Italy’s Campaign against Austria-Hungary
The fully coordinated propaganda offensive which was launched on the Italian Front in April 1918 would always remain a largely Italian enterprise. Since the end of the First World War, most literature written about this ‘Allied campaign’ has tended to highlight Great Britain’s supposedly predominant role, often suggesting that the British, through Lord Northcliffe’s Enemy Propaganda Department at Crewe House, initiated or even controlled the campaign. Harold Lasswell in his seminal work asserted that ‘it was the British who did most of the propaganda of dissolution against Austro-Hungarian armies’.1 Such an emphasis is misleading but not surprising. Northcliffe’s very public appoint- ment was itself a propaganda coup since his name aroused alarm in the Central Powers to a degree which Luigi Albertini could never emulate, even if he had followed Northcliffe’s example. Northcliffe’s organization, moreover, was the most publicized of its kind and therefore became a clear focal point in 1918 for those in the Habsburg Empire who became paranoid about the machinations of ‘enemy propaganda’.
KeywordsNationality Principle Military Intelligence Western Front Prison Camp Intelligence Officer
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