Brought to you by Bob’s Gift Baskets. I thought today I’d take a break from the traditional gift basket tale and tell you of this story. I cannot imagine a much stranger gift then this family received. A gift from the allies to the French people struggling for their lives, its delivery method was also strange and frightening. Rest assured that your gourmet gift baskets from Bob’s Gift Baskets will not arrive in this fashion.
It is a dark and moonless night over German occupied France. The date is mid July 1943. A French family rushes outdoors glancing up into night sky trying to spot the aircraft that they can hear approaching from the direction of England. Expecting bombs to be dropped at any moment on the nearby German occupied town, instead there is a terrible crashing sound from one of the small rooms in their home. Rushing inside they find a gapping hole in their roof and their aging grandfather crushed by a large crate. Dropped by parachute, the chute had become tangled and instead of drifting gently to the earth it fell at a deadly speed, destroying part of a home and killing a French citizen.
Then contents of the crate were numerous and much needed items to those living in the occupied areas of France. There was toilet paper, writing tablets, food, candy, cigarettes, matches, coffee, tea, seeds and even condoms. Oddly enough, the toilet paper was reputed to have been imprinted with the face of Adolf Hitler. I’m sure that made him very happy. All much needed items in short supply in occupied France. Millions of these gifts from the air were dropped. The larger crates containing a multitude of needed items often dropped to small farms, while millions of smaller packages were dropped without parachute over vast areas.
Then of course there were the leaflets that were dropped by the millions. All a huge propaganda effort employed by the Allies, both as an attempt to demoralize the German forces, but also as an attempt to let the people in occupied areas know that the Allies were there and that they haven’t forgotten or given up on them. The strange list of items dropped is as long as it is strange. Counterfeit U.S. currency, useless ration coupons. Some of the gifts designed as needed gifts for the helpless French on the ground as then others as useless gifts dropped over enemy troops all with messages carefully designed to demoralize the enemy.
These gifts from the air have continued to this date. During the war with North Korea we started dropping transistor radios preset and fixed to a single station. To this day, they are still being smuggled into North Korea or dropped by helium filled balloons. During the war, depending on the location of the drops they would be tuned to a station to demoralized the North Korean troops or another drop location may be tuned to allow the non combatants on the ground a chance to hear how the war was going and give them hope. While millions of leaflets were dropped, the idea of the radio quickly kicked in. Millions of the people who gathered up the leaflets were illiterate and could not read the messages. Often the leaflets ended up being used as toilet paper.
Vietnam saw an increase in the number of radios air dropped as devices of propaganda. Satellite radios were being dropped or handed out in Afghanistan and Iraq. My own son who is a marine, was the first into Afghanistan right after 9-11, he was also the first in when we went into Iraq. He has now had several tours over there. I don’t know how much toilet paper was air dropped or handed out, but by his account, in most of the remote areas, they would not know what to do with a roll of toilet paper if it feel into their lap. Except in the larger towns were you would find the more affluent and educated, it is not even used.
Well we at Bob’s Gift Baskets are not air dropping gift baskets into North Korea or any other countries in any attempt at propaganda of any kind, but we do drop ship directly from our factory to you or your recipient with the ease of just a few mouse clicks. We offer a wide selection, a range of prices to match your budget and a secure site that does not store or retain your credit card information