Psychological Warfare in the Second World War

"Psychological Warfare is the systematic process of influencing the will, and so directing the actions of peoples in enemy and enemy-occupied territories according to the needs of higher strategy."

The utilization of propaganda against enemy weaknesses led to a new concept of psychological warfare as the "fourth arm" of warfare, requiring its own element of research, strategy, and action against the enemy. War is often viewed as "mechanical approach" to human affairs based on the development of a powerful and efficient war machine. Psychological warfare attempts to subvert the war machine through attacks on the individuals within the system, undermining political ideologies through personal motivations. Psychological Warfare focuses on destabilizing the enemy by taking advantage of the most personal characteristics of human life in a scientific manner. Emotions that are often considered the worst and most vulnerable parts of human nature--such as fear, hate, deceit, pain, humiliation and loneliness--are systematically exploited until the enemy is too demoralized to continue resistance.

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