PSYCHOLOGY RATED NEXT TO A=BOMB : Army Officer Describes Effect of Leaflets on Jap Public
Psychological warfare ranked second only to the atomic bomb in hastening the end of the war with Japan, in the opinion of Major Paul M. A. Linebarger, War Department representative, who addressed today's Rotary Club luncheon at the Bellevue-Stratford.
Major Linebarger, in civil life an associate professor of political science and teacher of Chinese and Japanese politics at Duke University, has spent much of his life in the Orient. His late father was a U. S. judge in the Philippines and counselor to Sun Yat-sen, first President of the Chinese Republic.
"Every major Japanese city was showered with leaflets before capture by our troops," Major Linebarger said. "Through these, the Japanese were told that their leaders were negotiating surrender terms."
The work of the Nisei--second generation Japanese born in the U. S.--was highly praised by the speaker, who cited one young Nisei who swam a river and, unarmed, persuaded a Japanese force to surrender.
Discussing phases of psychological warfare against Germany, he cited a U. S. Army broadcast into Germany describing a mythical "potato fever" at a time when storage potatoes were the mainstay of Berlin defense workers' diet.
Various symptoms, more or less agreeing with Berlin living conditions, and dire results which might be expected from the potato diet, were described.
When ration books were issued in Berlin, Major Linebarger said, Allied mosquito bombers the same night dropped five times as many counterfeit books, complete with instructios for completing their forgery.
Charles W. Kurtzhalz, vice-chairman of the club's assimilation committee and former president of the Chester Rotary Club, was chairman.
(Philadelphia evening bulletin. Jan. 2, 1946, p.2)
Psychological warfare played an important and vital part in World War II, said our speaker, Major Paul M. A. Linebarger, of the War Department, and it ranked second only to the atomic bomb in hastening the end of the war with Japan. Major Linebarger was really brought up in China, and spent much of his life in the Orient. His father was a U. S. Judge in the Philippines, and counselor to Sun Yat-sen, first President of the Chinese Republic. Major Linebarger teaches Chinese and Japanese politics at Duke University,
Every major Japanese city was showered with leaflets before capture by our troops, said he. Through these, the Japanese were told that their leaders were negotiating surrender terms.
Discussing phases of psychological warfare against Germany, he cited a U. S. broadcast in that country which described a mythical "potato fever" just at the time when storage potatoes were the mainstay of Berlin defense workers' diet. The symptoms were described in the broadcast, and the serious conditions which would result from the potato diet, were depicted. It had the desired effect.
Obviously, not much could be said about psychological warfare while it was in progress, but now we can appraise the telling effects on the morale of our enemies.
We want to thank Major Linebarger for this enlightening address.
(Rotary Club of Philadelphia weekly bulletin. Vol.26, January 9, 1946, No. 28)
This Week in Philadelphia
This week in Philadelphia, Major Paul M. A. Linebarger, G. S. C., veteran of years in the Orient, told Philadelphia Rotarians at their regular Wednesday luncheon how the Psychological Warfare Division of our Army saved thousands of American lives on the blood-stained coral Pacific battlefields. He boasts a first-hand acquaintance with the Chinese Nationalist and Communist leaders, and in civil life teaches Chinese and Japanese politics at Duke University, where he is an Associate Professor of Political Science. WFIL's Special Events' Department scheduled this unusual talk for recording and rebroadcast on their regular 2 P. M. Sunday News Journal, "This Week in Philadelphia."
(clipping of a magazine (title uncertain), 5 January 1945, p.10)