Forbidden to tell the British public what you're telling the German public

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Robert-w, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Until sometime in 1944 it was prohibited to publish the contents of leaflets the RAF were dropping over Germany. In answer to questions in the Commons The Minister for Information Bernard Bracken stated that this was because they might contain important references to military operations. Really - in leaflets the RAF are dropping to the Germans? As MPs pointed out the leaflets were being reproduced in the USA,

    Can anyone come up with a logical explanation?
  2. SDP

    SDP Incurable Cometoholic

    Anything re the broader context in Hansard? Just a suggestion.
  3. JDKR

    JDKR Member

    Love it. How very British. Just like something from 'Yes, Minister'.
  4. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    No just some very modern ministerial BS and a promise to look into it
  5. Old Git

    Old Git Harmless Curmudgeon

    Can't help with your original query but thought I might point out that it's Brendan Bracken, not Bernard as per OP. Bracken was an Irishman, from Tipperary, who rose to be First Lord of the Admiralty at one point. Surprising given that his father was a Stone Mason and a member of the IRB (Irish Republican Brotherhood) forerunner of the IRA!
  6. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Yes - as I've said in other threads I'm waiting for cataract operations so sometimes mis read things like names, initials etc. and also mis type

    As someone whose maternal grandfather was an Anglo Irishman I'd point out that things were not that black and white ( or even green and orange) as far as the Anglo Irish were concerned (and Bracken was Anglo Irish) As a young man my grandad knew W B Yeates and Countess Markievicz both Nationalist supporters but was sponsored at Trinity Dublin by Edward Carson who was a family friend - leader of the Unionists. Having enlisted in the Royal Dublin Fusiliers tenth battalion, in 1916 he exchanged fire with an Irish Volunteer unit commanded by Markievicz. When he married in 1918 she sent a wedding present. He knew people on both sides and Bracken was no different.

    Bracken's career was much helped by the fact that he was one of Churchill's closest personal friends and had stuck by him during his wilderness years. Bracken has a reputation for having been a monumental fibber and not being across his brief as minister. He was very much a self publicist and showman (fortunately there were no zip wires in 1940). His father J K Bracken was actually a builder and monumental mason who as well as being a nationalist politician and advocate of Irish sports proved a very successful businessman
  7. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Patron Patron

  8. David Heal

    David Heal New Member

    I knew someone who moved from one organisation to another and in the second was refused access to a certain document because he didn't have a high enough security clearance. He had written the document in his previous organisation!
  9. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    That has happened to me but within the same organisation when one of my reports was classified to a level where I could not access it. It contained no information pertaining to national security but did illustrate where significant resources had been wasted through incompetence.
    David Heal likes this.
  10. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Sefton Delmer Black Propagandist Produced Pamphlets and Papers which were dropped into Germany.
    These included fake Ration Books and Counterfeit Currency to undermine the economy.

    Stafford Cripps reflects the school of thought that warfare should somehow be “sporting”

    Extracts below from Wiki

    Delmer's black propaganda sought to propagate rumours that German soldiers' wives were sleeping with the many foreign workers in Germany at the time. As it happened, the station, broadcast by Aspidistra, proved to be popular on the German home front.

    Delmer also oversaw the production of a daily "grey" German-language newspaper titled Nachrichten für die Truppe ("News for the Troops"), which first appeared in May 1944, much of its text being based on the Soldatensender Calais broadcasts. Nachrichten für die Truppe was written by a team provided to Delmer by SHAEF, and disseminated over Germany, Belgium, and France each morning by the Special Leaflet Squadron of the US Eighth Air Force.

    When Stafford Cripps discovered what Delmer was involved in. Cripps wrote to Anthony Eden, then Foreign Secretary: "If this is the sort of thing that is needed to win the war, why, I'd rather lose it."
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2020
  11. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Wiki appears to be mistaken as to the definition of white, grey and black propaganda which was produced during WW1

    • White propaganda was material that could clearly be attributed to British government sources. The rule was that there should be nothing in it that could be subsequently proven deliberately false. The truth and nothing but the truth but not necessarily the whole truth - it could be selective and omit things.
    • Grey propaganda could not be attributed to official sources but came from non governmental organisations and individuals - news papers, authors etc etc including 'neutral' publications. The source might have been encouraged to produce the work and even supplied with material or even finance from official sources but this was kept opaque. A A Milne and John Buchan worked with some of this.
    • Black propaganda was real false flag stuff where the source was not what it pretended to be - eg fake German newspapers, forged POW letters etc etc. In WW1 Britain did not use black propaganda but by 1918 was preparing to do so with a scheme to introduce fake POW letters into the German postal system. The war ended before it was initiated but it was revived in WW2 by British and US agencies and put into operation in late 1944.
    The big fear was that black propaganda techniques and the machinery for this could be retained by the government post war and used to subvert the democratic process and this is what Cripps and others were worried about as early as 1919.
    Delmer did not produce grey propaganda - it was all black!
  12. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Hi Robert
    Are you mixing WW1 and WW2.:)
    My comments were ref to WW2 .
  13. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    If you read my piece properly you'll find that the definition of white, grey and black propaganda was created during WW1 and carried forward into WW2. The opposition to the use of black began before WW2
  14. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    I would suggest Wikipedia is not a great source to be relying on.

    For the background to Sir Stafford Cripps outrage over Delmer's black propaganda radio station, see here: PsyWar.Org - Black Propaganda - Sir Stafford Cripps and the German Admiral's Orgy

    Sir Campbell Stuart gives his rationale for not publishing the contents of leaflets dropped over Germany in the British Press in these War Cabinet memoranda PsyWar.Org - PDF Viewer: WarCabinetMemos

    Throughout the war, air-dropped leaflets were classified as 'Restricted'.

  15. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Which is why I never do

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