The confrontation between the free and Communist worlds is taking place around the globe. But?
Red China as seen from Quemoy
Soldiers with binoculars survey China mainland
3 shots: huge propaganda balloons inflated
Pamphlets and foil packaged items for airlift
Soldiers attaches cartoon to balloon
Stuffing pamphlets into small balloons
2 shots; inflating small balloons
Releasing more balloons
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Background: The confrontation between the free and Communist worlds is taking place around the globe. But nowhere are the weapons more unique than those used by the free Chinese in their psychological warfare against the Communists on mainland China.
Artillery shells filled with propaganda leaflets... bamboo rafts carrying small, useful articles and more leaflets...booming loudspeakers transmitting voice and music across the waters...and perhaps most unusual, most effective, rubber and plastic balloons. These are the weapons!
And this is their target! Communist China as seen through a high-powered lens from the off-shore island of Quemoy, a bastion of Nationalist China. The nearest Communist controlled island is a mile and a half away; the mainland itself, just 6 miles.
These huge, plastic balloons, which soar to an altitude of 40,000 feet, can easily breach the distance riding on air currents. The free Chinese have been using several sizes of balloons for the past 5 years to deliver messages of hope and encouragement from President Chiang Kai-shek to the people on the mainland.
Parcels weighing 4 to 10 pounds carry medicines, clothing, canned foods, toiletries, toys and even tobaccoes. They reach the mainland in minutes and large ones stay aloft up to 20 hours --- with winds taking them 500 miles beyond the Red China coastline. These medium-sized balloons cost about $5.
Since this is "psy-war" -- psychological warfare-- the messages is the vital part of the operation. The free Chinese get most of the messages across using small balloons carrying leaflets. They tell the mainland peasants what is going on in their own country... and also about the good life in Taiwan where the Nationalist government is located. The free Chinese believe these messages will play a decisive role in fermenting an anti-Communist revolt.
Lutheran church leaders have just adopted the balloon method of spreading the gospel of St. John to the people in Communist China. The words of the new testament missionary have been translated into lightweight Chinese booklets and are being dispatched by balloons by Lutherans on Quemoy.