz discuss the SWPA PSYOP arrangement in A Psychological Warfare Casebook, Operations Research Office, Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, MD, 1958.

At the (SWPA) headquarters a quasi-special staff section (actually called a Branch) was established under the direct supervision of the Military Secretary to the Commanding General (Fellers). In this unique setup the Chief of the Psychological Warfare Branch enjoyed direct access to the commanding general of the theatre.

In the lower echelons of this command – in the Sixth U.S. and the Eighth U.S. Armies – special teams composed mostly of military personnel were dispatched on limited liaison-type assignments from the theatre psychological warfare staff agency. Where coordination or supervision of the psychological warfare teams were attempted by the lower echelons, it was usually through the Intelligence Section (G2) rather than through the Operations Section (G3) of the command involved.

The Propaganda Leaflets

pwbmembersworkingx.jpg (43740 bytes)

PWB Members Producing Propaganda Leaflets and Posters

The photograph above depicts members of the U.S. Army Psychological Warfare Branch preparing propaganda leaflets and posters. Some soldiers are seen working on text; others appear to be drawing images. On the bulletin board in the background I can identify a standard "I Surrender" safe conduct pass and leaflets 2-J-1, 3-J-1, 3-J-6, 4-F-1 and 13-J-6.

Since there are probably well over 200 leaflets in the SWPA “J1” series it is not practical to depict them all. Therefore my plan is to list some of the various propaganda themes and show some leaflets that use that theme in each category. The reader should understand that if I depict one or two leaflets that use the theme “Continuation of the war will destroy Japan,” I might have a dozen more of the same type of leaflets. In general I will select the most pictorial and colorful leaflets to show the reader.

Theme: Military defeat is inevitable.

4J1Japan.jpg (138158 bytes)

Leaflet 4-J-1

The theme of “Five minutes to twelve” is interesting because this was used by both the Allies and the Germans in the European Theatre. Both asked, “Why die now in the last few minutes of the war?”  Here, the PWB asks the Japanese the same question. The reader sees all the islands that have fallen to the Allies and is told that the next to fall will be Japan. Some of the text is:

Japan’s Hour of Doom

Here are some typical statements from Tokyo, where the high authorities know in detail the war situation:

“With the present conditions, it is by no means impossible to meet with a final defeat.”

“We must consider the possibility of the Allies landing on our home soil.

What do these Tokyo statements mean? They mean that despite the future bravery of your comrades in the pacific Islands, the great Allied offensive continues to advance on schedule toward the Japanese homeland… 

This general image was so popular that it was used again on leaflet 118-J-1. The text on this leaflet discusses the meaning of “unconditional surrender” and points out that the Japanese military warlords are spreading propaganda when they claim that the term means “enslavement of the Japanese people and their extermination.”

5Minutesto12.jpg (84935 bytes)

German leaflet 655 SK 1a

 

As mentioned above, both the Allies and the Axis prepared anti-morale leaflets that made use of the propaganda theme “Five Minutes to Twelve. An example is the German leaflet prepared by “Scorpion West,” the organization tasked with the production of German propaganda against Allied troops in Western Europe. This leaflet appears in several different sizes and was dropped starting about March 1945.

 

The front depicts an American soldier stopping another from stepping into a grave, a clock reading five minutes to twelve, and the text:

 

STOP, WATCH YOUR STEP,

IT’S FIVE MINUTES TO TWELVE.

The back is all text and says in part:

Five Minutes to Twelve

Luftwaffe down and out. German war industry smashed. Russians threatening Berlin, The end is in sight.

Five Minutes to Twelve

And so nobody wants to be killed in these last five minutes. That’s Common sense.

Watch your step!

Theme: Without raw materials japan is lost.

 

Japan12J1.jpg (396510 bytes)

Leaflet 12-J-1

This is another in a long line of leaflets that talks about the inevitable defeat of Japan as the Allies slowly tighten the noose around the home islands and cut off the raw supplies needed for the war effort. The leaflet depicts American B-24 Liberators bombing the inaginary "oil pipeline" from Borneo to Japan. At the lower right a Japanese pilot is trying to squeeze out a last drop of fuel for his Betty bomber. Some of the text is:

WILD EAGLES AND OIL

…Because of America’s advancing attacks in the Philippines, Japan cannot help being hit hard in the matter of oil supply. The supply lines which tie together Japan and the South Pacific are being cut. Allied planes, ships and submarines based in the Philippines, are steadily sinking Japanese ships filled with oil and other essential materials.

When your Wild Eagles do not deliver any counterblows against the relentless bombing by the Allied forces, may it not be that they are concerned with conserving oil?

Six Japanese prisoners were shown this leaflet and none believed the message. Some of their comments were: 

In Burma we were worried because our “Wild Eagles” did not appear, but I don’t believe that we have no oil in Japan. 

One drop of oil is one drop of blood. We have to save the oil. I believe that Japan will have abundant oil when the proper time comes. 

I cannot believe the statement. Maybe our military leaders have some plans and purpose for saving fuel.

Japan30J1F.jpg (222753 bytes)

Leaflet 30-J-1

This leaflet is entitled “Southern Treasure House.” The art depicts the Allies cutting off the southern supply lines. Text on the front is:

After establishing strange bases in New Guinea, the American forces made their advance to the Philippines and finally cut the supply lines which link Japan with the Southern Regions.

The back says in part:

…As long as these conditions continue to exist, it is impossible for Japan to reopen the sea rotes to the Southern regions.

The “Treasure House of the South Seas” which was so depended upon by the military, now becomes useless. Japan can continue her war only as long as she is well supplied.

Theme: Their fleet is impotent.

 

Whereshipsplanes2.jpg (26436 bytes)

Leaflet 6-J-1

A great number of Allied leaflets were aimed at Japanese on bypassed islands. MacArthur decided early not to fight the Japanese wherever they were. He picked his fights on selective high priority targets and left the Japanese defenders in his wake to starve on many bypassed islands. As a result, MacArthur had relatively low losses in his various island invasions. The text on this leaflet is:

ABANDONED

Where are our Ships and Planes? What is Going to Happen to You?

General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in the South pacific, recently paid high tribute to the brave actions of the Japanese soldier:

We cannot help giving our sympathy to you promising Japanese soldiers who have been forced into such miserable conditions as today. Your wild eagles, upon whom you depended so much, hardly show their faces, leaving you unprotected against the never-ending bombing of our air force.

The Japanese Navy is withdrawing its ships from their bases and U.S. troops are successively pouring into the Japanese naval bases. As a result, you are cut off from supplies and reinforcements and now you cannot even expect to be evacuated.

If you attempt to establish yourself in the mountains and make a last stand there, all that can happen is that disease will eat your flesh and hunger gnaws your bones, and your plight becomes worse and worse. Your comrades-in-arms, who were left behind in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, died hoping that friendly ships and airplanes might come to their rescue.

Why must you die a futile death with this vain hope in your hearts?

The Leaflet News Letter of April 6, 1945 reports that leaflet 6-J-1 proved very effective, primarily because the condition of some of the units upon which they were dropped coincided with the conditions described in the leaflets. The picture of a Japanese soldier on an isolated island emphasizes the hopelessness of his cause and his abandonment by the Japanese Navy and Air Force. Some prisoners attributed the deterioration of the morale of their outfits to the fact that Allied leaflets were dropped at just the right moment.

Japan22J1.jpg (292012 bytes)

Leaflet 22-J-1

This leaflet shows a lonely Japanese soldier standing on a bypassed Island as he sees the flames of battle on another island. Some of the text is:

Soldiers of Japan

…It is obvious that support and reinforcements have failed you, and you have been forced to fighting against hopeless odds.

Why is this?

Isn’t it because the large forces of Japanese troops in the Southern Regions have been outmaneuvered, immobilized and rendered useless? This is because Japan has completely lost control of the sea and air.

These large bi-passed garrisons look on idly, like men watching fires across a river, while you fight your Waterloo (Sekagihara – decisive battle)…

A Japanese prisoner of war said about this leaflet: 

This would not mean much as the Japanese do not expect reinforcements anyway. 

Theme: Their country is blockaded; their Pan-Asian dream is dead.

Japan10J1.jpg (288359 bytes)

Leaflet 10-J-1

This leaflet is interesting because it shows General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz pulling a rope that is tightening a knot on Japan’s supply line. The text is:

The Key to the Outcome of the War

The Domei News Agency said on November 7, 1944:

"The Japanese loss of Leyte will disrupt sea lane transportation of our vessels in the Southern Regions, and it will endanger the transportation of our various raw materials from the Southern Regions to the Homeland."

Just how accurate was this prediction is shown by the successive military developments themselves.

The entire strength of the Army, Navy and Air Force under General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz is now able to operate freely from newly captured bases in the Philippines. The sea route which connects the homeland of Japan and the Southern Regions is gradually being compressed.

The day is not far off when this sea route, which is called the Life-line, will be cut; and Japanese shipping will be nailed down.

Will there not soon be a shortage of the fuel that airplanes need? The supply of rubber, tin and other vital materials needed for the implements of war will fall into great difficulty.

No matter how strong a soldier may be, when even the very supply lines cannot be protected, how can he satisfactorily perform his task?

This leaflet seems to have worked. In Report on Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area 1944-1945 we find the comment:

A prisoner who surrendered with a leaflet showing General MacArthur standing in the Philippines and Admiral Nimitz standing on a battleship pulling taut a noose around the Japanese lifeline to the Netherlands East Indies claimed that they realized they were fighting a lost cause and that the sooner a stop could be put to the war the better.

