ABOUT THE PSYWAR SOCIETY
The PsyWar Society is an international association of psychological warfare historians and collectors of aerial propaganda leaflets. Since its inception in 1958 the Society has published a quarterly magazine, The Falling Leaf, which is an invaluable source of news, articles, and information about the history of psychological warfare and aerial leaflet propaganda. This is a professional journal read by military personnel and historians the world over. In addition, there is a quarterly postal auction through which members can sell their duplicates to other members. This is an inexpensive way of acquiring leaflets for your collection. From time to time publications dealing with a more detailed look at specific PSYOP themes (we call them Blatters) are published and are available at a low price to Society members.The Society also has a mailing list that you can use to query other members on matters of interest.
Reward for the capture of bin Laden.
U.S. PSYOP leaflet air-dropped during Operation Enduring Freedom
Leaflet collecting is a wonderful way to study history. In every war in the last century leaflets were prepared in an attempt to influence the actions of the enemy. They are easy to collect, small and highly portable, and compared to other military collectables, rather inexpensive. They are a wonderful souvenir, sometimes highly colorful with imaginative art, other times bearing text that will reveal exactly what the philosophy of a military or political authority was at a particular time. Psychological warfare is a growing part of military actions and the U.S. Army has now given it its own military occupational specialty and teaches it at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. The modern “Psywarrior” is also involved in humanitarian actions, demining, anti-drug enforcement, disaster management and government-building projects, so there will never be a dearth of leaflets. Although there are some general collectors, many new enthusiasts tend to specialize in one or more aspects of leaflet propaganda. Specialist areas include safe-conduct passes, propaganda currency notes, “black” propaganda and the leaflets of a particular country, war or battle.
One of the attractions of leaflet collecting and research is that much remains to be discovered. Previously unreported leaflets often come to light. During WWII, for example, some leaflets were produced in the field by mobile printing presses and few, if any, records were kept. Only the leaflets themselves remain to tell the tale. The full facts about leaflet operations in the recent conflicts like Operation Allied Force, Enduring Freedom, and Iraqi Freedom, are still not known. Every collector becomes a researcher as he discovers new items. With a bit of research about a particular battle or individual depicted on a leaflet, he can easily become an author, sending the facts he has discovered to the society for inclusion in the journal.
Some leaflets are well documented and often illustrated in the literature. Others are obscure and need researching to establish their origin and purpose. Some turn up frequently while others are exceedingly rare. Some of the WWII leaflets which were printed in England and dropped by the RAF in huge quantities over Germany and the occupied countries over a span of many months have survived in quantity. On the other hand, leaflets disseminated by V1 rocket are exceedingly rare, primarily because they were produced in small numbers and sometimes did not survive the flight and explosion. In England the V1 leaflets were quickly gathered and confiscated by the authorities before the public could find them.
As from January 2012, the PsyWar Society is no longer taking further member subscriptions and will continue purely as an internet based organisation.
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