World War 2 Black Propaganda
This World War 2 Book has been out of print and unavailable for far to long. For very similar reasons as to why my father wrote this book in 1962, I feel it is important that this infomation is available on the world wide web.
In this the web version of the story, I have been able to include many previously unpublished photographs, including photographs that I myself took on visits made to The Milton Bryan Studios ( before it was cleaned up, and the departure of the "Ghosts of Soldatensender Calais"). I have also included many photographs I took at various stages of the sad destruction of the Art Deco secret transmitter "Aspidistra" located at Kings Standing, Ashdown Forest.
At the present time I have only managed to OCR part one of the volume Black Boomerang it is my intention in the very near future to publish part two, followed by Trail Sinister his autobiographical story of the events in Europe leading up to World War 2.
Below is the original dedication from the English edition of this book Black Boomerang published by Martin Seker & Warburg Limited.
I dedicate to my fellow 'Black Men' -- British, German and American --- this account of our operations against the common enemy. And I thank all of them for the help they have given me in compiling it.
This web edition of this amazing story of the World War 2 Black Propaganda operation, I should like to dedicate to the memory of my Father, Denis Sefton Delmer.
My hope is that those of you who are a part of this - the most important publishing revolution since the invention of the printing press enjoy this true tale about the manipulation of media. Just imagine what they would have done with this the internet.....I would also like to extend my thanks to Lee Richards and Rod Oakland for allowing me to use some of the Black Leaflets from their vast collection.
This site has been created using OCR software and will have typos etc .I shall be working my way through the site to correct these, also a number of footnotes have been deleted these I shall reinstate as I undertake the corrections.
IMPORTANT COPYRIGHT NOTICE
All materials contained in this Website are protected by copyright laws, and may not be reproduced, republished, distributed, transmitted, displayed, broadcast or otherwise exploited in any manner without the express prior written permission of Felix Sefton Delmer. You may download material from this Website for your personal and non-commercial use only, without altering or removing any copyright or other notice from such material.
15. 11. 04. F.S.D.
"H.M.G.'s secret pornographer" Article by Sefton Delmer
IAN FLEMING - 007 - JAMES BOND Article by Sefton Delmer
ATTACK ON MORALE OF GERMAN FORCES IN NORWAY - Secret Memo -
Page Headings in sequential order:
(Foreword) ON MAY 23, 1941, a few German civilians and soldiers, twisting the knobs of their radios, suddenly heard in German ,"Here is Gustav Siegfried Eins" repeated several times, followed by "Calling Gustav Siegfried Eighteen."
(3a) ON JULY the 16th, three days before his `peace offer', Hitler had given orders for the invasion of this island to be prepared. The Battle of Britain was the result. I reported that battle in my new dual capacity as a War Correspondent and a Psychological Warrior.
(5) The real irony of this security bar against me was that while one branch of M.I5 was telling Leonard Ingrams and his friends that it would be unwise to have me join the Psychological Warfare Department.
(6) There was nothing, however, that I could do about it. Hitler and Franco had just met at Hendaye and reports were coming through which spoke of German and Spanish preparations for an assault on Gibraltar.
(8) I never heard another word from him until the war was over. Lord Beaverbrook however so much resented what he regarded as my `patronising arrogance' that he told the story of my outrageous reply not just once, but as was many years later disclosed to me, at least a score of times.
(9) THAT was the beginning of it, the beginning of the trail , that was to see the building up of a powerful new weapon of Psychological Warfare, the legend of which I would find reverberating in Germany long after the war was over.
(11) As I listened to the playback-the whole performance had been recorded-the bit I liked best was the denunciation of Churchill as a "flat-footed bastard of a drunken old Jew". Here, with one phrase, which cost no one any broken bones, we had won credibility as a genuinely German Station.
(12) WHAT BAFFLED me about the whole Hess episode was the astonishing reluctance of our authorities to handle his case with the realism and practicality the British normally show when faced with an opportunity of this kind.
(14) THURSDAY, JUNE the 6th, 1941, was a fresh, sunny day in the little village of Aspley Guise, and despite the bad news from Crete, I was feeling good. For, on my personal front of the war, things were beginning to look up. Johannes Reinholz had joined the Gustav Siegfried team the previous day with his wife, and his very first script had shown that he was going to be able to write the kind of thing I wanted `The Chief' to put over.
