World War II

The British Services

Political Warfare Executive


Child, Clifton J. "In Defence of 'Tom' Delmer and Dr. Otto John: Notes for the Record." Intelligence and National Security 4, no. 1 (Jan. 1989): 127-136.

Cruickshank, Charles G. The Fourth Arm: Psychological Warfare, 1938-1945. London: Davis-Poynter, 1977. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981. [pb]

Curtis and Nichol, Annotated Bibliography (1989): This work deals with PWE activities in World War II, "emphasizing organization and function, policy, intelligence operations, themes, techniques, special targets and propaganda in military operations, and the effect of such campaigns. D-Day as a major example."

de la Mare, Arthur [Sir]. Perverse and Foolish: A Jersey Farmer's Son in the British Diplomatic Service. Jersey: La Haule Books, 1994 [limited edition].

Kerr, I&NS 13.4, notes that the author "had a very distinguished career in the Foreign Office between 1936 and 1973.... [H]e would have been much more informative had he written with the needs and interests of scholars in mind."

Among de la Mare's wartime experiences was a posting "to Washington to work in a branch of the Political Warfare Executive, in Colorado, which broadcast[] propaganda to the Japanese. However he reveals nothing else about this important aspect of Britain's war effort." Later, in 1953-1956, de la Mare spent three months as Assistant Head of the Permanent-Undersecretaries Department (PUSD) and headed the Foreign Office Security Department for three years.

Delmer, Denis Sefton. Black Boomerang. London: Secker & Warburg, 1962.

Fedorowich, Kent.

1. "Propaganda and Political Warfare: The Foreign Office, Italian POWs and the Free Italy Movement, 1940-3." In Prisoners of War and their Captors in World War II, eds. Bob Moore and Kent Fedorowich, 119-148. London: Berg, 1996.

2. 'Toughs and Thugs': The Mazzini Society and Political Warfare amongst Italian POWs in India, 1941-43." Intelligence and National Security 20, no 1 (Mar. 2005): 147-172. And in The Politics and Strategy of Clandestine War: Special Operations Executive, 1940-1946, ed. Neville Wylie, 154-176. London: Routledge, 2007.

The author looks at "British attempts to forge a Free Italy movement between 1941 and 1943." He focuses on efforts by, first, SOE and, later, PWE to recruit "Italo-Americans for clandestine political warfare work in the fight against fascist Italy."

Garnett, David. The Secret History of PWE: The Political Warfare Executive, 1939-1945. London: St. Ermin's, 2002.

Taylor, I&NS 18.3, identifies this as an "'official' history of PWE, produced in 1947 but subsequently buried.... [I]t is an essential addition to the library of any historian of propaganda."

Howe, Ellic. The Black Game: British Subversive Operations against the German during the Second World War. London: Michael Joseph, 1982. London: Queen Anne Press, 1988.

The author worked for PWE.

Lockhart, Robert Bruce. Comes the Reckoning. London: Putnam, 1947.

Pether, John. Black Propaganda. Bletchley Park Report no. 13. Bletchley Park, UK: Bletchley Park Co. Ltd., 1998.

Kruh, Cryptologia 24.4: "This detailed report discusses the use of Black Printed Material ... and Black Radio Stations."

Richards, Lee. "Whispers of War: The British World War II Rumor Campaign." Intelligencer 16, no. 2 (Fall 2008): 53-62.

In the summer of 1940, Department EH (Electra House, a predecessor organization of PWE) "established the Underground Propaganda Committee (UPC)" to create an anti-invasion rumor campaign. The author provides multiple examples of UPC's work. The group's output "was always controversial and some of the myths they perpetrated persist to this very day, which shows they must have been successful to a certain extent."

Stenton, Michael. Radio London and Resistance in Occupied Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

From publisher: "This is a study of British political imagination in a period when Britain still acted as a great power in control of her own decisions. The experience of near-defeat, however, left decision-makers with dilemmas about rhetoric and ideology as much as policy. Their refusal to resolve these dilemmas until pushed by events meant political warfare lacked the consistency and definition that might have given it greater force."

Taylor, John A. Bletchley Park's Secret Sisters: Psychological Warfare in World War II. Dunstable, UK: Book Castle, 2005. [pb]

Watt, D. Cameron. "The Sender der deutschen Freiheitpartei: A First Step in the British Radio War against Nazi Germany." Initelligence and National Security 11, no. 1 (Jul. 1991): 621-626.

This article includes a comparison of British and German radio propaganda activities and styles, and comments on how the political leaders of the two countries viewed their efforts.

White, John Baker. The Big Lie. New York: Crowell, 1955. London: Evans, 1955. The Big Lie: The Inside Story of Psychological Warfare. Winchester, UK: George Mann, 1973.

Young, Kenneth, ed. The Diaries of Sir Robert Bruce Lockhart. Volume 2: 1939-1965. London: Macmillan, 1973.

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