Analysis of effectiveness the Austro-Hungarian and Russian propaganda in the South-Western Front of the World War I
AbstractThe article analyzes the impact of information war effectiveness as a key component of the armed conflict between the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. In the article an analysis of materials that speaks for actions of Russian and Austro-Hungarian side is presented. The criteria of informational influence effectiveness are the following: the amount of propaganda produce; counter-propaganda measures; reaction of the authorities, population and target groups to hostile informational impact. Common and specific points are revealed in the actions of both empires in the course of information warfare. The most effective means of internal propaganda were posters and postcards. All kinds of text messages, such as leaflets, manifestos and proclamations are considered to be an effective type of external propaganda. In order to continue an information warfare propagandists had to study the audience. The scope of target groups is achieved by the amount of materials, but big quantity does not guarantee the result. The evaluation of propaganda effectiveness is extremely difficult. Human behavior is influenced by various factors: education, group and social values, instincts. Agitation may be only a special factor that provides the visible consequence of the decision taken earlier. The effectiveness of enemy propaganda can be estimated by the measures that were taken by the object of information warfare – civil and military authorities of the country. These measures varied – starting with censorship, reinterpretation of enemy communications in another perspective to the penalty for spreading enemy propaganda. In the beginning of the war the direct witnesses and participants of events celebrated the success of the official propaganda. The analysis of the sources of personal origin suggests that in most cases hostile propaganda was perceived as misleading because it is considered to be «foreign». Another specific measure to counteract enemy propaganda was redeployment of military units, whose loyalty and stability was questioned. «Slavic» regiments of the Austro-Hungarian army were sent to Italian front, the Russian units with Polish contingent were sent to the Caucasian front. The national question was widely used by both empires. «Slavic issue» of Russian propaganda has succeeded in the first stage of the war. However after the establishment of positional front, the Austro-Hungarian propaganda means were more effective. The findings received will deepen knowledge concerning the confrontation between the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires that occurred before and during the World War I.
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