(15) In one of his transmissions for instance, `Der Chef' denounced by name the wives of a number of high party officials in the Schleswig-Holstein area who, he said, had rushed to the clothing stores (also named) and bought up all the woollen goods and textiles to which they were entitled by their clothing coupons.
(16) I can well imagine the fury and anguish of Party Comrade Winkelkampner as he listened to `The Chief' describing the magnificent sugar cake baked in the shape of Cologne Cathedral with which Herr Winkelkampner regaled his guests at a party just after the sugar ration had been drastically cut for ordinary folkcomrades.
(16a) Gustav Siegfried's left-wing stable companion, the `Sender der Europaischen Revolution', had produced little or no reaction in Germany. Nor had its right-wing predecessor. German prisoners seemed never to have heard of either. `Der Chef', however, after only a few weeks produced a crop of startling `comebacks',
(17) The conception of the counterfeit radios Deutscher Kurzwellensender Atlantik and Soldatensender Calais. - FRASCATi's WAS my favourite restaurant in war-time London. Its gilded Edwardian cherubs, its plush chairs and elderly waiters held a nostalgic echo of my Paris eating places.
(17a) Robert Bruce Lockhart, who had become Director General when Rex Leeper departed to be Ambassador to the King of Greece, was a cautious Scot, and circumspect almost to a fault. But when I put our revolutionary project to him, he accepted it with an alacrity amounting to enthusiasm.
(18) The first line of the new U-boat version went: "Ich war in St. Nazaire in einem Puff . . ." which means, "I was in a brothel in St. Nazaire . . ." Fortunately the bandmaster colonel conducting the Marines did not ask me to translate the rest of the words.
(19) It was amazing however, how many Germans were genuinely taken in, and did in fact believe the station to be a German Forces Radio. Quite early on we received indisputable evidence from a prisoner that for several days on end the sergeant at the Wehrmacht equivalent of a NAAFI station in Tunis had piped the Atlantiksender into the recreation huts `because the music was so marvellous-so fabelhaft'.
(20) " The Seventh U-Flotilla St. Nazaire," announced the Atlantiksender, "this afternoon beat the Second Flotilla by three goals to two in their football match at Lorient. The two teams are now celebrating at the Cafe Reunion.
(21) AT THREE minutes to six on the evening of October the 24th, 1943 Johnnie Kisch* was sitting, as usual, in front A of the battery of grey Painted receiving sets in his low ceilinged cabin at the B.B.C. monitoring station in Caversham. Johnnie was bored.
(23) FOR SEVERAL weeks now, I had been carrying in my wallet a precious card marked with the cryptic word `Overlord' and under it my name and the Security Officer's signature. `Overlord' as all the world knows today, was the code name for the invasion of Normandy, and the card meant that I was one of the select few taking part at this early stage in the planning of these decisive operations.
(24) The Soldatensender Calais used the Russian front not only as a bogey to frighten Hitler's soldiers in France out of showing too much keenness and efficiency, and as a pretext for feeling `written off', `deserted' and `second class'. We also used it as a stage on which to present mysterious new American `miracle weapons' against which resistance was useless.
(25) To launch into a denunciation of the war as such at this pre-invasion stage would have been out of character for a `Soldiers Radio' of the type we purported to be. Demands for an end to the war we did not begin to make until after the `peace generals', as we were to call them, had given us the green light with their rebellion of ,July the 20th, 1944.
(27) The techniques for malingering which we recommended had been specially devised by MB's own `witch doctor', the late Dr. J. T. McCurdy of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, a wise old one-eyed Canadian. McCurdy's peace-time job was to practise and teach the healing of mental illness.
(30) When Armin Hull went to Germany in the summer of 1945 his German driver told him how he had lived for six weeks on our Cheese coupons, while he was on the run from the Gestapo. He had no idea that he was talking to the forger in person. But the legend of the `clumsy' British forgeries spread by Goebbels has persisted in Germany to this day.
(32) Certain firms in neutral countries such as Switzerland and Portugal, among them the German Hamburg Amerika Line, were advertising at this time that they could deliver food parcels to recipients in blockaded Germany.
