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Half the BattleCivilian Morale in Britain During the Second World War$
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Robert Mackay

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780719058936

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719058936.001.0001

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Persuading the people

Persuading the people

(p.141) 4 Persuading the people
Half the Battle

Robert Mackay

Manchester University Press

The subject of this chapter is the efforts that the British government and its allies in the media made to promote the ‘mental factors’. These factors were: belief that victory was possible, belief in equality of sacrifices, belief in the integrity and efficiency of the leadership and belief that the war was necessary and just. The news media were not happy with the level of censorship that forced them into the disingenuous presentation of the news. The reassurance propaganda had just two basic themes: the strength and virtue of the leadership, fighting forces and popular resolve of Britain and her allies; and the inherent weaknesses that lay behind the apparently invincible might of the Axis. The theme of reassurance is prominent in the films. The propaganda films on civilian morale made some positive contribution to attitudes and behaviour.

Keywords:   news media, British government, mental factors, war, reassurance propaganda, Britain, allies, propaganda films

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