Milton Bryan Camp Site During the War

In 1941 Winston CHurchill demanded that a propaganda war should be properly waged against the Nazis and an organisation called the POlitical Warefare Exectutive was set up, which ran many of their organisations from places in Beds, Herts and Bucks.

Staff, defectors and prisoners of war were taken to the Sugar Loaf pub in Dunstable, and then put into cars with Blacked out windows.

Only now do we know that they were dispersed to villages across Beds and Bucks to fight their hidden war.

One of the most amazing stories is that of Milton Bryan.  A small village bear to Woburn in Bedfordshire.

Situated on the very edge of the Woburn Estate, a top secret state of the art radio station was built to record "black propoganda" radio shows.

Led by former Express Correspndent, Sefton Delmer, a multi national team pretended to be Germans, and fooled the enemy into thinking they were listening to real German radio stations.

The programmes encouraged German soldiers to surrender, give false and misleading instructions to civilians and played music that the Nazi regime frowned upon.

As well as the main aim of turning the German people against the Nazis and demoralising enemy soldiers, Milton Bryan also played the latest German hits, and had the latest news from Germany which had been intercepted at Bletchley Park.

Broadcasts were made to the German Army across Europe to U boat crews in the Atlantic and also directly to Germany itself.

One trick was to wait until official German radio stations had gone off air during air raids, then Milton Bryan would broadcast on the same frequenices, so the Germans thought about how well they did their job.

The radio station at Milton Bryan stood derelict for many years after the Second World War, but the main building, huard house, air raid bunker and some  of the living quarters still exist.  There are still bars on the windows where German prisoners of war used to broadcast, and the remains of the blackout screens still hang over the windows.

The building is now being gradually renovated and the surrounding area used as a rural campsite.  One of the old Nissen huts has been turned into a canteen and the other into a toilet block.

Although the work of Milton Bryan remained a secret for many years, the techniques the station pioneered are still being used today.

In the recent Iraq war, US propaganda experts used modern technology to block official Iraqi government radio stations and broadcast their programmes.


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