FACTOID # 6: Michigan is ranked 22nd in land area, but since 41.27% of the state is composed of water, it jumps to 11th place in total area.
 Home   Encyclopedia   Statistics   States A-Z   Flags   Maps   FAQ   About 


FACTS & STATISTICS    Advanced view

Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:



(* = Graphable)



Encyclopedia > Airborne leaflet propaganda

Airborne leaflet propaganda is a form of psychological warfare that militaries use in foreign conflict to alter the behavior of people in enemy-controlled territory. Airplanes have been instrumental in the deliverance of leaflets over enemy territories. In conjunction with air strikes, this method has been successful in influencing the enemy’s way of thinking. In particular, persuading them to surrender, abandon their positions, and to cease fighting. Humanitarian air missions, in cooperation with leaflet propaganda, are also successful in turning civilians against enemy leadership while preparing them for the arrival of enemy troops. The U.S. Department of Defense defines psychological warfare (PSYWAR) as: The planned use of propaganda and other psychological actions having the primary purpose of influencing the opinions, emotions, attitudes, and behavior of hostile foreign groups in such a way as to support the achievement of national objectives. ... An airstrike is a military strike by air forces on an enemy ground position, which depending on the selected tactics may or may not be followed up by artillery, armor, and/or infantry units. ...

Example from the Korean War "How to Surrender"
Example from the Korean War "How to Surrender"


Image File history File links How_to_surrender. ...

Functions of Airborne Leaflet Propaganda

There are six different functions of airborne leaflet propaganda that have been used over the past century.

  • Threaten destruction
Warning enemy troops and civilians that their area will be targeted. Subsequent air-strikes must confirm the warning in order for future threats to be believed.
Leaflets explained to prospective prisoners how to surrender.
  • Offer rewards
Rewards would be offered to the enemy for downed pilots in enemy territory.
  • Counter misinformation
Neutralize enemy propaganda
  • Facilitative communication
Create a friendly atmosphere for the enemy by promoting ideologies such as freedom, capitalism, and noble intentions.
  • Humanitarian
Informed people where to find airdropped food, how to open and consume it, and why it comes.

Look up surrender in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A leaflet in botany is a part of a compound leaf. ... North Korean propaganda showing a soldier destroying the United States Capitol building. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Capitalism Capitalism has been defined in various ways. ...

Historical Background

Leaflet propaganda has been delivered by airplanes since the start of the World War I. Even though leaflet propaganda has been an effective “weapon”, its use has been on a decline. This decline is a result of the advance of satellite, television, and radio technology. Six billion leaflets were dropped in Western Europe alone during World War II. One billion were used during the Korean War while only thirty one million have been used in the war against Iraq. Other conflicts where leaflet propaganda has been used are Vietnam, Afghanistan, and The Gulf War. World War I, also known as the First World War, and (before 1939) the Great War, the War of the Nations, and the War to End All Wars, was a world conflict lasting from August 1914 to the final Armistice (cessation of hostilities) on November 11, 1918. ... A common understanding of Western Europe in modern times Western Europe is a cultural/political concept mainly forged and used during the Cold War. ... Combatants Allies: • Soviet Union, • UK & Commonwealth, • USA, • France/Free France, • China, • Poland, • ...and others Axis: • Germany, • Japan, • Italy, • ...and others Commanders Strength Casualties Full list Full list World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a large scale military conflict that took place between 1939 and 1945. ... The Korean War, from June 25, 1950 to cease-fire on July 27, 1953 (the war has not ended officially), was a conflict between North Korea and South Korea. ... Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders General Norman Schwarzkopf, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell Saddam Hussein Strength 660,000 600,000+ Casualties 345 dead, 1,000 wounded 25,000 - 100,000 dead, 100,000 - 300,000 wounded {{{notes}}} The 1991 Gulf War was a conflict...

Advantages of Leaflet Propaganda

  • The printed words on the leaflets were more authoritative before the advances in technology.
  • One leaflet has the potential to reach many civilians.
  • Leaflets can be hidden and easily destroyed in case of emergency.

