Aerial Propaganda and the Wartime Occupation of France, 1914-18: 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Aerial Propaganda and the Wartime Occupation of France, 1914-18

1st Edition

By Bernard Wilkin


158 pages

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Paperback: 9781138329799
pub: 2018-06-28
Hardback: 9781472472977
pub: 2016-09-12
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pub: 2016-09-13
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Aerial Propaganda and the Wartime Occupation of France, 1914-1918 explores the combined role played by the French and British Governments and Armies in creating and distributing millions of aerial newspapers and leaflets aimed at the French population trapped behind German lines. Drawing on extensive research and French, German and British primary sources, the book highlights a previously unknown aspect of psychological warfare that challenges the established interpretation that the occupied populations lived in a state of total isolation and that the Allied governments had no desire to provide them with morale support. Instead a very different picture emerges from this study, which demonstrates that aerial propaganda not only played a fundamental role in raising morale in the occupied territories but also fuelled resistance and clandestine publications. This book demonstrates that the existing historiographical portrayal of the occupied civilian as an uninformed victim must be replaced by a more nuanced interpretation.


This is an extremely important work that sheds new and revealing light on the role of aerial warfare in the First World War. Dr Wilkin's ground breaking research has made a major contribution to the historiography of the Great War and to propaganda studies in general.

- David Welch, Director of the Centre for Study of War, Society & Propaganda, University of Kent, UK

Table of Contents

List of figures



Chapter 1: The Germans in the occupied territories of France

Chapter 2: The French reaction (1915-1916)

Chapter 3: Anglophobia and the Franco-British rupture (1916-1917)

Chapter 4: Aerial cooperation and the conflict between pilots and propagandists (1915-1918)

Chapter 5: Morale crisis, socialism and peace offers (1917-1918)

Chapter 6: The road to victory (1918)

Chapter 7: Reception, impact and legacies (1918-1940)




About the Author

Bernard Wilkin is currently lecturer in Modern History at the University of Exeter, UK. His research interests lie primarily in the occupation of France during and after the Franco-Prussian conflict and during the First World War. He has also written on propaganda, fascism and has recently finished a book on the daily life in the French army during the Napoleonic wars.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in First World War History

The First World War is a subject of perennial interest to historians and is often regarded as a watershed event, marking the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the 'modern' industrial world. The sheer scale of the conflict and massive loss of life means that it is constantly being assessed and reassessed to examine its lasting military, political, sociological, industrial, cultural and economic impact. Reflecting the latest international scholarly research, the Routledge Studies in First World War History series provides a unique platform for the publication of monographs on all aspects of the Great War. Whilst the main thrust of the series is on the military aspects of the conflict, other related areas (including cultural, visual, literary, political and social) are also addressed. Books published are aimed primarily at a post-graduate academic audience, furthering exciting recent interpretations of the war, whilst still being accessible enough to appeal to a wider audience of educated lay readers.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General