Thursday, 1 December 2011

Psychological Warfare of the Malayan Emergency

During my research for the book I found a fascinating paper on the psychological warfare used by the British led forces during the Malayan Emergency.  Prepared by Herbet A. Friedman it gives an excellent insight into the measures taken to weaken, isolate and ultimately starve the Communist Terrorists.  It is also well illustrated with a lot of photographs from the time (from both sides) and also with reproductions of Maps, Posters and Leaflets.

One remark that I found interesting, and that is attributed to an Australian Soldier is:

'Terrorists who were caught were treated like murderers, while those who surrendered were treated like kings.'

There are also some humerous quotes relating to General Templer.  Noel Barber is said to have given the following account after Templer visited a nearby village after a guerilla ambush:

'You're a bunch of bastards,' shouted Templer; and Rice, who spoke Chinese, listened carefully as the translator announced without emotion: 'His Excellency informs you that he knows that none of your mothers and fathers were married when you were born.'

Templer waited, then pointing a finger at the astonished villagers to show them who was the 'Tuan,' added 'You may be the bastards, but you'll find out that I can be a bigger one.'  Missing the point of the threat completely, the translator said politely, 'His Excellency does admit, however, that his father was also not married to his mother.'

To read the whole of Friedman's paper see

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