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Their purpose was to unsettle the enemy by letting them know that good food and warm billets awaited them if they choose to surrender. Gazette des Ardennes This 25 July 1917 copy of the German newspaper was found caught in barbed wire along with many other copies... according to a pinned note signed by a Captain C. One can see that the revolution has started and instead of fighting, the Russian troops are debating and walking away from the front.However these missions were discontinued after it became known throughout the Corps that pilots brought down in enemy territory while dropping leaflets were treated brutally by the enemy. The commanders have decided to shoot the deserters.Germany, itching to use its military muscle, readily agreed. Austria-Hungary, unsatisfied with Serbia's response to her ultimatum declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914.Russia, bound by treaty to Serbia, mobilized its vast army.He also states that some British pilots burned the leaflets in their hangars to avoid carrying them over enemy lines. This was because at the end of the 1917, four captured British airmen were tried by a German court martial for having distributed pamphlets containing insults against the German army and Government among German troops in the Western Theatre of War. Although two of the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence, and although the court itself questioned the ruling about whether this act was a violation of international law, two officers were sentenced to ten years imprisonment.When news of this punishment reached the war office in January 1918, all leaflet dropping by airplane was suspended.Ironically, nations that had signed treaties to keep them out of war suddenly found themselves drawn into a 4-year bloodbath. The two pilots were shot down and captured near Cambrai on 17 October 1917.
It is amazing to note that a single terrorist assassination set all these defensive treaties, meant to protect nations and keep them from going to war, into motion.Note: Text and/or images from article was used with the authors permission in the book Top Secret; Declassifying the Meaning of Life. In 2016, images from this article were used as part of the Willa Cather Foundation exhibit Telling War Stories the Rhetoric of the Great War. Most authorities consider World War 1 as the start of modern psychological operations as we know them.This was due in large part to the availability of mass communication media like radio, modern printing presses, and the innovative and expedient means to deliver the message to the target audience.In just a little over a month all of Europe was at war.Japan, honoring a treaty with Britain, declared war on Germany on 23 August 1914.
In one very famous case, the Germans condemned two British pilots, Captain E. The British government threatened severe reprisals against German officers, so in April 1918 the pilots were pardoned by the Kaiser and sent to a regular POW camp at Karlsruhe.