Winning French Minds
Radio Propaganda in Occupied France, 1940–42
256 Pages, 6 x 9 in, Black and white photographs
- February 2023
- In Stock
World War II was very much a war of the radios. A relatively new technology, radio as a tool was exploited by all of the participants of the war to win the hearts and minds of the people and to steer public opinion.
The period 1940 to 1942 was the most volatile of the war, with the Nazis capturing large parts of western Europe and dominating on the Eastern front. At this time France was separated into two nominally independent zones, and public opinion could easily have been swayed in favor of the New German Order. This could have had potentially disastrous consequences for any future Allied attempt to liberate Europe, and so the battle for French minds was launched using the new technology of radio.
This narrative of that campaign develops chronologically through a series of topics including major military incidents, youth, food, family, psychological warfare, sports and work, as presented by different radio stations – in particular Radiodiffusion, controlled by Vichy France; Radio Paris, controlled by the Nazis; and the BBC – offering a systematic comparative analysis of radio propaganda messages and building a vivid picture of the evolution of broadcasts in the context of the complex political and social impact of the war on the French population.
Using original primary sources from archives in Britain and France, broadcast recordings, radio magazines, and interviews conducted by British Intelligence with those arriving from France during the war, this is a fascinating and unique insight into wartime radio propaganda from 1940 to 1942.
Translations and Terminology
Chapter 1: The main players in the space of radio propaganda
Chapter 2: Other international radios broadcasting in French
Chapter 3: BBC broadcasts
Chapter 4: RN broadcasts
Chapter 5: Radio Paris broadcasts
"...provides a comprehensive and thought-provoking discussion of the efforts exerted by adversarial radio propagandists vying for the heart, soul and will of the French people." ~K9YA Telegraph
Twenty-first Century readers will find Courtois’ telling of this period enlightening...From the Cold War era to Russia’s war against the Ukraine, in peace or war, propaganda works. And despite our technological savvy today, people remain susceptible to it. This book should be required reading in university journalism and mass media courses." ~The Spectrum Monitor
"...offers a fascinating insight into how Allied, Axis and Vichy governments exploited radio to win over the civilian population in Occupied France." ~ARGunners.com
"...every chapter of Winning French Minds delivered something new, not only because French language radio being a less-frequented area of study, but also due to the author's ability to tie these radio efforts to events surrounding the French people and events unfolding on the European geopolitical stage." ~World War II Database
“There are few recordings available of radio broadcasts from this period but in various archives Dr Courtois has found the transcripts of many radio programmes, which has enabled him to build up a picture of how life in France was presented to French radio listeners.” ~Practical Wireless