Substitute for Power

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The Second World War was waged across many fronts, economic, political and cultural as well as military. As might be expected in a conflict fuelled by ideology, the war of words and ideas played a central role in the larger conflict. As this book shows, propaganda - be it aimed at a sympathetic audience in enemy controlled lands, or the hostile population itself - was regarded by all sides as a fundamental part of the war effort, and one that received increasing, and increasingly sophisticated, attention.

Focussing on the British propaganda effort directed towards the Balkans, the book begins with an introductory chapter on British wartime propaganda from both its home base and British-controlled Middle East. This is followed by two thematically broad chapters, one on British policy to the region, the other on evidence of a regional approach - and common themes - of British propaganda to the Balkans from the outbreak of the war to the German withdrawal. The remaining chapters provide a series of case-studies relating to British propaganda efforts directed towards the five pre-1939 states (except Turkey). These reveal much about Britain's overall approach to propaganda, as well as showing how the British tailored their efforts in response to supposed national characteristics of these countries.

By uncovering not only the organisational tangle, the techniques and evolving aims of British wartime propaganda, but also its relation to military strategy and diplomacy, the set of beliefs about the region and its peoples, moral issues and planning for the post-war period the book provides a fascinating insight into the multiple meanings of propaganda and its effectiveness in specific wartime situations.

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