Item:
ONSV5840

Original U.S. WWII Psychological Warfare Leaflets - Bombing of Japan

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Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. This is a set of two Psychological Warfare Leaflets used by the United States against the Japanese during World War Two. They are as follows:

- 1945 B29 Bombing leaflet measuring approximately 9" x 5.5" and featuring a photo of a B29 Bombers dropping payloads. It is offered in excellent condition and reads on the reverse in Japanese:

Read this carefully as it may save your life or the life of a relative or friend. In the next few days, some or all of the cities named on the reverse side will be destroyed by American bombs. These cities contain military installations and workshops or factories which produce military goods. We are determined to destroy all of the tools of the military clique which they are using to prolong this useless war. Unfortunately bomb have no eyes so in accordance with Americas humanitarian policies, the American Air Force, which does not wish to injure innocent people, now gives you warning to evacuate the cities named and save your lives. America is not fighting the Japanese people but is fighting the military clique which has enslaved the Japanese people. The peace which America will bring will free the people from the oppression of the military clique and mean the emergence of a new and better Japan. You can restore peace by demanding new and good leaders who will end the war. We cannot promise that only these cities will be among those attacked but some or all of them will be, so heed this warning and evacuate these cities immediately!
 

- B17 Flying Fortress Over Hong Kong - U.S. Propaganda leaflet number M1906. The strategic heavy bomber is the major symbol of American power throughout the history of our psychological operations (PSYOP). No other nation has ever used bombers as a regular reappearing image on their propaganda. This seems uniquely American. An effective leaflet threatens the enemy with catastrophic bombing should they resist. The threat was real. The American heavy bomber is the symbol of the reach and strategic power of the United States. The leaflet reflects that power and was an effective means of changing minds and hearts.

However, was the image of American aircraft overhead of any real propaganda value? The question seems to have been answered in a secret 1943 report on what was needed by the Philippine Resistance to carry on under Japanese occupation:

Undoubtedly, the best and most irrefutable propaganda that the Allied can now use in the Philippines is the airplane. This will give lie to the main Japanese propaganda and blow to smithereens their entire propaganda machine. Nothing except invasion can equal the propaganda value of the sight of an American airplane in the Philippine skies today…Even if the airplane were to drop nothing, the mere sight of it and the star on its wings will give the people tangible things to boost their morale and renew their faith in the American pledge to redeem the Philippines.

This particular B17 Flying Fortress Over Hong Kong- U.S. Propaganda leaflet number M1906 relates the fact that the Japanese were not safe from American bombers in China. This striking Allied leaflet entitled Warning for Civilians was dropped over Japanese troops occupying Hong Kong. It shows a devastating bomb raid by American B-17 Flying Fortresses.

Some of the leaflet’s text translates to:

You are destroying your homeland. America with its extensive resources and unlimited factories for production of armaments is winning this war. The Japanese know that. Already your inner defense line closer to your homeland like the Mariana Islands has been breached. Until a year ago, the closest US base to Japan was Pearl Harbor. Today, we have bases close to Japan for bombing runs. America has already bombed Kyushi several times. Cities such as Yawata, Moji, Nagasaki, Sasebo, Fujuoka have been bombed. As long as you continue this useless resistance, we will continue to bomb Japanese cities…!

The leaflet is doubles sided and measures 8 x 5 and is offered in excellent condition.
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