Japan13J1.jpg (308318 bytes)

Leaflet 13-J-1

This leaflet is one of many that show Japan surrounded by Allied ships and unable to feed or supply itself. The text on the front is:

The South Seas are the South Seas; Japan is Japan

Some of the text on the back is:

In a speech before the Diet on last September 7, War Minister Marshall Sugiyama said:

“It is most regrettable that the various Japanese front lines are being handicapped by the deterioration of our supply lines and bases.”

Allied planes, ships and submarines based on the Philippines surround the islands and are able to search out and destroy Japanese ships from southern regions laden with oil, rubber, tin, etc.

However hard you try, how is it possible to fight properly without adequate supplies?

Theme: Trust the Americans to be kind and to provide good treatment to prisoners-of-war.

Japan15J1.jpg (311518 bytes)

Leaflet 15-J-1

There are many leaflets showing happy prisoners in American POW camps. I like this one because it seems to acknowledge that the Japanese might hate American cooking…but it then tells them that they will get used to it. An interesting use of propaganda text. The front features dozens of Japanese prisoners of war enjoying American chow. The text is:

Yesterday we were Enemies. Today we are Friends.

Occidental food tastes good too, when you get used to it.

The back depicts the same prisoners taking part in arts and crafts. Although hard to be sure, it seems they are carving and painting buses or railroad models. Some of the text is:

Busily engaged in handicrafts.

Your comrades who came over to our side are guaranteed food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and recreation, in accordance with international law.

Japan18J1.jpg (179024 bytes)

Leaflet 18-J-1

Several American leaflets show the Japanese playing games such as Chess, Chinese checkers or Go. This leaflet shows some happy prisoners playing pool in an American prisoner-of-war camp in the Philippines. Some of the text is:Yesterday we were Enemies, Today we are Friends.

Articles approved by the International Convention on treatment of prisoners of war, which was signed by 29 nations at Geneva on June 27, 1929 contain the following:

Prisoners of war shall be treated humanely

The food ration of prisoners of war shall be equivalent to that of the depot troops.

Each came shall possess an infirmary for the prisoners of war…

There are numerous other leaflets in the form of bomb warnings. We will not depict them because for the most part they are all text. We should mention leaflet 101-F-1 that was specifically printed for Filipino natives in the Cagayan Valley. 300,000 of these all-text leaflets were printed in Tagalog on one side and Ilocano on the other. The message is:

Warning!

To all Filipino People in the Cagayan Valley

Filipino people, stay away from the Japanese and Japanese materials. We are going to bomb and strafe your area. Move to the hills and if possible go behind the guerilla lines.

Stay away from the Japanese or you may be killed.

Japan103J1F.jpg (187929 bytes)

Leaflet 103-J-1

This leaflet is one of a series that depicts the good treatment that the Japanese can expect as an American prisoner. For instance, leaflet 15-J-1 shows POWs eating good food and taking part in handicrafts; leaflet 16-J-1 shows POWs eating and planting a garden; leaflet 29-J-1 depicts POWs gardening, playing “GO,” drinking tea; and learning crafts. The leaflet above depicts a group of POWs just hanging around and enjoying a smoke. Some of the text is:

We deeply respect your courage. But now the tide of war has turned. You have come to the final step and must choose between life and death. Think this over! Does a needless death serve your country?

Americans are treating your comrades well according to international law. They are living together and all have returned to health.

One Japanese prisoner recommended that these leaflets depict not just a few, but instead hundreds of prisoners. He said that knowing so many had already surrendered; it would be less difficult for a Japanese soldier to make the decision to surrender. Another recommended that these photographs always show the tables piled high with food as many of the Japanese were starving.

Japan128J1.jpg (450746 bytes)

Leaflet 128-J-1

Many of the “trust the Americans’ themed leaflets showed soldiers with happy children. This leaflet depicts an American with a small Okinawan child. The text says:

A little Okinawan girl has made friends with a soldier.

Saying “Give me candy” and “Let’s play,” she has flustered her big American friend.

Isn’t this a pleasant scene?

Theme: Cite the military clique incompetence in foreign affairs and on the home and fighting fronts.

Japan23J1.jpg (133292 bytes)

Leaflet 23-J-1

This leaflet depicts Japanese officers playing chess. The Japanese form of chess is called Shogi (General’s Game) and is supposed to train the officers in aggressive strategy. This leaflet points out how bad their commander’s strategy has been during the course of the war. The text says in part:

Two Strategies

For the past two years it has been perfectly clear to the Japanese military leaders that the advance of General MacArthur’s American forces has been directed toward the Philippines.

Yet, when the Americans landed at Leyte, General Yamashita was caught unprepared and his desperate, last-minute defensive strategy was ineffective, resulting in an enormous sacrifice of human life.

General MacArthur has consistently outmaneuvered Yamashita and other Japanese leaders…

The war steadily draws nearer your beloved homeland. Isn’t this the fault of your military leaders who are responsible for the loss of hundreds of thousands of valuable lives?

One Japanese prisoner stated that the layout of the chess game was not logical. He further pointed out that it would have been better to place the words “Americans” and “Japanese” on the sleeves rather than the names of the generals. Many Japanese soldiers would not recognize the names of the superior officers.

Theme: Japan is alone.

CheckersJapan.jpg (275133 bytes)

Chinese Checkers

Perhaps we should take a look at some of these games depicted on American leaflets. We have already noted that 18-J-1 depicted men playing pool and 23-J-1 depicted Japanese chess. Leaflet 701B has the code of an OWI leaflet but was also printed by the PWB. It depicts prisoners of war playing Chinese checkers. When I was a boy everyone I knew had the big wooden board with the holes drilled out in the form of a six-pointed star. It was a very popular game. This leaflet was designed to make the Japanese think about killing themselves in Banzai charges. Some of the text is:

If you consider seppuku…

You will be the last of your family. You won’t be able to carry on your line.

No good to you, your family or to Japan will come from such an act.

When the war is over soon, you will not be able to work for the new Japan

GoProclamation.jpg (299439 bytes)

Go

Go is a favorite game of the Japanese, chess-like in some ways and very strategic. PWB leaflet 29-J-1 is a large leaflet that discusses the good treatment of prisoners of war and has a total of nine different photographs of happy POWs. The leaflet text claims that the pictures were presented to the Americans by 283 Japanese interned in one of the camps. The title of the leaflet is:

Your Comrades-in-Arms who are on the Road to Rebirth

I am not depicting the entire leaflet here, just that portion that mentions go. The caption beneath the picture is:

Patients regaining strength in the hospital are playing GO.

A U.S. Office of Strategic Services secret memorandum dated 11 January 1944 says that the Japanese have embodied all of their strategic theories in this game. It is an “almost obligatory” game to be studied by Japanese Army and Navy staff officers. The writer says that it is not a game as much as it is a way to study war just as American officers do at Ft. Leavenworth. The writer points out that there has been an English-language book written about this game by a Mister Edward Lasker and suggests that it could be concentrated into a 30-page booklet that American propagandists could use to study the Japanese military strategy.

Japan27J1.jpg (126162 bytes)

Leaflet 27-J-1

It has often been said that when Italy surrendered, Germany rejoiced thinking that they were better off fighting the war alone. In this case, the Allies tell the Japanese that the Germans have been defeated and millions of troops in Europe are now free to fight Japan. Of course, those troops did receive orders for the Pacific but the dropping of the two atomic bombs and the Japanese surrender meant that the American armies in Europe never had to deploy to the Far East. The image on the front depicts an American soldier stepping from a defeated Germany toward Japan. Some of the text on the back is:

The German military force has surrendered and the greatest war in history which turned Europe into a scene of carnage is now over.

As a result, the tremendous amount of Allied weapons and manpower concentrated in Europe will now be transferred to the Orient.

The Japanese military leaders are the ones who are leading your beloved country to disaster. They relied greatly on Japan’s Axis partners and embarked upon this adventurous war of so-called “Greater East Asia.” The grave responsibility of this policy is on their shoulders.

It is worth mentioning that although this text appears almost perfect in western eyes, U.S. Office of War Information research and evaluation at the end of the war indicated that propaganda text that attacked the Japanese leadership was among the least effective of the war. For the most part, the Japanese respected and revered their leaders.

42J6WWII.jpg (125443 bytes)

Leaflet 42-J-6

This U.S. Sixth Army leaflet also uses the German defeat as a theme. However, this leaflet was prepared long before the actual capitulation. The front depicts a surrendering German soldier at the left and at the right a lightning bolt aimed at Japan. The back depicts a map with numerous Allied thrusts aimed at the Home Islands. It was apparently prepared in advance on 31 March 1945 and scheduled to be dropped as soon as the German capitulation was official. Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, but the actual surrender was not signed until 7 May 1945. Some of the text is:

Extra

Germany Capitulates

The Fall of Japanese Militarism is Near!

After six long years of war, the mighty German military machine was defeated by determined and well-equipped Allied armies. U.S. and British armies, which are now assigned to Europe, will be transferred to the Pacific with all speed. Japan will now face such powerful nations as the United States, Great Britain, China, Australia, Canada and other countries. These nations are determined to defeat Japanese militarism and put an end to it...

Japan111J1F.jpg (143855 bytes)

Leaflet 111-J-1

This leaflet has a long text on the back pointing out how the militarists have lied and how they will soon be driven from Japan. The front depicts a Japanese family standing in front of the rusted military remnants of the war and looking at a newly rebuilt Japan. Text on the front is:

Road to a new life

Some of the text on the back is:

Those who believe anything the military leaders say still dream of Japan’s ultimate victory.

