Katz, Robert and Nancy Katz. "Documentary in Transition, Part I: The United States." Hollywood Quarterly Vol. 3, No. 4 (1948): 425-433.
Documentaries attracted widespread public interest after World War II, but during the wartime period, it was mostly shown to the armed forces. To the soldiers who fought in distant theaters, it was a means to political education. It was important for the ordinary GI to know his allies and to the causes and issues at stake. Documentaries such as Frank Capra's Why We Fight series or True Glory politically educated soldiers, but there were also documentaries such as the This Is America series, which portrayed images of normality for the homesick GIs. The first major US documentaries with a definite point of view came during the second Roosevelt administration and included the popular Private Snafu series, but it had to overcome the stigma of being government sponsored. There is also the element of interactive instruction through documentaries (including the Private Snafu series). Such films acted as direct answers to concerns and questions that soldiers had (in accordance to the military viewpoint). It simultaneously satisfied individual curiosities as well as assimilating individual soldiers into the unit; it made these sources of propaganda seem unbiased and trustworthy.
It is important to understand the amount of propaganda that was thrown at soldiers, in order to keep the discontent to a minimum. In addition, it was a form of social control. The constant stream of propagandistic documentaries took a toll on the soldiers as well as priming them for more propagandistic material. Torn between the images of home and normality and the patriotic duty demanded, they were susceptible to additional propaganda. The earlier animations and documentaries geared towards to soldiers were overly conscious of the "official" nature of the work and tried to avoid committing to a concrete message. Instead, the later animations and documentaries struck a clearer chord by gearing the feature to a specific message, whether it is not revealing secrets liberally (Private Snafu in Censor) or why we fight the war. With clear messages in the form of entertaining animation, soldiers become desensitized to constant barrage of propaganda, in other forms besides animation, as well as to the conditions they are exposed to.