Republican poster of 1937, issued after the bombing of Guernica. “We blame the murderers of innocent children and women! Free people of Spain, let's fight back all who support fascism in the rear! "
Apparatus for psychological operations
In the pre-war years and in the first period of the war, the Germans were in the lead in the field of information and psychological influence, and their opponents played the role of catch-ups. Nazi Germany used innovative methods.
First, the Nazis achieved high results in coordinating political, propaganda (including subversive) and military efforts in time.
Secondly, they skillfully implemented the recommendations of scientific psychology for military purposes, having thoroughly studied the psychology of the masses.
Thirdly, a widely ramified and prepared apparatus for psychological operations was created.
On September 1, 1939, the Germans had 14 propaganda companies, and by June 22, 1941, 19 companies (12 companies in the ground forces, 4 in the Air Force and 3 in the Navy). There were also 6 platoons of SS war correspondents.
In addition, to work with the local population, each of the three army groups (North, Center and South) formed a special propaganda battalion, which published newspapers in local languages, broadcast radio broadcasts through the captured broadcast radio stations, and showed films of the corresponding topic.
By the spring of 1943, the number of Wehrmacht propaganda units reached 15 thousand people.
German leaflet in the fall of 1941, addressed to the servicemen of the USSR, about the alleged surrender of Yakov Dzhugashvili
The Nazis, preparing for future wars, understood perfectly well that for a complete, quick and low-cost victory, it was necessary to strike the enemy's consciousness, his psyche, fetter his will and mind with fear.
Traditional war - the defeat of the armies of the enemy, his fleet, Air Force, the destruction of transport and industrial infrastructure, of course, is also necessary, but it requires a lot of time and huge costs - human, financial and material resources. It is easier to win immediately in the field of psyche, information, and the enemy himself surrenders, which will save his time and resources and capture the enemy.
In fact, it is terror. The struggle of the weaker, in terms of resources - people, technology, money, industrial and raw material potential, with the stronger. So, initially, Hitler's Germany was much weaker than its main enemies - France, England, which relied on their huge colonial empires, and the USSR.
It is interesting that from the perspective of their colonial, Eastern policy, in the racial issue and attitude towards "subhumans", as well as in the field of terror, the Nazis were talented students of their older brothers - the British, the Anglo-Saxons. They have mastered and developed their methods. Suffice it to recall how, with the help of the most severe terror, the masters of England first broke and enslaved most of their population - peasants who were deprived of their land, livelihood, drove into workhouses and factories.
By the most brutal methods of slave labor, exploitation of people, including women and children, literally completely "sucking" people, their health and energy (hence the popularity of the image of ghouls-vampires in the West), created the initial capital. This also includes the open slave trade, robbery piracy and drug trafficking. Then the Westernizers turned their predatory gaze to America, Africa, India, China, Australia and other countries, peoples, tribes and islands.
The Anglo-Saxons created an effective, almost global slave-owning civilization. They enslaved hundreds of countries, nationalities and tribes. Any resistance was crushed with the help of terror, the "divide and conquer" strategy, weapons genocide - tobacco, alcohol and drugs. The Anglo-Saxons destroyed almost all the great tribes of North America, and the pitiful remnants of the once great peoples, hunters and warriors were driven into reservations, watered, broken and enslaved.
The German Nazis perfectly mastered all these lessons and developed them creatively. They figured out how to create a global slave civilization - the Eternal Reich. They realized that the defeat of the psyche is the most effective, the most effective strategy for the battle of the weaker with the one who is stronger and richer than you.
It is necessary to sow fear and horror.
Bombing of Guernica
On April 26, 1937, the whole world learned and remembered the word "Guernica", which for some time became a symbol of war and tragedy.
There was a civil war in Spain, the republicans fought the Francoists. Guernica - historical and the cultural center of the Basque Country. In 1937, the city was under the control of the Republicans, who fought for another city in the Basque Country - Bilbao.
Guernica housed several military establishments, including one of two in Spain for the production of aviation bombs. The city was also a junction of strategic roads.
The Falangists (an ultra-right party) tried to subjugate the Basque Country. For this, Franco sent his associate and concurrent rival General Emilio Mola (between the two generals at that time there was a struggle for leadership in the party).
The Spanish right in their struggle against the republicans was supported by the Italian fascists and the German Nazis. In particular, on the side of the Phalangists, the Condor Legion, a German volunteer military aviation unit under the command of German General Hugo Speerle, fought.
Speerle received an order from Berlin "to seize the Biscay region as quickly as possible and without thinking about the methods of fighting." The Biscay region was famous for its coal mines, and the Fuhrer was concerned with the development of his metallurgical industry.
General Speerle and his chief of staff, Lieutenant Colonel and pilot-ace Wolfram von Richthofen, dissatisfied with the too slow advance of Mola's army, decided to use aircraft. Although Franco forbade bombing peaceful cities back in 1936, when the assault on Madrid failed. But from a military point of view, Guernica was a completely legitimate target: there was a republican garrison, military factories and a strategically important bridge across which the road connecting the town with Bilbao ran.
From 16 hours 15 minutes German Junkers 52 began to bomb the bridge, but the bombs stubbornly flew past. Then the fires started, and smoke hid the bridge from the second wave of aircraft. Unable to succeed in destroying the main target, Richtofen ordered to bomb everything.
German aircraft attacked the outskirts of Guernica, then the center of the town and roads, to prevent the withdrawal of Republican troops. Several groups of planes dropped 50- and 250-kilogram bombs (including incendiary bombs) on the city. Also, the planes were firing machine-gun fire.
The operation lasted up to 18 hours and 45 minutes.