But frankly, you soldiers in the front must feel that your hope for victory is withering away and that fear and restlessness are creeping deeper into your heart every day…

There is not the slightest doubt that when the military leaders disappear from the surface of Japan, a new and peaceful country can be built…

It is easy to die but hard to live. You must throw away any recklessness now and must find a way out for life so that you may be able to discharge this great responsibility.

Theme: Their tactics and equipment inferior.

Japan33J1.jpg (405121 bytes)

Leaflet 33-J-1

A number of Allied leaflets attacked the inferior weapons that Japanese soldiers were issued. The type 38 rifle is a good example. It fired a very weak 6.5 x 50mm bullet that had little knock-down power. It was later replaced by a Type 99 rifle, based on the type 38 but still with a small caliber of 7.7 mm. The leaflet depicts the type 38 rifle rusting by a pile of other Japanese military debris. Some of the text is:

As you know, the type 38 rifle you are using succeeded the Murata rifle and first appeared on the battlefield as a new weapon for use in the Russo-Japanese War.

But that was 40 years ago. Everyone know that since that time the various countries vying with one another have been absorbed in scientific studies, and that great advances have been made in the development of military equipment.

Why, then, do you have to fight against automatic weapons with rifles of the bolt-action type?  

By Coincidence, Allison B. Gilmore mentions this leaflet in The Foundations of Victory: The Pacific War - 1943-1944. She discusses an interrogation report in which a Japanese prisoner said:

The Government is trying to create the impression among the men that because they are Japanese and therefore possess the Yamato spirit they cannot lose battles and cannot be destroyed. They shipped us to distant lands—to New Guinea and Guadalcanal—and expected us to win the war with Type 38 Rifles and the Yamato spirit, but without food or airplane protection. Are they expecting five feet of Yamato spirit to overwhelm 500 kilogram bombs from B-24s? This is absurd.

The propagandists immediately recommended a series of leaflets to portray the “one-sided character of the present struggle” and demonstrate the futility of the war. In this case, the process of propaganda creation culminated with a leaflet describing the history of the Type 38 rifle, which was first used in the Russo-Japanese War, and the advances made in military technology since then:

Why then do you have to fight against automatic rifles with rifles of the bolt-action type? If you had fought with new weapons like the Americans, perhaps tragedies like Leyte might have been avoided. However much spiritual strength you may have, how can you expect to tackle a 500kg bomb from a bomber with a Type 38 rifle?

Theme: Prove that the military clique has lied and are still lying about the war.

Japan11J1.jpg (332553 bytes)

Leaflet 11-J-1

This leaflet depicts a Japanese patriotic magazine and features the stories about alleged American naval losses during the war. It is clear that the militarists have lied. Some of the text is:

VICTORY ON PAPER

During the lulls in battle, don’t you sometimes wonder about the war reports put out by your leaders?

For instance, the number of heavy American warships shown as sunk or badly damaged in the “Pictorial Weekly” chart is larger than the total number possessed by America during that time.

Suppose the Americans really had lost this great number of ships. How could they have gone on step by step to retake most of New Guinea, and the islands of Saipan, Guam, Palau, Morotai, etc?

Great victories were claimed for the sea battle off Formosa…But strangely enough, the American forces landed on the Philippines just five days later…

Man! Why is it that every time these victories are announced, the American forces come closer to the homeland of Japan, while your plight in battle becomes more desperate?

24J1WWII.jpg (113073 bytes)

Leaflet 24-J-1

PWB Leaflet 24-J-1 depicts arrows from the Philippines pointing northward and giving the distances to China, Formosa and Japan. Some of the text is:

Manila has fallen

For three years the Japanese military leaders knew that the American offensive was pointed at Manila. They had plenty of time to prepare for the defense of the city. Yet, once the Americans launched their attack, the city fell easily. With the recapture of the capital city, the American Army now dominates the entire Philippines. The American forces, in high morale, are poised for still another strike closer to the homeland.

The leaflet is actually very misleading and I am surprised it was printed. The Japanese did not intend to defend Manila. It was just a rebellious commander that decided on his own to defend the city and the battle was extremely difficult with street-to-street fighting and extreme destruction. The battle raged for one month from 3 February to 3 March 1945 and culminated in a terrible bloodbath and total devastation of the city. It was the worst urban fighting in the Pacific theater. General Tomoyuki Yamashita, commander in chief of Japanese forces in the Philippines ordered General Yokoyama Shizuo to evacuate the city and destroy all bridges and other vital installations. Rear Admiral Iwabuchi Sanji was left in charge of the city and decided to defend it to the last man. The battle left 1,010 U.S. soldiers dead and 5,565 wounded. An estimated 100,000 Filipinos civilians were killed, and well over 16,665 Japanese dead were confirmed.

In general, leaflets should be very honest so that the enemy fully believes in their message. In this case the Japanese must have known that this message was false and I wonder what it did to their belief in the veracity of other PWB leaflets.

Japan32J1.jpg (145380 bytes)

Leaflet 32-J-1

This leaflet points out the lies told by the militarists and the political and military leaders of Japan. Three news stories are featured on the front, each an obvious falsehood.The third story seems to be the most interesting because it is a quote from General Yamashita, speaking on Tokyo Radio on February 11, 1945:

At long last Douglas MacArthur is in my iron trap. I have been chasing him all over the southern sea, but each time he has slipped away. This time it will be different and my pleasure at a face-to-face meeting will be realized.

Yamashita had little pleasure from his battle with MacArthur. At the end of the war he refused to commit hara kiri and was arrested and tried as a war criminal. Although it appeared that Yamashita was not in charge of the troops that committed atrocities in Manila, he was held ultimately responsible and hung on 23 February 1946. Although never proven, there was some talk at the time that General MacArthur held a grudge and wanted his revenge for being driven out of the Philippines.

Japan101J1.jpg (343880 bytes)

Leaflet 101-J-1

This leaflet depicts the Japanese military under attack everywhere and points out that the Gumbatsu (A mixture of rich industrialists and high government and military leaders) have lied time and again. Some of the text is:

Luzon – Left behind by the Battle

Formosa is in flames and Iwo Jima has fallen to the Americans. Tokyo, Nagoya and Kobe have been intensely bombed. A great American army has landed on Okinawa.

The tide of battle has passed beyond you. The Gumbatsu have left you to rot. Should you doubt this, ask yourself:

“Where are the planes you have been promised?” “Where is your Navy?”

Do not let your officers deceive you any longer.

Your greatest duty now, and most important, is to live; to be ready for the reconstruction of your beloved homeland.

Theme: Appeals against self-destruction and for self-preservation. 

Japan107J1.jpg (419709 bytes)

Leaflet 107-J-1

This leaflet is mentioned in Paul M.A. Linebarger’s book, psychological warfare, Washington Infantry Press, Washington D.C., 1948. He says:

On March 5 of every year the Japanese celebrate the colorful custom of Boy’s Day. Kites in the form of carp are flown over the cities and countryside and millions of families set out to give their little sons an excursion or some other treat. (It is characteristic of the Japanese that there is no Girl’s day).

The leaflet depicts two carp kites on the front and some of the following text:

BOY’S FESTIVAL

The whole world knows that from ancient times the Japanese have had great love for their children…

We have deep appreciation and understanding of your love for children.

Is there ever a day when you do not think about the children you left at home? You may remain silent, but deep in your heart you remember the innocently smiling children to whom you bade farewell. How can you forget?

Even mothers are being drafted for war work. The result is that the children are nearly forgotten…Schools are now closed and one cannot help being anxious when he thinks of the post-war future of Japan and of those children who could not receive a proper education.

You must guard the strength of the new Japan – your treasure, your children

What silver, gold or gem is more precious than your child?

Japan110J1.jpg (133609 bytes)

Leaflet 110-J-1

Many American leaflets tried to convince the Japanese to live rather than take part in Kamikaze attacks, hopeless Banzai charges and Hara kiri ritual suicide. This leaflet tries to use a photograph of happy children to convince the soldier to stay alive to return home. Some of the text is:

Where is Daddy?

The words of Prince Mito:

To rush into the thick of battle and to be slain in it is easy enough, and the merest churl is equal to the task: but it is true courage to live when it is right to live, and to die only when it is right to die.

Is this not the time to live?

Japan119J1F.jpg (330422 bytes)

Leaflet 119-J-1

This leaflet is one of the better images from the PWB artists. It depicts a Japanese officer with his sword in a stark black silhouette on an orange background filled with the rank insignia of Japanese field officers and non-commissioned officers. The text on the front of this leaflet is:

The shadow of the officer is great.

The text on the back asks the officers not to waste the lives of their men and says in part:

The battle of the Philippines is drawing to a close. Iwo Jima has fallen. Okinawa has been invaded. Japan is being continuously bombed, and the tide of battle is drawing ever nearer to the homeland…

After seeing these sad things, do you, carried away by a temporary hot-bloodedness, show true love for your men by forcing them to die a “dog’s death?” Is this the best plan?

Look at the example of Germany where because the officers gave their full consent, a million valuable lives were saved in order to build a new living nation after the war.

We urge that you officers, who are responsible for the fate of the men in your command, act with prudence and decision.

