The 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) researched and developed over 29 million copies of more than 100 different leaflets (approximately 29 tons). There were five general themes for these leaflets:"Surrender", "US/Coalition Superiority", "Inevitability", "Saddam is the Cause", and "Abandon Equipment". These leaflets were disseminated between 30 DEC 90 and 28 Feb 91 by 110 different aircraft sorties. Listed below is a matrix that depicts the basic leaflet themes, their method of delivery and some sample leaflets:







Surrender 54K 11.5M 810K N/A 12.4M
Inevitability N/A 4.3M 2.3M N/A 6.6M
Abandon Equip/Flee N/A 1.3M 585K N/A 1.9M
Saddam's Fault 90K 1.8M 835K 2.0M 4.7M
Other 186K N/A 3.4M N/A 3.5M
Total 330K 18.9M 7.8M 2.0M 29.1M

(NOTE: Leaflets were also disseminated by helicopter, however those statitics are not available.)


"The 16th Infantry Division of the Iraqi army
will be bombed tomorrow.
Leave this location now and save yourselves."

The picture used on the above leaflet is a B52 dropping its bombs during a Vietnam mission. (A similar leaflet was used during the Vietnam War). This was usually the first of a series of three leaflets dropped on Iraqi enemy positions.

The first leaflet advised enemy military personnel to abandon their equipment and leave their present position. This leaflet was addressed to specific enemy units such as the 16th, 20th and 28th Divisions and let them know that the allied forces controlled the skies and could bomb them whenever they chose. This leaflet also let them know there was nothing they could do to stop the bombing short of surrendering. The demoralization would result with some desertions and/or surrenders but the pride of the Iraq Army who had successfully fought a 10 year war with Iran often resulted in them initially waiting to see just how real was our threat.

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After the predicted bombing, which was just enough to let them know that we could do as we predicted, the leaflet shown above would be dropped. This leaflet depicts the BLU-82 aerial bomb, which was nicknamed the super-explosive "Daisy Cutter". The "Daisy Cutter" was refered to in the leaflet's text as the "most destrucive conventional bomb of the war, having more power than 20 Scud missiles." The translation for the leaflet is shown below:

FRONT:"Flee and save your life, or remain and meet your death!"

BACK:You have suffered heavy losses because we have used the most powerful and destructive conventional bomb of this war. It is more powerful than 20 Scud Missles in respect of explosion capability. We warn you! We shall bomb your position again. Kuwait will be liberated from Saddam's aggression. Hurry and join your brothers from the south. We shall treat you with all our love and respect. Abandon this position. You will never be safe!"

This leaflet's message gave a stern warning that once again they were to be bombed and they could not hide from us. Not even in their bunkers would they be safe. The scheduled time for the next bombing would be several hours later to allow the soldiers time to think and worry about the upcoming bombing and how with the daisy cutter bombs they were not even safe in their reinforced bunkers.

Following receipt of this leaflet, many of the Iraqi soldiers became "true believers" and elected to surrender and/or desert.

The third leaflet dropped, sample shown above, would be done right after the effects of the daisy cutter bombing. Again the message on the leaflet would be that we told you we were going to bomb you and guess what, we did! Again a warning of an upcoming bombing would accompany the leaflet. This time however, the warning told them that they would not be reading another leaflet following the bombing as the next bombing would be so intense, no one would survive.

If the first two leaflets did not do the trick the third leaflet was usually enough to make true believers out of even the most dedicated Iraqi soldier or officer. It was not unusual as this point for entire units to surrender to our forces.

More Gulf War Leaflets