Was Propaganda Bureau
The War Propaganda Bureau (WPB dt, .: war propaganda office ) was a British agency during the First World War . After his headquarters, the Allies also called it Wellington House . Head of the WPB was Charles Masterman , lower house deputy of the Liberal Party .
Lloyd George pursued several goals:
- Raising morale on the home front, curbing war opponents in the country
- Representation of the opponent as an enemy who must be fought
- Control of publications
- psychological discouragement of enemy troops, foreign propaganda
- Depiction of the war for the civilian population, especially in the press, according to government guidelines
On September 2, 1914, Masterman invited 25 well-known British authors for these purposes, in strict secrecy. The public only became aware of this in 1935. Some authors agreed to write relevant pamphlets and books.
One of the first publications in early 1915 was the Bryce Report ( Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages ) in 30 languages, which accused the German army of systematic torture of Belgian civilians. The booklet cost 1 penny and was illustrated by the Dutch painter and caricaturist Louis Raemaekers . (Five days later, the German government replied with a white paper listing the atrocities committed by Belgians against German soldiers.)
The WPB published 1,160 brochures and pamphlets during the war . With the help of John Buchan , Masterman had the monthly Nelson's History of the War produced in February 1915 with 24 issues. Since only two army officers were allowed to take photos on the western front , he used draftsmen and painters. Leaflets were also dropped behind the front.
Continuation of the propaganda work in the first Ministry of Information
On April 7, 1917, the USA declared war on the German Reich . As a result, it became necessary to realign the WPB. Because the Americans did not know that most of the information disseminated by the British about the course of the war and about the Central Powers had been supplied by the WPB. Now part of the propaganda work, namely the propaganda to influence the population and the soldiers of the Central Powers ( Directorate for Propaganda in Enemy Countries ), has been moved to Crewe House . The Department of Information was established for the remaining tasks . Not least out of consideration for the Americans, the name of the agency was changed from “Propaganda” to “Information”. In February 1918, the Department of Information was upgraded to the Ministry of Information (MoI).
Lloyd George reorganized the agency and involved several influential newspaper publishers, so that the government on the one hand gained control of Fleet Street and on the other hand could use the possibilities of the press to influence the population. Masterman was then demoted.
- Minister of Information: Max Aitken , owner of the Daily Express
- Publications Director: Charles Masterman
- Intelligence Information Director: John Buchan
- Director of Propaganda in Enemy Countries: Alfred Harmsworth , owner of The Times and Daily Mail
- Germany department: u. a. HG Wells (from May to July 1918)
- Director of Propaganda in Neutral Countries: Robert Donald, Editor of the Daily Chronicle
Aitken increased the number of artists employed in France. During the four years of the war, about 90 painters supplied pictures for the government. Aitken, together with Arnold Bennett , created the British War Memorial Committee (BWMC) to look after (and control ) them. The Ministry published its view of the course of the war in the two-volume Chronology of the War , published by Constable in London in 1918.
A few days before the end of the war, William Hayes Fisher became Minister of Information. Two months after the end of the war, on January 10, 1919, the propaganda institutions were closed.
After the First World War
After the war, both Americans and Germans were outraged by the false claims made by British propaganda. The fabricated accusations of the Bryce Report in particular gave the propaganda a negative image that continues to this day.
- Arthur Conan Doyle : To Arms!
- Arnold Bennett : Liberty, A Statement of the British Case , War Scenes on the Western Front
- John Masefield : Gallipoli and the Old Front Line
- Ford Madox Ford : When Blood is Their Argument
- Gilbert Keith Chesterton : The Barbarism in Berlin
- John Galsworthy : A Sheaf and Another Sheaf
- Rudyard Kipling : The New Army
- Gilbert Parker : Is England Apathetic?
- George Macaulay Trevelyan
- Hilaire Belloc : The Two Maps of Europe
- John Buchan : The Battle of Jutland , The Battle of the Somme
- Mary Humphrey Ward: England's Effort , Towards the Goal
Painter and draftsman of the WPB
Painter in the program of the "British War Memorial Committee"
- John Singer Sargent
- Augustus John
- John Nash
- Henry Lamb
- Henry Tonks
- Colin Gill
- William Roberts
- Wyndham Lewis
- Stanley Spencer
- Philip Wilson Steer
- George Clausen
- Bernard Meninsky
- Charles Pears
- Sydney Carline
- David Bomberg
- Austin Osman Spare
- Gilbert Ledward
- Charles Sargeant Jagger
Counterparts of other warring parties
- Committee on Public Information , USA
- Image and Film Office , German Reich
- Imperial and Royal War Press Headquarters , Austria-Hungary
- Maison de la Presse , France
- Peter Hoeres : The war of the philosophers. German and British philosophy in the First World War . Schöningh, Paderborn 2004, ISBN 3-506-71731-6 (also dissertation, University of Münster 2002).
- Michael Kunczik: British and German Propaganda in the United States from 1914 to 1917 . In: Jürgen Wilke (ed.): Propaganda in the 20th century. Contributions to its history . Hampton Press, Cresskill 1998, ISBN 1-57273-120-6 , pp. 25-55.
- Campbell Stuart : Secrets of Crewe House The story of a famous campaign . Hodder & Stoughton, London 1920. Full text at archive.org
- Evidence and Documents Laid Before the Committee on Alleged German Outrages. Being an Appendix to the Report of the Committee by His Britannic Majesty's Government and Presided over by the Right Hon. Viscount Bryce . MacMillan, New York 1915.
- Louis Raemakers: Raemakers' cartons, with accompanying notes by well known English writers. With an appreciation from HH Asquith, prime minister of England . Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City 1916.
- The National Archives: The Ministry of Information (outline of the history of the authorities and the inventory), accessed on May 2, 2016.
- Campbell Stuart : Secrets of Crewe House. The story of a famous campaign . Hodder & Stoughton, London 1920, p. 8.
- War Propaganda Bureau on Spartacus Schoolnet, accessed May 2, 2016.
- Jonathan A. Epstein: German and English propaganda in World War I . Paper presented at the New York Military Affairs Symposium (NYMAS), December 1, 2000 ( online ), accessed May 2, 2016.