Japan140J1a.jpg (370938 bytes)

Leaflet 140-J-1

The Americans constantly asked the Japanese not to kill themselves and to live on to rebuild their nation. There was one little exception to this rule and that was the senior officer corps. Both the OWI Navy leaflets and the PWB Army leaflets had no compunction about telling the officers that taking their lives was completely acceptable. This leaflet actually shows the hara kiri tradition setting. The privacy screen waits as does the knife to be used to disembowel oneself. Some of the text is:

When the tide turned against the Japanese forces on Okinawa and defeat became certain, the leaders there carried out the tradition of the Japanese warrior and took full responsibility, ending their lives.

What of the military leaders in Tokyo, who sent these brave men and thousands of other brave men to their deaths? Far from accepting responsibility for the crushing defeats Japan has suffered, they are now seeking to place the burden of defending the homeland on the shoulders of the people,

It is time that they admitted their failure as leaders and obeyed the code which they demand that their followers obey.

Theme: Rally to save what is left of their country.

113J1JapanWW2.jpg (28602 bytes)

Leaflet 113-J-1

Leaflet 113-J-1 depicts a riveter working on a building, with other new buildings and Mount Fuji in the background. It tells of the need to live to rebuild Japan. Text on the front is:

Who will rebuild Japan?

The text on the back of the leaflet is:

War Reaches Japanese Heartland

Japan’s great cities are being heavily bombed from bases on the Pacific Islands and on Okinawa. The industrial districts of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe are being devastated. Great areas in these once flourishing cities have been reduced to ashes,

It is sad that the exigencies of war mean that the US air raids will increase in fury with each day until the selfish militarists have been destroyed.

The Japanese militarists alone are responsible for Japan’s present misery. It is they and not the Japanese people at whom the attacks are directed. On the day when the militarists are crushed and peace returns under a modern government, will you not be needed for the great work of rebuilding Japan?

Theme: Destroy the military clique and form a peace government.

Japan129J1F.jpg (98447 bytes)

Leaflet 129-J-1

This leaflet depicts the famous Japanese scholar Ninomiya Sontoku. He discusses bad government:

“The good government considers what it can give to the people.The bad government considers what it can take away.”

How does this compare with the actions of the militarists?

Theme: Continuation of the war will destroy Japan.

Japan134J1.jpg (380307 bytes)

Leaflet 134-J-1

The official title of U.S. Army Psychological Warfare Branch Leaflet is "Japanese Navy and Air Force Powerless." The target is the Japanese homeland. The leaflet depicts a Japanese city with the shadow of a U.S. B-29 upon it. One wing of the aircraft is visible in the upper left-hand corner. The text on the back is:

Boasting that their defense was an iron wall, the militarists asserted that the Japanese Navy and Air Force would annihilate all who attacked the homeland.

Today, those militarists stand powerless while the U.S. Navy and Air Force attack Japan at will and with increasing fury.

It is clear that the Japanese Navy and Air Force cannot defend the homeland. It is also clear that the militarists, whose so-called defense was merely an empty word, are not worthy to be leaders.

The full force of the American attack has not yet been felt. When it comes, the destruction will be pitiless and complete.

The militarists cannot save Japan by their boasts, but the people can save their country by unconditional surrender.

Some Japanese prisoners stated that the term “Unconditional Surrender” was very confusing to Japanese soldiers and the Americans should make every effort to clarify to the Japanese that their race was not about to be exterminated. A captured Japanese news correspondent also stated the importance of explaining to the Japanese people America’s intentions in regard to their country. 

Theme: Charge the military clique with the responsibility of the war:

Japan139J1.jpg (376371 bytes)

Leaflet 139-J-1

This leaflet states that the Military clique started the war and now want the civilians to finish it. The official title of the leaflet is “A Candle in the Wind,” a Japanese saying that implies an extremely difficult situation. Some of the text is:

No longer able to conceal their successive defeats, the military is attempting to put the responsibility for defense on the shoulders of the people by ordering them to fortify their homes. The call upon the people to do what the Army, Navy and Air Force are unable to do. How can civilians perform a task that was too great for the trained fighting forces…

Theme: Their country is divided. Disunity exists among the army, navy and air forces; between the civil and military population; and between officers and enlisted men.

Japan19J1.jpg (345042 bytes)

Leaflet 19-J-1

This “divide and conquer” leaflet attempts to drive a wedge between the officer and enlisted Corps. It depicts General Yamashita withdrawing from a battlefield left in ruins. The title is:

One General Gains Fame while Tens of Thousands Die

Some of the text on the back is:

To check our determine advance the Tokyo militarists entrusted the task to the famous Japanese general Yamashita. He has failed, futilely sacrificing tens of thousands of your comrades…In the face of such selfish ambition; your lives are of no concern to him whatsoever…Soldier, must you, like your comrades in the Solomons and New Guinea die a dog’s lonely death in a distant land just because of such incompetence and irresponsibility?

Curiously, and perhaps not coincidently, the very next leaflet, 20-J-1 was an all-text piece entitled “General Nogi.” In this leaflet, the PWB tells of how after being accused of losing too many men in his great victory at Port Arthur against the Russians, he offered to commit suicide. This honorable action is compared with General Yamashita’s demand for Gyokusai (glorious death) by his troops. The Japanese would do “banzai” attacks where they would charge with guns, crutches, rocks or whatever they could carry. The Americans mowed them down.  Those that were immobile or out of ammunition would often hold grenades against their bodies and pull the pin. The leaflet concludes:

It would seem that the difference between the splendid spirit of General Nogi and the base attitude of the military leaders today, represented by Yamashita, is like the difference between clouds and mud.

Japan146J1.jpg (377668 bytes)

Leaflet 146-J-1

This leaflet depicts the clothes of a militarist on one side and those of a worker on the other. It seeks to divide and conquer. Some of the text is:

Since the militarists have assumed control, conditions within Japan have steadily deteriorated. The war has brought wealth and position to a few, but to the people who are the backbone of the nation it has brought higher taxes, compulsory savings, and fewer and fewer of life’s necessities…

Theme: Their land and air forces are inadequate.

Japan21J1.jpg (141197 bytes)

Leaflet 21-J-1

This leaflet depicts an American invasion force in the Lingayen Gulf. The title is:

Where is the Japanese Fleet?

The question is reminiscent of the Allied propaganda in Europe that regularly asked “Where is the Luftwaffe,” in an attempt to embarrass the German pilots and make them come up and fight.

Some of the text on the back is:

Four days before the American forces carried out their landing on Luzon, the Japanese already knew of the enormous convoy steaming northward. But the Japanese fleet made hardly any attacks on it, and the Americans landed easily in Lingayen Gulf.

This shows that you can no longer trust the Japanese fleet…Tokyo radio has broadcast the names of more than 80 admirals who have died since the start of the Great East Asia War. What do you think might be the significance of this?

There is reason to believe that this ridicule of the Japanese Navy worked. According to Report on Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area 1944-1945, American admirals believed that the Japanese Navy could be needled into coming out to fight. As a result, messages and leaflets said that the Japanese Navy would abandon its troops in the Philippines just as they had those isolated troops on the southern islands. After the campaign of ridicule they attacked Leyte Gulf on 24 October 1944. It was a disastrous defeat. U.S. Army Colonel Sidney F. Mashbir, who led the Allied Translator and Interpreter Section of Southwest Pacific Area, congratulated the PWB on its needling of the Japanese and said:

No one will ever under-estimate the part which the campaign of ridicule, so ably carried out by the Psychological Warfare Branch, played in bringing out the Japanese Navy to be destroyed.

Japan151J1F.jpg (131112 bytes)

Leaflet 151-J-1

To be honest, in almost every American leaflet there is a comment that points out the inadequacy of the Japanese military forces. This very pictorial large leaflet depicts B-24 Liberator bombers flying unopposed over Japan. Factories explode below as civilians rush to the mountain tops for safety. P-38 Lightning fighters can also be seen strafing railroads and factories. The leaflet is entitled “Earthquake from the sky,” The text is:

Earthquakes and tidal waves cannot be halted. The people realize they are powerless against these overwhelming forces of nature and accept the ruin which follows in their wake.

The military forces of Japan can no more halt the overwhelming destruction by the United States Air Force than the people can stop an earthquake.

With ever increasing fury this air force will sweep over Japan like a tidal wave. It will rock the land like an earthquake. With unbelievable striking power, it will bring widespread destruction greater than that caused by all the forces of nature.

The boasting Japanese militarists know they are powerless to stop this terrific devastation. Having thus failed, they now call on helpless old men, women, and children to defend their own homes. They are now asking you to assume responsibility for home defense. But what weapons are the military giving you to defend your homes?

Complete destruction can be avoided only by the people’s overthrowing the militarists and asking for peace. An understanding with the United States means that the peace-loving people of Japan will be saved and will be free to build their country into a modern civilized nation.

Rather than be held hostage to these arbitrary themes, I will now discuss a number of leaflet types that I will call “Special projects.” Each of these leaflets served a purpose, though they might not fall into any preconceived themes.

Oversized Psychological Warfare Posters and Leaflets

Just as the PWB printed different leaflets, they also prepared numerous oversized leaflets and posters. Some were for the Japanese, some for the Filipinos, and many were for the American troops. Because of their size we will not depict many of these large products. However, some are particularly interesting.

