You Can't Fight Tanks with Bayonets: Psychological Warfare against the Japanese Army in the Southwest Pacific

Overview


A startling omission from the extensive literature on the Pacific events of World War II is an analysis of Allied psychological operations. Allison B. Gilmore makes a strong case for the importance of psychological warfare in this theater, countering the usual view of fanatical resistance by Japanese units. Gilmore marshals evidence that Japanese military indoctrination did not produce soldiers who were invulnerable to demoralization and the survival instinct.
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Overview


A startling omission from the extensive literature on the Pacific events of World War II is an analysis of Allied psychological operations. Allison B. Gilmore makes a strong case for the importance of psychological warfare in this theater, countering the usual view of fanatical resistance by Japanese units. Gilmore marshals evidence that Japanese military indoctrination did not produce soldiers who were invulnerable to demoralization and the survival instinct.
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Editorial Reviews

CHOICE

"Ironically, while Hollywood films and popular American stereotypes that persist to the present portray the Japanese soldiers as fanatics who would never surrender, the U.S. military . . . took a more realistic view and engaged in a sustained campaign to undermine the morale of the Japanese army. . . . This book helps fill a historiographic gap by studying how propaganda and psychological warfare were planned, implemented, and evaluated."—Choice
Journal of Military History

"Gilmore unravels the complex structure and missions of the Allied entities involved in psywar operations. . . . Convincing."—Journal of Military History
Military History of the West

"A fresh look at a little known aspect of the Pacific War that will benefit any reader interested in the Japanese army or psychological warfare."—Military History of the West
CHOICE

"Ironically, while Hollywood films and popular American stereotypes that persist to the present portray the Japanese soldiers as fanatics who would never surrender, the U.S. military . . . took a more realistic view and engaged in a sustained campaign to undermine the morale of the Japanese army. . . . This book helps fill a historiographic gap by studying how propaganda and psychological warfare were planned, implemented, and evaluated."—Choice

Journal of Military History

"Gilmore unravels the complex structure and missions of the Allied entities involved in psywar operations. . . . Convincing."—Journal of Military History

Military History of the West

"A fresh look at a little known aspect of the Pacific War that will benefit any reader interested in the Japanese army or psychological warfare."—Military History of the West

Special Warfare
"Allison Gilmore has written the best book to date on psychological operations in the southwest Pacific during World War II. What makes her volume better? It is readable and chock-full of meaningful and well-researched data and interesting stories concerning PSYOP in its infancy."—Special Warfare
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Product Details

Meet the Author


Allison B. Gilmore is an associate professor of history at The Ohio State University at Lima.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
List of Abbreviations
Introduction 1
1 Tracing the Historical Roots of Propaganda in Wartime 9
2 Building a Psychological Warfare Capability on Australian Foundations 21
3 Getting to Know the Enemy 36
4 Searching for the Enemy's Weaknesses 71
5 Exploiting the Enemy's Weaknesses 99
6 Fine-tuning the Mechanism and the Message 125
7 Assessing the Results 146
Notes 181
Bibliographic Essay 205
Index 219
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