Psychological Warfare has become an inextricable part of any modern military campaign. The battles for the hearts and minds of both allies and opposition can prove just as vital as those fought on the ground, at sea, or in the air.
Throughout World War II, the Office of War Information (OWI) fought these battles on the home front, and through collaboration with the Psychological Warfare (PW) branches of the U.S. Armed Forces, took the war of psychology abroad. In the later stages of the Pacific War, as American forces bore down on the Japanese home islands, the U.S. Navy actively engaged in psychological warfare against the Japanese through the distribution of leaflets designed to demoralize enemy troops, encourage surrender, discourage suicide, and erode popular support for the war.
The U.S. Navy Leaflets presented herein are part of the William J. Sebald Papers, MS 207, of the Special Collections & Archives Department, Nimitz Library. A graduate of the Naval Academy, Sebald served as a U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer during the Second World War, and later served as deputy to General Douglas MacArthur during the occupation of Japan, as well as American Ambassador to Burma and Australia.
For examples of Japanese propaganda during World War II, see the companion collection Japanese Propaganda in the Philippines.