Persuading the people
in Half the battle

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.

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Half the battle

Civilian morale in Britain during the Second World War

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