2J8Philippine.jpg (217817 bytes)

Oversized Leaflet 2-J-8

There were a number of large leaflets prepared to help the Japanese soldier surrender. Leaflet 2-J-8 is 10 x 14-inches. Most of these ask that the American and Filipino troops place these where a the Japanese might congregate to help them surrender. Japanese text on the back explains the surrender procedure. Similar large leaflets are 31-J-6 and 13-J-8. We should probably point out that the Filipinos, who had suffered under the Japanese yoke, were not nearly as forgiving as the Americans. For years after the end of the war any Japanese tourist who happened to find himself alone on a back road in the Philippines might turn up missing. Accidents do happen.

1R6JapanReaction.jpg (291217 bytes)

Japanese Reactions to Propaganda Leaflets Poster

This poster coded 1-R-6 was printed by the PWB as an educational aid to American troops to convince them to bring back Japanese soldiers who surrendered alive. The poster is 10 x 14-inches. Many American soldiers who had seen the cruelty and brutality of the Japanese had no interest in keeping them healthy. This poster points out how important the information a POW brings can be.

1posterJapJLeaf.jpg (361452 bytes)

Information Poster

These large informative posters, measuring 18 x 24-inches were printed on a regular basis by the Information and Education Section of the Armed Forces Far East Command. This one is dated 19 March 1945. I added the poster because it discussed psychological warfare.

AsiaforAsiatics.jpg (87420 bytes)

Sixth Army Poster

Another poster seems to be a Japanese product because it is completely made up of Japanese propaganda leaflets, newspapers and cartoons. The title is “Asia for the Asiatics” In reality; this poster was produced by the Assistant Chief of Staff, Intelligence, of the U.S. Sixth Army. The printing was done by the 670 Engineer Topological Company in April 1945.

Notice that one of the propaganda products depicted in the poster, the leaflet, “American Gobs” is mentioned in our article on Japanese propaganda. This poster also contains propaganda about Japanese Catholics. American propagandists thought it was comical that the Japanese with a very small minority of persecuted Catholics would attempt to convince the Filipinos that they had the same religious beliefs.

The Sixth Army apparently produced this poster to show its own people the kind of propaganda that the Japanese had produced during their occupation of the Philippines.

Leaflets Prepared by Subsidiary Units 

We mentioned above that the PWB placed small elements with numerous field units. I have selected two leaflets for this section that show how the elements used local support organizations to prepare leaflets.

19j6JapanLeaflet.jpg (26706 bytes)

Leaflet 19J6

This leaflet was to be used against small Japanese units that were defeated and cut-off. It was not to be used anywhere else. The front calligraphy was done by a Sixth Army PWB member while the text was written by a Japanese prisoner of war. The leaflet was printed by the Reproduction Section of the 929 Engineer Aviation Regiment through the cooperation of one Lieutenant J. H. Evans. The text on the front is:

Think this Over Carefully!

I am a prisoner of the Americans and every day I receive warm treatment from them. With tears in my eyes I am grateful to them. 

I was astonished to see the new types of tanks, warships, planes and guns. I realized for the first time that we are losing the war to the Americans. At present, what hope is left for you? Be at ease and think of the future, the new Japan. 

Surrender immediately and let us await peace.

xcorpsJapan.jpg (166378 bytes)

Leaflet 1J10

The large all-text leaflet is interesting from many standpoints. It is one of the few leaflets coded “10” which indicates it was from the 10th Corps of the Sixth Army. One again it is for isolated Japanese units, but in this tactical leaflet they are named. It was written by a Japanese Sergeant Major from the 20th Regiment. The English text was then prepared by a Captain R. Beard who was the X Corps PWB liaison officer.   The calligraphy was supervised by X Corps and the printing was done by the 671 Topographic Platoon. Everybody got into the act! Some of the text is:

To the Men of the 9th, 20th and 33rd Regiments

I am now a prisoner of the Americans on Leyte Island and am receiving very good care. We are grateful to the Americans who we used to think devils…

Since we have been captured, we have received coffee, bread, meat, chocolate, expensive cigarettes, and they send our wounded to the hospital... 

Stop fighting uselessly and save your loved ones back home. Americans are not devils, so when you see their leaflets, come over to the Americans and receive their sincere care. Leyte Island will be the end of Japan within a matter of hours…

The Cult of MacArthur

MacArthurReturnsP.jpg (76580 bytes)

General MacArthur returns to the Philippines

Before I start this section I must admit that as a youngster, General MacArthur was a personal hero of mine. I saw him win in the Pacific, take the Japanese surrender and later plan the Inchon landing in Korea when all the strategists said it was impossible. He probably saved the peninsula with that landing. When President Truman fired him I was shocked, and was able to see the General on his “goodbye” tour when he rode in an open car through New York City. But, having said all that, I know that he was a tough man to admire. I had relatives in the Army that remembered him from the Philippines and called him “Dugout Doug.” His ego was infamous, and he once called five-star General Eisenhower “The best clerk I ever had.”

Much of the complaints about his reconquest of the Philippines was all the products, cigarettes, matchbooks, etc., that bore his words “I shall return.” He was begged to change it to “We Shall return,” but refused.

William B. Breuer mentions some of this campaign in MacArthur’s Undercover War, John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1995:

Various items known to be scarce in the Philippines, such as cigarettes, matches, chewing gum, candy bars, sewing kits and pencils were sent to the islands in submarines by the millions for widespread distribution. Each package bore on one side the crossed American and Philippine flags and on the other the quotation “I shall return!” printed over a facsimile of General MacArthur’s signature. Never mind that few Filipinos spoke English – each man, woman and child knew the phrase “I shall return!”

Around Manila and elsewhere in the islands, “I shall return!” was crudely painted on walls as well as on the sides of buildings. On occasion, dawn breaking over Manila would find a large billboard with “I shall return!” leaping out at a passerby. These defiant words were even found on stickers pasted on the back of Japanese military busses and trains, at the entrances to theaters, at railway station, and even outside brothels.

When MacArthur returned to the Philippines the PWB printed a number of leaflets showing him and telling the Filipinos that their liberator was back on sacred soil. Most of these leaflets are not numbered so we place them here at the end of the article.

Colonel Courtney A. Whitney, a MacArthur confidant, was apparently responsible for the decision to create, in SWPA propaganda, a cult around MacArthur and his pledge to return, a campaign which, however effective in some quarters, led some guerrillas to adopt the derisive motto:

We Remained!

MacArthurhasReturned.jpg (323785 bytes)

MacArthur has Returned

As I mentioned above, notice that it is MacArthur that has returned and not thousands of American soldiers and sailors. Still, the General apparently believed that the Filipinos reacted to his own charisma and personality and perhaps he was correct. The two page bi-fold above shows MacArthur saluting on the front and debarking from an aircraft on the back. There are three black and white pictures of him inside the booklet. The leaflet bears no code but my files show that it was 2-F-1. It appears that all the “F” leaflets were to the Filipinos after the American landing. The front of the leaflet depicts General MacArthur saluting. The back of the leaflet depicts the general stepping off an aircraft. Both photographs are in full color. When the bi-fold is opened there are three black and white photographs inside the leaflet with MacArthur on a warship, walking down a Philippine road, and in a landing craft. The text is:

When General MacArthur left Corregidor, under orders from President Roosevelt to proceed to Australia and organize the offensive against Japan, his last words were “I shall return.”

From that moment his one driving ambition has been to get back to the Philippines, to drive out the Japanese, and to restore the legitimate government of the Philippines.

Today General MacArthur is back in the Philippines. He has returned as he promised. His great task is now entering its final phase. The forces under his command are assaulting the Japanese invaders throughout the Philippines. With these forces, General MacArthur will accomplish the liberation of the Filipino people.

But that liberation can be accomplished more quickly, and at smaller cost to American and Filipino lives, with your help and co-operation. General MacArthur will tell you over the radio, in proclamation, and by leaflet, exactly how and when you can help. Watch closely for these instructions.

MacArthurReturnsLeaf.jpg (299457 bytes)

MacArthur Returns!

This leaflet depicts MacArthur walking ashore on the Philippines. According to my files this leaflet was uncoded. Some of the text is:

Home again! General MacArthur and President Osmena stride up the beach of Leyte Island to set up the Philippine government on Philippine soil once again. They came ashore shortly after the first wave and are accompanied by Lt. General Sutherland and Brig. General Carlos Romulo.

The back has two photographs; one of the American flag being raised and the other of a landing craft (LST) approaching the Philippines. The text is:

The American flag flies on Leyte, bringing with it liberty to the people of the Philippines.

The first wave of American soldiers landing on Leyte to keep General MacArthur’s pledge: “I shall return!”

It may be unfair to point this out and I could be wrong, but it seems that MacArthur tried to produce an even number of leaflets and proclamations for both himself and President Osmena so that it would appear that they were equal in authority. Yet, I notice that the MacArthur leaflets are larger and in full color and generally more impressive that the Osmena material. I think anyone finding a group of such items on the ground would get the impression that MacArthur was the more powerful of the two and certainly in charge.

Major General Charles A. Willoughby talks about this scene in his biography of MacArthur:

Close behind the troops, in a drenching tropical downpour, MacArthur strode ashore on a muddy beach near the town of Palo. Following him from a LST came little Colonel Carlos Romulo, the Filipino patriot who had been the Voice of Freedom on Corregidor and the last escapee from Bataan. Recalling the day at a later date, Romulo said jocularly:

“The newspaper reported that I was right behind him. Little did they realize that I nearly drowned. There was this tall MacArthur, with the water reaching up to his knees, and behind him was little Romulo, trying to keep his head above water.”

