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BRITISH SEAC LEAFLET TO JAPANESE IN BURMA 1943-45

 

SJ/16, Safe Conduct Pass - Obverse
Obverse
SJ/16, Safe Conduct Pass - Reverse
Reverse

TRANSLATION (Obverse)

'ALL THE FOOD YOU WANT'

Soon they will send you out to forage, Son of Nippon. They will order you to find local food to help out your present rations. When you move through this stinking jungle you will dream of your home and loved ones. Would you not like your favourite meal, served up to you by your wife in your own home ? That would be good. But you will not get it. Such dreams have no pity in these disease filled jungles. Everyone knows how your Commander's plans have gone wrong. Who will speak about IMPHAL ? But there is a way for you to have all the good things you want and to escape from your misery. When you go foraging remember the fine supplies of the ALLIES. Walk quietly away and go towards the Soldiers of the ALLIES. They have orders to treat you well. You will marvel at your treatment as others have done. Walk quietly away with your companions. Take this ticket with you if you can, but it is not necessary.

SAFE CONDUCT PASS
This man is to be given a meal and taken
before an officer. Give the officer this paper
SOUTH EAST ASIA COMMAND

 

TRANSLATION (Reverse)

South-East Asia Command (SEAC) commanded by Lord Louis Mountbatten who broadly speaking was responsible for the Malayan peninsula and the countries north thereof produced this leaflet for use against Japanese troops anywhere in the area.

In order to prepare the plans for leaflet campaigns, to write the sheets and to enable the presses to turn out millions of copies, the SEAC Propaganda Department had to search the world for experts in calligraphy, type-setting and translating, as well as specialists in Eastern languages, philosophy and psychology. When this highly professional preparation and finalisation had been made it still needed a thorough organisation to fill the gunny-sacks with leaflets and to distribute it to the necessary dispersal points by regular airmail routes or special communications flights.

Morale breakers and the like for enemy troops were dispensed in various ways. They were sometimes dropped from aircraft in cardboard containers with a self-release device or from single-seater planes released into the slipstream from the cockpit with the hood not fully open, thus preventing a blow-back of paper. Depending on the type of plane, leaflets were also dropped via the flare-chute or drift indicator aperture. Planes also dropped leaflet bombs which in the earlier stages had been adapted from flare bombs. Later special bombs with barometric fuses were designed which carried as many as 40,000 sheets in one container.

On the ground leaflets were distributed to forward infantry positions who fired them into enemy positions by mortars. The artillery also received propaganda sheets for the Japanese which they used in shells. Both these means were very effective as they enabled the ‘nerve’ targets to be hit promptly as often as necessary and with accuracy. Another means was for night patrols to scatter them around the enemy’s positions as a subsidiary operation.


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