Disadvantages of Leaflet Propaganda

  • Not all civilians were capable of reading the leaflets.
  • In order to have accurate deliverance, airplanes need to fly at low altitudes and low speeds making them easy targets for the enemy.
  • Leaflets are capable of being destroyed or altered by the enemy.
  • Messages must cater to the cultural norm of society.
  • Weather conditions can alter the message being delivered to civilians

See also norm (sociology). ...

Leaflet Propaganda in Iraq

Eighty thousand Iraqi troops surrendered in 1991, most of them prompted by leaflets. Only 7300 surrendered in 2003 because the leaflets instructed them to lay down their weapons and go home. B-52s and F-16s did not drop leaflet bombs as accurately as MC-130. Depictions of American troops with beards are more appealing than the clean shaven. Leaflets that looked like currency were picked up more frequently because they were easier to hide. For the rock band, see The B-52s For the long range strategic bomber, see B-52 Stratofortress This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... F-16 Fighting Falcon over Iraq The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a modern multi-role jet fighter aircraft built in the United States. ... The MC-130E/H Combat Talon I/II is a special operations variant of the C-130 aircraft operated by the United States Air Force. ...


  • Brockmann, R.J., & Sinatra, S. (1995). How the iterative process helped the Allies win the Persian Gulf War. STC Intercom , 42 (9), 1, 44.
  • Clark, Andrew M. and Christie, Thomas B. "Ready...Ready...Drop". Gazette: The International Journal For Communication Studies. 2005, London. Sage Publications.
  • Friedman, Herbert A. "Falling Leaves". Print: Krause Publications, 2003.
  • Haulman, Dr. Daniel L. "USAF Psychological Operations, 1990-2003". Air Force Historical Research Agency, 2003.
  • Oyen, Orjar and De Fleur, Melvin L. "The spatial Diffusion of an Airborne Leaflet Message". The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 59, No 2. Sep., 1953, 144-149.
  • Richards, Lee. psywar.org
  • Schmulowitz, Nat and Luckmann, Lloyd D. "Foreign Policy by Propaganda Leaflets". The Public Opinion Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 4. 1945-1946.

External links

  • PsyWar.Org - The history of psychological warfare with a large collection of aerial propaganda leaflets
  • DXing.info - leaflets in Iraq in 2003

  Results from FactBites:
Afghanistan PSYOP Leaflet (6966 words)
This leaflet is almost identical to the previous reward leaflets (AFD130 and AFD130b) in the series depicting Osama bin Laden and Aiman al-Zawahiri, except that a different pose was used, one that shows the "new" Mullah Omar looking upwards at the right, and behind bars at the left with an arrow pointing through $20 bills.
The first propaganda leaflet in the form of a banknote was used during this battle.
In early September leaflets appeared in Eastern Afghanistan allegedly produced by the “Secret Army of Mujahedeen.” The leaflet is written in classical Arabic, a language few Afghans speak, and it is believed it is aimed at the Arab al-Qaida still hiding in Afghanistan.
(12/23/2002) Psy-Ops: The Fine Art Of War Propaganda (1878 words)
Also shown in the leaflet are faces of snarling Jinn, creatures that the Koran identifies as blying and practicing deceit to fulfill their own evil desires.
Leaflets dropped in Somalia in 1992 prior to the UN troop arrival were meant to assure the populace of the mission's humanitarian intentions.
This leaflet was almost rejected by approving authority until it was explained that chess is immensely popular in the region and the image would instantly connect with the target audience.
  More results at FactBites »



Share your thoughts, questions and commentary here
Your name
Your comments

Want to know more?
Search encyclopedia, statistics and forums:


Press Releases |  Feeds | Contact
The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL.
Images may be subject to relevant owners' copyright.
All other elements are (c) copyright NationMaster.com 2003-5. All Rights Reserved.
Usage implies agreement with terms, 1022, m