MacArthur immediately spoke to millions of waiting Filipinos on a portable radio transmitter. He said in part:

This is the Voice of Freedom, General MacArthur speaking. I have returned…By the Grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil…

Rally to me. Let the indomitable spirit of Bataan and Corregidor lead on. As the lines of battle roll on to bring you within the zone of operations, rise up and strike! For future generations of your sons and daughters, strike! Let no heart be faint. Let every arm be steeled. The guidance of Divine God points the way. Follow in his name to the Holy Grail of righteous victory!

MacArthurIShallRet.jpg (15783 bytes)

I Shall Return

This is a small leaflet that depicts General MacArthur saluting on the front. It bears his autograph as well as his photograph. The back depicts the flags of the Philippines and the United States in full color side-by-side. Like many of the MacArthur leaflets to the Filipinos, this leaflet bears no code.

FreePhilMagMac.jpg (290439 bytes)

Free Philippines Magazine – 1 January 1945.

This issue of Free Philippines printed by the PWB depicts General MacArthur’s return to the Philippine Islands. It features his “I have returned” slogan.

One of the articles inside refers to “The Voice of Freedom,” a radio station that broadcast the liberation of the Philippines on the day that allied troops landed on Leyte. The “Voice of Freedom” had broadcast from Corregidor early in the war during four months of siege. It was finally quieted on the day the Americans surrendered. During the war, the Americans broadcast “The Philippine Hour” from San Francisco and later Australia each evening. The magazine says:

The Voice of Freedom, originally broadcast from Corregidor by General Romulo, was revived on D-Day under instruction from General MacArthur, who himself initiated the first broadcast from Red Beach, above Palo, at H plus 4 over a shortwave transmitter set up by the Signal Corps. He was followed by President Osmena and General Romulo.

The first words to go out over the air the following evening on regular broadcast were: “This is the Voice of Freedom coming to you from General MacArthur’s headquarters on the island of Leyte, in the Central Philippines.”

President Osmena

Sergio Osmeņa (September 9, 1878 – October 19, 1961) was the second President of the Commonwealth of the Philippines. He was Vice President under Manuel Quezon, and rose to the presidency upon Quezon's death on 1 August 1944. There were some problems with the Quezon presidency. He was elected for two legal terms but considered that due to the fact that the Japanese had invaded his homeland, his time in exile should not count. He wished to remain in power for a third term until such time as he could return victoriously to the Philippines with the American forces. Osmena believed in the Philippine Constitution and wanted Quezon to step down as per the law. The problem was solved with the death of President Quezon.

FDRPuppetShow.jpg (227026 bytes)

F.D.R. PUPPET SHOW

This Japanese leaflet appears to have been disseminated shortly after President Quezon’s death. At the left Manual Quezon is depicted in a coffin. At the right, U.S. President Roosevelt pulls the string of puppets representing Sergio Osmena being forced forward by General MacArthur and Admiral Nimitz. The Japanese text is:

ACT II SCENE I

Osmena had fled the Philippines with MacArthur as Vice President and was by his side when he returned, now as President. A number of leaflets were printed with messages or proclamations by the new President.

MessageFilipinoOsmena.jpg (296235 bytes)

A Message to Every Filipino

This leaflet bears a Philippine seal on the front and a picture of the president on the back. This leaflet bears no code but my files show that it was 3F1. Some of the text is:

President Osmena, elected to high office by the Filipino people at the last popular elections held in this country, has returned to the Philippines with General MacArthur. He and the members of his government, with the complete support and backing of the American government, come to assist in the restoration of your freedom.

There is a photograph of President Osmena on the back in front of a CBS microphone addressing the Philippine people. The title is:

The Need for Unity

GovofLawFilipino.jpg (812098 bytes)

A Government of Law by President Osmena

Another leaflet that featured President Osmena was a small all-text item entitled “A Government of Law by President Osmena.” This leaflet was dropped about a month after Osmena returned to the Philippines and mentions his meetings with patriotic Guerilla leaders. Although this leaflet bears no code, my records show that there was a product named “President Osmena’s speech” that was given the code 1(g)F1.

The Leaflet News Letter of April 6, 1945 reports:

A favorable reaction to the “Government of Law” leaflet is reported. Jose Banez, Guerrilla editor of the Panay Today says that, in response to it:

The guerrillas, who had executed more than a thousand spies, informers, and puppets during the Japanese occupation, ceased all executions and jailed several hundred newly arrested collaborators for hearings before a Provincial Board of Inquiry.

The Meaning of the Commonwealth

MeaningComonwealthP.jpg (320281 bytes)

A third leaflet was entitled “A Government of Law” on one side, and “The Meaning of the Commonwealth on the other.” A fourth variety was entitled “The Meaning of Commonwealth” on both sides. This leaflet reprinted the contents of a speech President Osmena gave in Leyte on 15 November 1944.

Banknote Propaganda

JP10pesoF.jpg (39774 bytes)

JP10pesoB.jpg (42272 bytes)

Banknote Overprint 10F6

Brigadier General Bonner F. Fellers stated that some Japanese occupation banknotes were overprinted in Tacloban, Leyte, by the Sixth U. S. Army and dropped by 5th Air Force planes over Manila and Central Luzon. The banknotes are in different denominations and bear the Overprint:

THE CO-PROSPERITY SPHERE: WHAT IS IT WORTH?

The data sheet for these overprinted banknotes; 1, 5 and 10 pesos, is dated 7 December 1944. They are to be disseminated widespread throughout populated areas of the Philippines. The purpose is to impress on the Filipino people that the Japanese occupation currency had no value and would soon be valueless and obsolete like the Japanese Empire.

An example of the 10F6 Banknote was discovered inside a PWB Scrapbook. This banknote’s overprint is actually a little brighter red than I am used to seeing since most of these almost seven-decade old leaflets that were on the ground in the sun and rain tend to be a darker and duller red. The question mark is also a bit odd, not as long as the letters. However, this banknote came directly from a PWB scrapbook and still has the glue on the front. I assume that it never saw the sun or any light and that is why it is so bright. There were a number of different printings, and I assume the strange question mark means that this was not the usual printing plate.

WarriorsofFreedomleaf.jpg (146128 bytes)

The Warriors of FREEDOM have Landed

Other leaflets are very patriotic. One coded 7-F-6 depicts American troops storming the beaches and has the title on the front, “The Warriors of FREEDOM have Landed.” The back is all text and entitled, “Patriots of the Philippines.” The text is:

American and Philippine forces are liberating your country from Japanese oppression. Enemy air, land and sea forces have already suffered heavy reverses in the Leyte area.

As our landings continue, it is essential that the bombers and fleet prepare their way.

We do not want to injure a single Filipino. During the period from the 15th of December to the 8th of January follow these instructions carefully –

Stay away from the Japanese troops and any place where they are gathered together.

Avoid all buildings, dumps, airstrips and bridges used by the Japanese. And most important of all, at the first sign of our landing, move away from the beaches. Move inland as far as possible.

For your safety comply with this request.

DontBlockRoadsFil.jpg (115931 bytes)

DON’T BLOCK THE ROADS!

Another such leaflet meant to protect the Filipinos and to help with the American movement toward the front is entitled “DON’T BLOCK THE ROADS!” It is interesting to note that when Germany attacked France with Stuka fighter-bombers, one of the “Terror” concepts was to drive French civilians on to the roads to block the French defensive movements. Here, the Americans have asked the Filipinos to stay off the roads so they can quickly advance. This leaflet is uncoded. On the front, American tanks have been stopped by a mass of people on the road. The back of the leaflet has the same general image, except the Filipinos are now walking to the right of the road and the tanks and trucks are advancing with the text:

CLEAR THE WAY FOR THE FIGHTING MEN

4F6Japan.jpg (106587 bytes)

The Yanks have Landed On your Island

Leaflet 4-F-6 depicts American soldiers walking ashore. It was prepared on 23 September 1944 to be used on islands where the Americans land from D-Day to D plus 5. The back text is in English and warns the Filipinos to stay away from Japanese military objectives and ends with:

Remember: Planes, bombs and shells cannot tell a friend from a foe.

FilipinoPatriots01.jpg (184555 bytes)

Filipino Patriots

This last leaflet once again warns the Filipinos to stay away from areas where they could be killed. The Japanese troops had routinely slapped and beaten the Filipinos; something that they apparently did not feel was degrading because they were regularly slapped and beaten by their own officers. As a result, the Filipinos hated the Japanese. It was a vendetta. The Americans, knowing the Filipino soul, went to great lengths to treat them with respect and try to keep them safe from harm.

Patriotic symbols

WWIIFilUSFlagLeafB.jpg (94200 bytes)

WWIIFilUSFlagLeafF.jpg (112015 bytes)

A Flag Leaflet

Perhaps to prepare the people for liberation and celebration, the PWB printed flag leaflets that depicted the Philippine flag on one side in full color and the 48-star flag of the United States on the other side. The leaflet bears no code but my files show it was 4F1.

Stanley Sandler says about the flag leaflets:

From San Jose to Tacloban, the roads were lined with Filipino citizens, many of them with our combination Filipino-American flag leaflets in their hands, many more with them tacked up in front of their houses.

President Harry Truman

truman2.jpg (19883 bytes)

Japan112J1F.jpg (99379 bytes)

Leaflet 112-J-1

Some Navy OWI leaflets depicted or mentioned President Truman, (Examples are leaflet 2088: "A Message from the President of the United States to the People of Japan" and leaflet 2099 which quoted from a Truman speech on the subject of unconditional surrender). The PWB leaflets do not picture Truman at all as far as I can tell. As close as we come is this leaflet that quotes the president. Text on the front is:

The Defeat of the Military Leaders is the Victory of the People

Some of the text on the back is:

AMERICAN PRESIDENT SPEAKS!

