AMERICAN PROPAGANDA BILL
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Rare original 10 yen propaganda bill issued by the Americans and dropped on the Japanese. No. 2034.
Originates from a US Army soldier's scrapbook. The soldier was stationed primarily in Saipan during the Pacific Theater. Fantastic, rare item!
1.5" tear at right side.
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During World War II (1941–45), American propaganda was used to increase support for the war and commitment to an Allied victory. Using a vast array of media, propagandists fomented hatred for the enemy and support for America's allies, urged greater public effort for war production and victory gardens, persuaded people to save some of their material so that more material could be used for the war effort, and sold war bonds. Patriotism became the central theme of advertising throughout the war, as large scale campaigns were launched to sell war bonds, promote efficiency in factories, reduce ugly rumors, and maintain civilian morale. The war consolidated the advertising industry's role in American society, deflecting earlier criticism. However, some argue that these media accurately depicted the enemy; that they were simply an attempt to inform the American public about the threats they faced.
Leaflets could be dropped from aircraft to populations in locations unreachable by other means; for example, when the population was afraid or unable to listen to foreign radio broadcasts. As such, the United States extensively used leaflets to convey short informational tidbits. In fact, one squadron of B-17 bombers was entirely dedicated to this purpose. Leaflets were also used against enemy forces, providing "safe conduct passes" that enemy troops could use to surrender as well as counterfeit ration books, stamps and currency.The very scale of the leaflet operations had its effect on enemy morale, showing that the Allied armament industry was so productive that planes could be diverted for this purpose.
The use of leaflets against Japanese troops was of little effect. Many civilians in Okinawa discounted pamphlets declaring that prisoners would not be harmed. By the time American planes could reach the Japanese home islands, the leaflets had improved, providing "advance notice" of bombings ensured that the leaflets were read avidly despite prohibitions. These pamphlets declared they had no wish to harm civilians, only the military installations, and that the bombings could be stopped by demanding new leaders who would end the war. After the atomic attacks, more pamphlets were dropped, warning that the Americans had an even more powerful explosive at their disposal. When the Japanese government subsequently offered to surrender, the U.S. continued to drop pamphlets, telling the Japanese people of their government's offer and that they had a right to know the terms.
The American Historical Association's G.I. Roundtable Series of pamphlets was used to ease transition to the post-war world.
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