On the city, according to various sources, dropped from 27 to 40 tons of high-explosive and incendiary bombs. Those buildings that survived from landmines and a shock wave were finished off by fires. After the attack in the town, where about 3 people lived, only about 700% of the buildings survived.
According to various estimates, between 150 and 3 people died. French news agency Havas reported 000 deaths. The Basque government started with 800 and gradually increased to 500. Pro-republican press like the French communist newspaper L'Humanité reported 1.
Franco's supporters generally denied the bombing or grossly underestimated the number of deaths and injuries. Their opponents were exaggerating.
Ruins of Guernica. 1937 year
The power of fear
The destruction of an entire city by aircraft made a huge impression on journalists and the press. The media relished the details, frightened the townsfolk.
At the same time, they "forgot" that there were bomb shelters in the city that could accommodate almost the entire population of Guernica - they were designed for 3,5 thousand people. They did not write about this, since the surviving residents of Guernica could make the picture of the disaster not large enough.
A detailed study of the tragedy took place much later, after Franco's death (1975). Researchers, studying the documents of the Guernica cemetery, counted about 130-160 dead. Obviously, there were also wounded and injured. Usually, for every one killed in a war, there are two or three wounded and injured.
Thus, the history of the bombing of Guernica was promoted by journalists and the press. Moreover, they did not even play against Germany, but in the interests of big business. It was necessary to start an arms race.
Against the background of the future terrible air raids of the Second World War, after the nightmares of Dresden, dozens of small towns in Germany, wiped out by the Anglo-British Air Force, Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, with hundreds of thousands of dead and wounded, cultural and historical monuments and values that have perished forever, Guernica looks very pale.
As well as against the background of the massive battles of the First World War, where the same number of people died in just a matter of minutes. For example, on the Somme or near Verdun. But, be that as it may, it was Guernica who became the main pre-war horror of Western Europe. A nightmare that flew ahead of the Luftwaffe. The virtual threat has become scarier than the real one.
The Germans used the "Guernica effect" 100%.
They thought of combining aviation and the psychology of the masses. The Nazis skillfully took advantage of the atmosphere of fear of air war, which was methodically whipped up in Europe from the 1920s to the 1930s. If in the 60s in the West and in the USA the inhabitants were frightened by the horrors of nuclear war, then in pre-war Europe this role was played by an air war.
Books were published, films were shot, including fantastic ones, research was carried out. Airplane bombers were shown, bringing death and destruction from the air. They also used chemical weapons - the nightmare of the First World War.
In 1932, the book "Air War - 1936" was published, its author was the German Major Helders. In it, he described a picture of how Britain, having entered a war with France over Egypt, destroys half of Paris by air raids.
1936 saw the release of William Cameron Menzies's science fiction film "The Face of the Coming", written by H.G. Wells. The film is notable for its predictions of World War II, which will begin with a bloody clash between Germans and Poles, and for showing the role of strategic aviation destroying entire cities. The fear of bombs from the sky is literally "programmed". Even through the show of the future - 2036, the new British city of Evrytown is built underground.
"War of the Worlds"
In October 1938, a curiosity occurred in the United States, which in fact became a unique and large-scale experiment in managing human crowds.
The background was appropriate. A big war is brewing in Europe. At this time, the American radio station CBS conducts dozens of radio broadcasts from Europe. Millions of American listeners are horrified by Hitler's exalted speeches and hear the battle roar of Nazi gatherings. Fear and foreboding of war fills the United States.
And in such an environment, a group of specialists in mass culture and mind processing, led by the future Hollywood star George Orson Welles, decides to conduct an experiment: how will the Americans perceive the fantastic alarming message?
The radio show was based on the novel War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells. But its action was transferred from England in the 1890s to the modern States of New Jersey.
On October 30, 1938, a CBS reporter began to report on the invasion of aliens, which are destroying everything around with death rays (combat lasers) and poisonous gases. The performance was organized very reliably: in the form of direct reports, which were accompanied by noise effects.
They say that the weapons of earthlings cannot withstand the enemy. Alien war machines destroy earthlings, troops and infrastructure. The Attorney General has appealed to the nation to declare a state of emergency. The radio station banned the portrayal of the address of President Franklin Roosevelt, but K. Delmar still portrayed the voice of Roosevelt.
An alarming message is broadcast about the Martian advance on New York. Only at this moment (about 40 minutes after the start of the production) the announcer recalled the fictionality of the reportage. At the end of the hour, Wells stepped out of character and congratulated the audience on Halloween.
The effect was amazing and exceeded all expectations.
Most of the listeners (about 6 million people listened to the production) took it at face value. Crowds of people, seized by panic, tried to escape from the cities to the west. Huge traffic jams have formed on the roads. Others were hiding in the basements of houses or were going to resist the aliens with weapons in their hands. The telephone network was congested. In New Jersey, the National Guard and firefighters were mobilized.
Some people turned out to be inattentive or fell victim to rumors and believed that the United States was attacked by Germany.
When the truth became clear, the enraged people almost hanged the authors of the production on the very first bitch. But a few days later, President Roosevelt himself kindly received Orson Welles.
Thus, all this was organized even before the total "brainwashing" with the help of TV and the current bacchanalia with the help of the network, various social networks and amazing in terms of the degree of credibility of special effects of cinema.
Interestingly, Hitler drew attention to the "war of the worlds" in the United States and called it an example of the decline of the democratic system.
And such productions, books, packs and films were enough then to create an atmosphere of fear in the West.
It only remained to use it, and Hitler did it!
Orson Welles (1915-1985) in 1937
To be continued ...