Substitute for Power : Wartime British Propaganda to the Balkans, 1939–44 book cover
1st Edition

Substitute for Power
Wartime British Propaganda to the Balkans, 1939–44

ISBN 9781138108325
Published May 25, 2017 by Routledge
330 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

The Second World War was waged across many fronts, economic, political and cultural as well as military. As might be expected in a conflict fuelled by ideology, the war of words and ideas played a central role in the larger conflict. As this book shows, propaganda - be it aimed at a sympathetic audience in enemy controlled lands, or the hostile population itself - was regarded by all sides as a fundamental part of the war effort, and one that received increasing, and increasingly sophisticated, attention. Focussing on the British propaganda effort directed towards the Balkans, the book begins with an introductory chapter on British wartime propaganda from both its home base and British-controlled Middle East. This is followed by two thematically broad chapters, one on British policy to the region, the other on evidence of a regional approach - and common themes - of British propaganda to the Balkans from the outbreak of the war to the German withdrawal. The remaining chapters provide a series of case-studies relating to British propaganda efforts directed towards the five pre-1939 states (except Turkey). These reveal much about Britain's overall approach to propaganda, as well as showing how the British tailored their efforts in response to supposed national characteristics of these countries. By uncovering not only the organisational tangle, the techniques and evolving aims of British wartime propaganda, but also its relation to military strategy and diplomacy, the set of beliefs about the region and its peoples, moral issues and planning for the post-war period the book provides a fascinating insight into the multiple meanings of propaganda and its effectiveness in specific wartime situations.



Ioannis Stefanidis teaches Diplomatic History at the School of Law, Economics and Political Science of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. His publications include: Isle of Discord: Nationalism, Imperialism and the Making of the Cyprus Question (1999), Stirring the Greek Nation: Political Culture, Irredentism and Anti-Americanism in Post-War Greece, 1945-67 (Ashgate, 2007).


'This is a detailed and wide-ranging work covering British wartime propaganda to the Balkans. ... that provides a useful comparative study of the subject, and it will be of interest to historians and students.' Slavic Review 'Much of the impressive British effort in the propaganda field directed at the Balkans during the period 1939-45 has gone unnoticed. Professor Stefanidis’s study accords it the attention that it merits ...' Slavonic and East European Review 'Ioannis Stefanidis’ book is a new and original contribution to the study of British political warfare during the Second World War.' Diplomacy & Statecraft 'Stefanidis provide[s] a comprehensive account of British propaganda on the ground and from the perspective of its practitioners in London and in the Middle East, with an impressive collection of primary sources.' American Historical Review