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Category: Science & Technology, Propaganda

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Guns, tanks, and bombs were the principal weapons of World War II, but there were other, more subtle forms of warfare as well. Words, posters, and films waged a constant battle for the hearts and minds of the American citizenry just as surely as military weapons engaged the enemy. Persuading the American public became a wartime industry, almost as important as the manufacturing of bullets and planes. The Government launched an aggressive propaganda campaign with clearly articulated goals and strategies to galvanize public support, and it recruited some of the nation's foremost intellectuals, artists, and filmmakers to wage the war on that front.

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Propaganda – A Weapon of War is a small snapshot of Second World War propaganda that can be found in the National Library of Scotland’s collections.

Between 1939 and 1945, both Allied and Axis Governments greatly influenced wartime behaviour and attitudes through propaganda. This took various forms: the printed word and pictorial leaflets, radio broadcasts and cinema and poster campaigns.

White propaganda was mostly practical information intended for the Home Front. Black propaganda targeted enemy morale, and there was a strong Scottish involvement in the clandestine organisation that developed it – the Political Warfare Executive.

On this website you'll find examples of British Government propaganda, from 'Make do and Mend' to 'Tag und Nacht'.

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