Despite the vast historiography which exists about the First World War, the phenomenon of front propaganda has remained either unexplored or trapped amidst a range of myths fashioned on all sides in the 1920s. To investigate such psychological warfare means not simply to discuss the wielding of a weapon which by the last year of the war came to be an integral part of each belligerent’s armoury. It reveals much about the mentalities on either side of the front, the hopes and fears which could be aroused in different individuals, the important interaction between front and hinterland, and the perceptions and prejudices which existed or evolved between enemies but also between supposed allies. In the case of Austria-Hungary, by assessing various ‘national mentalities’, how they were perceived and how the stereotypes matched the ‘realities’, it is possible to gain a fuller insight into the reasons for the Empire’s disintegration in 1918.
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