[November 2, 2019] Any movie about fighting the Imperial Japanese Army will also include a piece on Tokyo Rose, the infamous propaganda radio program aimed at U.S. troops during World War II. The British citizenry listened to a Nazi radio program run by William Joyce, better known as Lord Haw-Haw.
Joyce was a notorious broadcaster of Nazi propaganda to the UK during the war. His announcement ‘Germany calling, Germany calling’ was a familiar sound across the airwaves, introducing threats and misinformation.1 Initially popular and welcomed as a hilarious alternative to the BBC’s more sedate offerings, Joyce’s speeches were considered premium entertainment.
Oddly enough, Lord Haw-Haw (Joyce) was a patriot of Britain and an extreme anti-communist. He believed passionately that only an alliance between Britain and Germany would protect them against the Red Menace.
According to Nigel Farndale,2 Joyce is an extraordinarily complex man. Here are a few of Joyce’s leadership traits:
- Passionate linguist and scholar
- Amiable and Amusing
- Highly Intelligent
- Immense Courage and Conviction
- Political extremist
Joyce was swept up by Sir Oswald Mosley into the British Fascist movement. Friends of Joyce warned him about possible internment due to his beliefs. With his wife Margaret, he left London for Germany in 1939. Arrested in 1945 for his role in the Nazi propaganda effort, he was incarcerated in Wandsworth Prison.
In the face of death by hanging for being a traitor, William Joyce never flinched, never showed fear, even at the arrival of the hangman. Joyce told the man who escorted him to the noose, “Follow me, sir, it’ll be all right.”
- Haw-Haw: The Tragedy of William and Margaret Joyce, May 2005, by Nigel Farndale; https://www.amazon.com/Haw-Haw-Tragedy-William-Margaret-Joyce/dp/0333989929