During virtually all wars and conflicts of the
20th Century the adversaries have fought not only with bullets and
bombs but with leaflets, often referred to as propaganda leaflets.
Although psychological warfare has been a
feature of almost all conflicts since the earliest times, the
paper war, as an adjunct to the war of bombs, bullets and
bayonets, is a relatively modern phenomenon. Due particularly to
the advent of the aeroplane which presented an opportunity to
spread subversive material deep into enemy territory, the war of
words and images started in earnest in the Great War. It was
developed and extended in the Second World War and was further
refined in the Korean, Vietnam and Cold Wars and in more localised
wars and conflicts all over the globe, including those recently in
Afghanistan and Iraq.
Leaflets take various forms, eg single
leaflets, pamphlets, newspapers, booklets, and postcards, and are
usually disseminated by air. They can be delivered by being tossed
out of aeroplanes, sometimes in specialised bombs designed to
achieve an accurate and controlled spread, dropped by balloons, or
ejected from artillery shells, leaflet grenades, or rockets. They
have even been floated ashore in bottles, smuggled into enemy
territory to be spread by hand by resistance members or hidden in
loaves of bread or tinned food. The images they show include
drawings, cartoons, photographs and photomontages.
Over 25 years we have brought together
thousands of specimens of the military progagandists' art. Now
these images are available to you to add "colour" and
interest to your publications.