The more the war is prolonged, the greater will be the suffering and hardship of the Japanese people...

What effect will the unconditional surrender of the military authorities have on the Japanese people?

It means the end of the war and the end of the power of the military leaders who have brought Japan to the brink of destruction. It also means the return of soldiers and sailors to their families, to their farm villages, and to their various occupations…

The Emperor

Hirohitolg.jpg (56387 bytes)

 

Japan122J1.jpg (72532 bytes)

Leaflet 122-J-1

It was American policy not to vilify or insult the Japanese Emperor in any way since it was believed that would be counter-productive to the war effort. This PWB leaflet honors the Japanese Emperor’s birthday. Although it bears the “1,” it was requested by the Sixth Army. Some of the text is:

Today is the Emperor’s Birthday

Today, 29 April 1945, is the birthday of his Majesty, the Emperor.

It is regrettable that you Japanese soldiers must greet this day of public festival defeated everywhere by overwhelming superiority of ground, air and naval forces, and that, faced with hopeless conditions, you must seek a useless death…

How much longer can these military leaders continue to deceive the Emperor?

zacharias.jpg (8266 bytes)  

Rear Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias

On 29 June 1961, Retired Rear Admiral Ellis M. Zacharias, 71, deputy chief of Naval Intelligence in World War II died of heart complications. Zacharias conducted radio psychological warfare against the Japanese high command in World War II. He became famous among PSYOP experts for his broadcasts to the Japanese which eased the way for their eventual capitulation by defining “Unconditional surrender” to them. He knew the Japanese leaders, spoke impeccable Japanese, and regularly explained that submission did not imply the overturning of their Emperor, their national system or their traditional way of life.

PeacewHonorJapan.jpg (300598 bytes)

Leaflet 123-J-1

The leaflet above depicts the Goddess of Mercy and the text:

PEACE WITH HONOR

The back is all text and says in part:

Below is an extract from the first official broadcast made to the people of Japan by Rear Admiral Zacharias, in which he clarifies the statement by the new U.S. President Truman. Rear Admiral Zacharias was formerly stationed in Tokyo. He is well acquainted with many Japanese, such as Admiral Yonai and Admiral Nomura. During the two-month tour of the United States by Prince and Princess Takamatsu in 1931, Rear Admiral Zacharias acted as their aide-de-camp.

The extract follows:

I have always acted as a friend of the Japanese people and have done everything in my power to prevent the catastrophe which has already begun to envelope your homeland…

I am in a position to guarantee with authority that the desperate phrase “Victory or extermination” is a deliberate misrepresentation of fact…

I am specifically authorized to reiterate that unconditional surrender is a purely military term, meaning only the yielding of arms. It does not entail extermination of the Japanese people…

It is interesting to note that once the Allies decided on “Unconditional surrender,” which simply implied that there would be no bargaining over a terms of surrender, the phrase caused so many problems that a vast amount of time and energy had to be expended just to explain what the two words meant.

The Soviet Union

Japan141J1.jpg (328804 bytes)

Leaflet 144-J-1

All through the war the Japanese and the Soviets warily watched each other. Both feared a sneak attack by the other. They were old enemies and had fought on more than one occasion. Because of Russian spies in Japan such as Victor Sorge, the Soviet Union was able to move some combat troops from their eastern defensive positions to help in the fight against Germany. Once it was clear that Japan was beaten, the USSR declared war on Japan and tried to grab some of the spoils. MacArthur quickly squelched that idea. In this leaflet, the PWB announces to the Japanese that they are now at war with the Soviet union too. On the front of the leaflet an American and a Soviet soldier shake hands. The text is:

INSPIRING HANDSHAKE

The text on the back of the leaflet is:

Red Army Strikes

The powerful Soviet Union has now joined the war against Japan. This means that Japan will now be compelled to meet most of the combined might of the entire world…

The fate that befell the German Army when it set out to overwhelm Russia is well known. The Russians not only stopped the invasion of the greatest army ever created, but the Red counter-offensive swept the Nazi Army back to Berlin and total defeat.

Despite heavy casualties, the Red Army is now at the peak of its strength both in men and arms. With its great fighting spirit, this battle-tested army has joined the forces aligned against Japan.

Surrounded by a ring of steel, the Japanese people must take action to avoid the utter destruction of their country.

Will you continue to allow the militarists to drag your ancestral country to utter ruin?

There is an interesting story behind this leaflet. Report on Psychological Warfare in the Southwest Pacific Area 1944-1945 says:

Leaflets announcing the entry of the Soviet Union into the war were prepared four months in advance. Planners reasoned that if the Japanese Government were permitted to make the first announcement, there would be a fantastic claim of victory. If we announced it first, picturing the might of the Red Army, the psychological blow would stun the population. Seven million copies of the leaflet “Red Army Strikes” were dropped on Japan the day the Soviet Union declared war.

Tactical Leaflets

Tactical leaflets are very interesting because in theory they are not part of some great strategic plan coordinated by governments, generals and local politicians. They are leaflets prepared on the ground and used against an enemy directly in front of friendly forces. A commander fighting a battle may request such a leaflet to be used on enemy troops a few hundred meters away in an attempt to encourage surrenders. They are produced quickly, “down and dirty” and usually in black and white for speed. We will depict a few tactical leaflets here that were clearly called in to help win a specific battle and have little connection to “the big picture.”

13J6Japan.jpg (241662 bytes)

Leaflet 13-J-6

The 1st Cavalry Division was locked in a bitter battle with the Japanese defenders of Ormoc. The PWB Liaison officer attached to the division requested this leaflet on 20 November 1944 to break the Japanese morale. The text is:

Ceaselessly Firing

No sleep. No peace. Day and night the ceaseless firing of the artillery haunts you. Like devils, the shells find you and kill you. All around you can see your comrades dying after each barrage.

This leaflet bears a printing error and a Japanese prisoner pointed out that: 

The third character from the top in the right hand row is wrong and makes the leaflet ineffective.

39j6Japan.jpg (105036 bytes)

Leaflet 39-J-6

The Americans took a terrible beating at Bataan early in the war and now the situation was reversed. The Japanese were holding out and putting up a strong defense so on 17 February 1945 a Major Anderson requested that this leaflet be prepared to convince them of the futility of further resistance. The leaflet says in part:

Map Showing Position on Bataan

The name Bataan is significant to all Americans as a place where our soldiers were forced to retreat in early 1942. At the time we were unprepared for war.

Now the situation is reversed. We are strong. We are determined.  We have the added advantage of having any escape route you choose blocked off. Our landing in the south denies you a means by which some of our men escaped to Corregidor. Help will not reach you….

Bomb Warning

JapWarningBombs.jpg (24358 bytes)

150-J-1

The concept of bomb warning leaflets is an interesting one. In theory it is a terrible idea because warning the enemy of where they will be bombed allows them to move anti-aircraft guns and fighter squadrons near to the target sites. For this reason, pilots hated them and did not want to drop them under any circumstances. On the other hand, strategic leaders knew that warning the Japanese of a coming bombing would cause the workers to flee the factories and tie up the roads, causing a drop in war production and transportation problems. Their observation that their military was helpless to protect them even when warned would destroy their morale.

The generals decreed that the warning would be disseminated. The OWI and the PWB handed this campaign in a very different way. The Navy dropped leaflets showing a B-29 bomber and listing a dozen cities that might be bombed in the near future. The message was “In the next few days, four or more of the cities named on the reverse side of this leaflet will be destroyed by American bombs.” That gave the Allied pilots a little leeway since the Japanese defenders did not know where or when the attack would occur. The Army did it much more dangerously. They dropped a leaflet that said that the city targeted would be bombed within three days. Apparently this worked quite well and the Japanese did admit to major problems with industry when such a leaflet was dropped. Almost a decade later when MacArthur was fighting the North Koreans, the Americans used an almost identical leaflet. Apparently it worked.

Leaflet 150-J-1 depicts a bomb burst on the front with a bright red background and the text:

Civilians! Evacuate at once!

There is text on the back that says in part:

These leaflets are being dropped to notify you that your city has been listed for destruction by our powerful air force. The bombing will begin within 72 hours.

This advance notice will give your military ample time to take the necessary defensive measure to protect you from our inevitable attack. Watch and see how powerless they are to protect you.

We give the military clique this notification of our plans because we know there is nothing they can do to stop our overwhelming power and our iron determination. We want you to see how powerless the military is to protect you.

Systematic destruction of city after city will continue as long as you blindly follow your military leaders whose blunders have placed you on the very brink of extinction. It is your responsibility to overthrow the military government now and save what is left of your beautiful country.

In the meantime; we urge all civilians to evacuate at once.

Japan18F6.jpg (60067 bytes)

Leaflet 18-F-6

Unlike leaflet 150-J-1 above which is more of a strategic leaflet aimed at the higher echelons of the Japanese military and government, Sixth Army leaflet 18-F-6 is a tactical bomb warning leaflet, probably dropped just ahead of the American military forces to warn the Filipinos to stay well clear of the fighting. It warns the Filipinos to stay off the roads and away from military targets.

AnybodyWarningWWII.jpg (165560 bytes)

Japanese Philippine Islands Warning Poster

This Japanese warning would normally go into my article on Japanese PSYOP, but it is so similar to the American PWB warning above that I thought it would be interesting to show it here so they can be compared. Note that the American leaflet says “We don’t want to hurt you,” while the Japanese leaflet leaves no doubt as to their intentions. Filipinos will be “shot to death.”

