By BRIAN KRAPF
In honor of the 79th anniversary of D-Day (6 June 1944), June’s column features a rare and historical flier that was air dropped by the RAF into occupied France shortly after the D-Day landings. Written in French for its intended audience, the flier measures 9 x 12,” is titled “Mr. Churchill Before Parliament” and presents excerpts from a speech in which he outlined the current course of the war against Germany. He mentions the air war and the tonnage of bombs dropped on Germany, the destruction caused by the London Blitz, as well as the land war fought between Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery and General Erwin Rommel.
This and similar fliers were air dropped into occupied France as a form of wartime propaganda. At a time when news sources were limited, they were designed to give hope and assurance that the Allies had landed in France and that liberation would soon be achieved. Given the fragile nature of the paper used to make the fliers and the fact that people in occupied France had more on their minds than keeping souvenirs, few of these have survived. The flier offers a unique and relevant glimpse into a critical period of the war making it a valued piece of collectible history.
Brian Krapf’s forthcoming book We Want Winston!—A Treasury of Memorabilia will be published later this year.
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