(33) The Germans were mobilised against the foreign workers who, from being friends and helpers, were suddenly treated as the `Trojan Horse' within the citadel, an enemy to be feared. German newspapers published warnings to folk-comrades to be on the lookout for foreigners using the `cowardly incendiary packets' (Brandpackchen). Schoolchildren were sent out to try and collect them.
(34) As OUR fame spread in the world of the Secret Service, more and more visitors, both British and American, asked to be shown over MB with its studios, record library, intelligence files, and newspaper and radio news rooms. Some of them, like General `Wild Bill' Donovan of O.S.S., even sat in on our morning conference and listened as Clifton Child and his intelligence officers produced their suggestions for news items and I directed how each item should be written and angled.
(36) RIGHT UP to the departure of the first waves of the invasion force the propaganda batteries under my command kept up their softening-up barrage. And by and large they did so on the lines we had agreed at the start.
(37) "The increase in acts of sabotage committed by French guerrillas disguised in Wafpen SS uniforms has led to the, issue of a new order by the chief of the military government in France, Dr. Michel.
(38) IN NEUTRAL newspapers from Istanbul to Stockholm it was one of the minor sensations of D-Day : the first news of the allied landing in Normandy, so they reported, had been given to the world by the German Soldiers Radio Calais. At 4-5o a.m. on June the 6th, 1944 a Calais announcer had interrupted the station's dance music to flash a report that the invasion had begun.
(39) We certainly did our best for the customers. As a result of Donald McLachlan's work-during those first weeks he was almost permanently at SHAEF headquarters getting us the latest and fullest operational information-our reports were far more up to the minute and far more detailed than any published elsewhere at that time.
(40) AT TEN minutes past eight on the evening of July the 2oth, 1944, the DNB Hell-schreiber in the MB newsroom began clicking out with tantalising deliberation the first news of what, for all of us, was to become the greatest news story of the war.
(42) And that is how I first came to meet Dr. Otto John, that tragic victim of post-war Germany's vendetta against the `traitors and collaborators' and of Whitehall's eternal readiness to sacrifice the friends of Britain.
(44) As a first document I got Armin Hull to produce for us an exact replica of the printed forms of the `Oath of Loyalty to the Fuhrer' sworn by German soldiers on joining the Wehrmacht. We had found a number of copies of this print among the documents captured at German staff headquarters in France and the counterfeiting presented no difficulty. But I made one change. For the name of Adolf Hitler I substituted that of Heinrich Himmler.
(45) For my purposes it did not matter over much whether Nansen's claims were false or true, so long as he made his clandestine SS station sound convincing and the message his broadcasts conveyed worthwhile. I think he succeeded in both. For his main theme was the favourite saga of all true German soldier patriots-"We have been betrayed. We must rid ourselves of those who have betrayed us . . ."
(45a) " Send your questions to `Scorpion FPN 00020' " he invited the comrades on each sheet. "If they are questions of particular importance which seriously concern the soldier then the `Scorpion' will reply. He will always tell the unvarnished truth." It was a very tempting invitation and it was not Nansen's fault that our first `Scorpion' nearly caused havoc on our own side.
(46) ASPIDISTRA' OUR powerful 600 kilowatt medium-wave transmitter was not only the biggest and loudest radio in Europe at that time, it was also the nippiest. It had been specially designed for us by the Radio Corporation of America so as to be able to make lightning changes of frequency. As Goebbels had noted in his Diary,* it hopped all over the waveband.
(48) THE early autumn of 1944 my friends in S.O.E. began toying with the idea of a Skorzeny type commando raid on Ithe Fuhrer-headquarters. They thought it would be a neat way of shortening the war if they could bump off Hitler and Himmler.
(49) Then on March the I I th, the Soldatensender and its twin brother the short-wave Atlantiksender made our announcement. And here is the Minute taken at the Fiihrer conference on the following day.
(50) ONE EVENING in April 1962 four of us were sitting around the fire in my club sipping the Hine I904. and reminiscing about the war. Suddenly a question was shot at me. " Which single operation of your `black' work during the war do you yourself consider to have been the most ingenious and most effective?"
(51) It was this same desire not to make any claims for our propaganda-combined with the journalist's innate desire to forget about yesterday's paper and get on with today's-that had impelled me to turn down the suggestion made to me a few days earlier by the new Director General, Major General Alec (`call me Bish, old boy') Bishop. He had proposed that I should send a team to Germany to check up on on the effectiveness of our work.