Over the years around the 4th of July, I have done annual posts on propaganda posters. Mostly I use American wartime posters from the early 20th century. Mostly because their artistic quality is way better than those in the 19th century. Nonetheless, their presents appears to loom large since they were once seen everywhere to encourage the war effort. So it’s no surprise that so many became icons of pop culture. However, given that these were made decades ago, you’ll find plenty that haven’t aged well for some reason. Some may be racist. Some may be sexist. Some may depict very backward attitudes. Others may have terrible artwork and weird facial expressions. So for your reading pleasure I give you another assortment of vintage propaganda posters. Enjoy.
- Send your trash to the US military for war stuff.
Well, at least it’s recycling. Though it’s applied to a rather sinister purpose.
2. Want to support the troops? Reduce your food intake.
After all, soldiers, sailors, and marines need to eat, too. So best you might want to cut back on portion sizes.
3. Defend your country. Or else black guys will ravish your women.
This is a WWII Italian poster evoking a common racist trope against black guys raping white women to stoke white people’s fears. And you can tell this is targeted toward Americans despite that black people served in multiple allied armies thanks to colonialism.
4. Buy war stamps to keep the Hun out.
Still, I wonder how he could get through the window without bumping his helmet. Also, the blood on his bayonet might mean he’s out of ammo and is willing to kill again.
5. Are you a lady who can drive? Volunteer as a military driver.
Still, I’m not sure if wearing a skirt that long is practical for being behind the wheel. Might get tangled. Also, you don’t want to go to the Western Front.
6. Germany is a place of manly strength.
Nonetheless, compared to the guys you see in superhero movies, this man is kind of scrawny. Also, holding a torch naked doesn’t seem to fly.
7. Hey, sailors, no need to be stingy in the mess hall.
Because you may not know when you’ll have your next meal. Still, military food doesn’t have a great reputation so make do with what you got.
8. Don’t let the shadow of Nazism touch your kids.
Then again, it might be too late if you kid’s a neo-Nazi. Still, the swastika hovering over them is menacing.
9. Josef Stalin’s like, “Take that Hitler.”
Despite the fact that Stalin made the near fatal mistake of trusting Hitler when the war started. Still, this is kind of funny that it’s hard to take it seriously.
10. War dogs are ready for trouble.
Though you wouldn’t tell it by this dog’s face. Still, apparently, dogs can also be as disillusioned with carnage of war as people.
11. Are you a responsible civilian man? Volunteer as an air raid warden.
However, like this guy, you’ll feel ridiculous to wear a hat with your business suit. Yeah, he doesn’t seem very happy.
12. Don’t get left behind with VD.
Because we all know that STD-infected men make bad soldiers. So keep it in your pants for freedom.
13. Let’s hit the Axis leaders square in the ass.
Since we’re making weapons for victory. So every time you make a bombshell, you’re getting rid of Fascism.
14. Britain has always come from proud generations of fighting for freedom.
Except, much of the time they were usually the guys who most people were fighting against for freedom. Why do they not have an independence day?
15. Join the US Army for we build men.
So you can put your lives on the line so you can either die, come home a mangled mess, or spend the rest of your life marred with PTSD. Yeah, not a pleasant experience.
16. Keep on the job and turn D-Day to V-Day.
Yes, you want to see that Nazi surrender don’t you? Though this guy appears to have the same sullen face like he doesn’t mean it.
17. Servicemen fed courtesy of the Salvation Army.
So they even serve food for the troops? Thought they just do charity work and raise money during the holiday season.
18. Factories are the big guns on the home front.
However, I’m sure those smokestacks have horrible emissions. Way to contribute to climate change.
19. Shut off that light so they won’t see us.
Because you don’t want Germans destroying your house. And let’s just say, that happened a lot in WWII Britain.
20. Our labor and our goods are meant for fighting.
Still, perhaps you might not want to sew a guy’s pants while he’s working. Cause that’s kind of inconvenient.
21. Want to help with the war effort? Join the school garden army.
Where you can learn about horticulture by growing veggies for those in uniform. Though I don’t think a skirt is practical for plow work.
22. Don’t forget to give generously to help sustain Russia.
However, once the war’s over, stop donating money to the Russians. Since they’re our enemies and we’re fighting a nuclear arms race with them.
23. China is the first to fight so support it.
Until after the war when the factions will resume their ongoing civil war and the Communists take over. Let’s just say things will get worse under Chairman Mao.
24. Behold all the people the Brits have terrorized.
Well, this Italian WWII poster isn’t wrong since the British have inflicted a lot of death and destruction in the name of imperialism. However, we must understand this was made under Mussolini’s Fascist rule.
25. France is burning. Send help for the Red Cross.
Since what kind of person wouldn’t want to help this pretty nurse? Still, France will face worse in WWII.
26. Supporting the war effort has always been a tradition for American women.
They just do different things like sew or drill rivets. Still, after the war, the latter lady will have to give her job to a man.
27. Blood means life for defense so donate today.
Offer not available for black people. Because the American Red Cross was racist at the time.
28. Soldiers caught in hellscape? Someone must’ve talked.
Not sure if that’s the case most of the time. Since war’s all no matter what you do within it.
