Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO) Leaflets, Second World War, 1939-1945

Accession Number RC00266
Collection type Published Collection
Record type Collection
Item count 4921
Measurement 46 folders, 5 albums
Object type Leaflet
Maker Far Eastern Liaison Office
Date made 1942-1946
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copying Provisions Copyright expired. Copying permitted subject to physical condition. Permission for reproduction not required.

The Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO) Leaflet collection comprises approximately 500 propaganda leaflets were created and dropped in areas of Papua, New Guinea, Netherlands East Indies, Malaya and Singapore by the Far Eastern Liaison Office (FELO) during the Second World War. From November 1942 until its dissolution in September 1945, FELO estimated that it produced over 69 million leaflets in seven languages.

These leaflets consist of three basic types: surrender leaflets, news bulletins, and nostalgia leaflets, and were part of a wider campaign to weaken fighting spirit among the Japanese and build morale among local peoples. The leaflets in the collection often state that any surrendered troops will be treated fairly, and that such action will enable them to take part in the post-war rebuilding of Japan. This is often accompanied by news of how badly the war is progressing for the Japanese. Mention is often made of favourable actions by the Allies in Europe, and the corresponding fortunes of the Axis powers. Nostalgic appeals to the traditional Japanese lifestyle aimed to breakdown the Japanese resolve to pursue the war effort to a futile end. Most of the leaflets included diagrams, photographs, and in some cases cartoons.

Many of the leaflets in the collection are accompanied by the text in English.