Surrender Leaflets

Japan17J1V2.jpg.jpg (223757 bytes)

Leaflet 17-J-1 (Second Version)

Although there were many types of surrender leaflets produced during the war, the most famous in the Pacific was the “I Cease Resistance” type. This leaflet had started with the text “I surrender,” but it was quickly found that the Japanese despised surrender and thought it cowardly. The leaflets were tested, revised, made larger so that they were more visible to both the Japanese and the American soldiers who might shoot the Japanese coming over to the Americans not realizing that they were surrendering, and eventually dropped in numerous forms. Readers who want to know more about this operation should read my article: The “I Cease Resistance” Safe Conduct Passes of WWII. I am aware of about 11 different versions of this standard leaflet, and more may exist.

The leaflet above is the second version of this “I Cease Resistance” leaflet with the same code number. The Japanese text on the front is the same on both, but the photographer has moved back so now there are four Japanese POWs with their eyes blanked out whereas on the first version only three are depicted. The text on the front is:

The text of the English message written above is:

This man is no longer an enemy, According to International Law; he is guaranteed personal safety, clothes, food, quarters and medical attention. 

The picture at the left shows some of your comrades who came over to our side.

Eyes are covered to protect their families in Japan.

Text on the back is:

TO THE GALLANT JAPANESE OFFICERS AND MEN

You have fought bravely without the aid of your Navy and Air Force while suffering from a shortage of food. Fate was against you, however, and you have come to the final stage.

Is a meaningless death the only thing left to you? Why don’t you seek the road to a new life and live for the future of Japan?

Your comrades, already under American protection, have recovered their health and are already enjoying a communal life.

This leaflet is a safe conduct pass to the American lines. Throw away you weapons and approach the American positions or sentry lines, carrying this message (or a piece of white cloth) on a stick. If you see an American soldier, raise both arms and obey his signs.

One leaflet may be used by a group.

I should point out that the original 17-J-1 leaflet had a blank back and this is considered a major error in leafleting since the enemy can place a message of their own on the back. In the case of the second version of this leaflet, the back bears an all-text message coded 141-J-1 and as a result it is also listed with that code number by the PWB.

Quartets

I called this section “quartets” because there are two groups of leaflets that are in the same series, and each contains four different small leaflets.

Japan14J1.jpg (121845 bytes)

Leaflet 14-J-1

The first four leaflets are all exactly the same size, bi-folded with a military scene on the front with a bright red background. One leaflet depicts a Japanese military truck, the second a destroyer, the third an artillery piece, and the fourth a Mitsubishi  G4M “Betty” bomber, also known as the Navy Type 1 Attack bomber, or Hamaki (cigar). All of the leaflets bear quotations from Japanese publications on occupied areas of raw production that have been lost. Some of the text on the above leaflet is:

 Admiral Nomura Kichisaburo says:

Japan’s great strength is due to her possession of the petroleum and other vital raw materials of the former Dutch East Indies.

In wartime, these distant regions are not just a southern extremity, but the vital “heart” of Japan. 

If this “heart” should be lost, Japan would be attacked from the air; it would be a “death blow” to Japan.

A Japanese prisoner said that some of the text on these leaflets was incorrect since for instance, Japan depends on Korea and Manchuria for such materials as bauxite and steel and not the Southern Regions.

Japan132DJ1.jpg (828341 bytes)

Leaflet 132D-J-1

The next four small leaflets each bear a different letter within the numeric code.

132A-J1 depicts a large question mark over Japan and asks, “Is the war strategy going well?”

132B-J1 depicts a calendar with years from 1941 to 1945 and a question mark and the text, “How much longer will this misery last?”

132C-J1 depicts question marks over Japan and Tokyo and the text, “Is a prolonged war profitable?

132D-J1 depicts a Japanese woman looking at a shower of leaflets falling from the sky. The text is, “Why is it wrong to read leaflet?”

Since the Japanese were told that all leaflets were lies and should never be read, this leaflet encourages the people look at them. The leaflets bear the title, “Facts.”

Proclamations

MacArthurProclamation01.jpg (5771519 bytes)

To the People of the Philippines

Once General MacArthur and President Osmena returned to the Philippines they both issued a series of proclamations. Although none of these letter-sized proclamations bear a code, my files show that the early ones were all coded sequentially from 1(a)-F-1 to 1(h)-F-1 by the PWB. The first four by MacArthur, the second four by Osmena. More may exist. The first we show is probably the first MacArthur proclamation released on the day he returned. Once again he starts his statement with “I have returned.” All of these proclamations show stains at the top and bottom since they were glued down in the PWB scrapbooks. The usual manner for removing them is to soak the page in warm water.

MacArthurLetterSurrender.jpg (98600 bytes)

To Count Terauchi

This proclamation to the Commander in Chief of Japanese Forces is interesting because MacArthur is clearly disturbed. He has heard that American prisoners have been treated brutally. He warns of possible retribution to come.

whereasProclamation2.jpg (330359 bytes)

Whereas, the forces under my command…

In this proclamation, MacArthur basically states that he is back and now legally controls the Philippines. He tells the Filipinos to obey the laws of the legal government that he will institute.

OsmenaProc.jpg (922211 bytes)

Fellow Countrymen

This is the first of several proclamations by President Osmena. It bears no code but my records show that it is very likely 1(e)-F-1. It asks that Filipinos come forth to work for the Allies and for food production to feed themselves. President Osmena apparently published at least four proclamations because my files show codes for him from 1(e)-F-1 to 1(h)-F-1

MyFellowCountryProc.jpg (389325 bytes)

My Fellow Countrymen

Osmena tells his countrymen here that MacArthur and freedom have returned. He urges his people to rise up and fight the Japanese as the Americans approach their homes.

Newspapers

rakkasan21.jpg (46300 bytes)

Rakkasan News No. 21

Wherever American propagandists go, newspapers are sure to follow. Since the enemy generally only hears favorable news from his side, the Americans tend to make it a point to give him a more truthful and unbiased look at the current war situation. The Rakkasan Nyuso (“Parachute News”) was published by the PWB from about March to August 1945. The 4 August 1945 paper above has the following news stories on the front side:

The full text of the Potsdam Proclamation; MacArthur plans the bombing of strategic sites in Japan; Three Japanese convoys sunk; The toll of Japanese dead and taken as prisoners in the Philippines; peace is now possible if the Japanese choose it.

Sandler adds:

The very popular and effective Rakkasan News was also published in Manila, but of course, for the enemy…All prisoners interrogated said it was a very professional Tokyo-type newspaper. Even those overwhelming majority of Japanese troops who did not defect were starved for news and could be influenced by U.S. PSYWAR news sheets…Between 20 and 26 May, 119 Japanese surrendered to XI Corps troops, and for the most part admitted they had been influenced by American PSYWAR, even though they were in fairly good condition; they particularly appreciated Rakkasan News. A Japanese Domei news agency correspondent’s report, found by Filipino guerrillas, stated that he looked forward to each issue, due to its timely news.

One Japanese prisoner questioned about his opinion of this propaganda newspaper by the PWB said that it was the most effective of all the leaflets, and recommended a way to make it even better: 

Articles concerning the Emperor should appear at the top of the page, a precedent established by Japanese newspapers. Any item concerning the Emperor should be reprinted exactly as released by Domei [the Japanese news service], since the exact wording would then ring true to the Japanese.

JiJiShuPaper.jpg (349912 bytes)

Ji Ji Shu Ho – Issue Number Six - 24f-J-6

Another newspaper printed by the U.S. Sixth Army was Ji Ji Shu Ho (News of the Week.) This 8.5 x 11.5-inch newspaper was designed to infiltrate Japanese troops with true news of Allied action on all fronts, with emphasis on the Southwest pacific and the Philippines. Each issue was coded with the leaflet number “24,” a letter for the issue (“A” the first issue, “B” the second issue, etc.). The third issue dated 12 January 1945 with the headline “Powerful American Forces Invade Luzon” was 24c-J-6.

We depict Issue 6 above, with stories of American troops on their way to Manila, Japanese General Yamashita claiming that all is going well, a picture of “Mr. B-San,” the Japanese name for the B-29 bomber, and a Japanese style cartoon showing an aircraft carrier landing what it thought to be a fighter but turns out to be a seagull.

A U.S. Eighth Army newspaper was actually more like a newssheet. It was coded 1-(C)-J-8, dated 28 December 1944 with the title Jijitsu Shimpo (Factual News Account). Once again the letter “C” indicates the third issue of the newspaper. The newspaper was aimed at Japanese troops on Leyte.

Conclusion

This is just a very short story to give an example of what General MacArthur’s Psychological Warfare Branch produced for the Philippine Campaign. Since over 200 leaflets exist, this article could easily be two or three times larger. Readers who want to know more about the psychological operations in the Pacific should read my articles on Australian and American Army and Navy general propaganda in The United States PSYOP Organization in the Pacific during World War II; the U.S. Navy and Office of War Information civilian operations in the Pacific Theatre in OWI Pacific PSYOP Six Decades ago; and the Japanese methods of psychological warfare in Japanese PSYOP During WWII. The four articles together give a very detailed account of psychological operations in the Pacific Theatre during WWII.

As always, the author invites questions and comments. Readers are encouraged to write to him at Sgmbert@hotmail.com.