29. Yes, daddy helps build those plans indeed.
The kids looking up kind of remind me of dolls from a horror movie. Kind of wish the planes shoot them down already.
30. War stamps are full of Vitamin “V.”
This kid appears like a budding serial killer who’d slit your throat in a dark alley. Avoid him at all times.
31. Canadians, get your teeth into the job.
Looks like Hitler climbed up the wrong tree. Since the Canadian beaver’s chopping like a storm.
32. Are you a boy under 18? Join the Victory Boys.
This is an auxiliary unit for teenage boys to support soldiers. Yet, while our troops fight over there, they’re mostly doing care packages on the home front.
33. Produce your limit to stop the Axis Powers.
This one depicts a monster with Hitler and Hirohito heads and smashing the Statue of Liberty. Yes, that’s Fascism to you.
34. Beware of the monstrous Liberators.
This is a rather crazy Nazi propaganda poster from WWII. Seems assembled with everything the Nazis hated about the US but comes off as utterly ridiculous that it’s hard to take seriously.
35. Apparently, we got some sort of a traffic jam.
This one is supposed to encourage people to use less sugar in their jellies. But the jam parade is utterly freaky.
36. In war, it’s best you watch what you say over the phone.
For all you know, Hitler could be listening in. And you don’t want that, do you?
37. Even the walls have ears during wartime.
Man, these propaganda posters might make you paranoid after awhile. And yes, you can have Nazis living next door, which is pretty scary.
38. Join a balloon barrage squadron to secure our nation.
For one, those blimps fell out of favor after the Hindenburg crash. Second, more or less resembles a crazy steampunk cover.
39. Enlist in the Navy to help your country.
I don’t know about you. But that naval captain seems like he’s tied to a net. Oh, that’s just his outfit.
40. You don’t want to call off work over syphilis do you?
Yes, STDs are a bitch. So use protection or just keep it in your pants. Else, you lose your pay.
41. Behold, send in the Norwegian Legion.
This guy seems like he wants to retreat but doesn’t have the confidence to. And now he realizes he’s in deep shit.
42. Wanted: 500,000 men to the Western Front. Your country wants you.
That bald guy looks cartoonishly freaky, I’d pass on that. Seriously, the guy is the stuff of nightmares. Then again, anyone who refuses will get drafted anyway.
43. Don’t let the imperialist menace take away your babies.
Yet, another poster from Axis Italy during WWII. Here death comes in Allied form and takes away a crying mom’s baby. Seems more fitting on a horror movie poster.
44. What are you waiting for, Canada?
Okay, Canada did participate in World War II and many servicemen and women sent there served with distinction. Notable example: James Doohan from Star Trek. Still, that guy’s face is too priceless to take seriously.
45. Buy war savings stamps to save your kid from autocracy and poverty.
Unfortunately, since we have the Trump Administration in power, your best bet is to vote for a Democrat for 2020. War saving stamps won’t save you today.
46. From the American Revolution to WWII, Americans have always fought for liberty.
Well, that’s sort of true to an extent. Though Native Americans would beg to differ since we know what happened to them.
47. Be careful: telling a friend may mean telling an enemy.
Now they’re telling us we can’t trust our friends. That our friends may be Nazis? Oh wait.
48. Ask yourself are you supporting the war effort with all you can?
Well, that’s a good question with no easy answers. And you can see where it’s all headed to.
49. Put everything you can in this drive and keep on firing.
Yet, I don’t understand the use of golf metaphors. But keep swinging at Hitler.
50. When do we get Hitler? It’s up to you.
And the bombers seem to come after him right on schedule. Despite that he’ll shoot himself and his wife in a Berlin bunker in 1945.
51. For a quicker victory, we must do our part.
Yeah, but we won’t achieve victory until 1945. So that’s 2 years off which will take some large scale invasions and 2 atom bombs.
52. Let beaver and lion join in pursuing victory.
Yes, this is for Canada during WWII. Apparently, Canada was still part of Great Britain by then as far as this poster is concerned.
53. Pull for victory by helping us crack the world’s biggest nut.
That’s Hitler by the way. But in the 1940s, he has some stiff competition with Mussolini, Stalin, Franco, and Mao.
54. As long as you keep it under your hat, the soldier will be safe.
For careless talk costs lives. So don’t trust anyone with state secrets.
55. How will you save a life during Red Cross Week?
For humanity’s sake, choose civilization over barbarism. Also, stay away from Trumpism since it’s basically an American variation of fascism.
56. Crowing is an easy way to lose the war.
See the Axis leaders listening in to the rooster. Though you won’t get much intelligence from him. Unless he’s using a special rooster code.
57. Don’t forget to smack Hitler during your afternoon work.
Sure, these women work part time. But they don’t put up with Nazis.
58. Beware of the snake of Fascism.
Though given the language it’s in such as Spanish, I’m not sure who we’re supposed to root for. Are we supposed to be for the snake or the naked guy with the hammer?
59. Support your country. Dig for victory.
But would you trust a small child with a hoe and shovel? Not sure if I would.
60. You can’t win without women at war.
Indeed, someone has to make the bombs. And the young men need to be on the front lines. So….
61. Buy war savings stamps to share in the victory.
So the angel has a sword in one hand and an olive branch in the other. So invest in war and relish in the peace.
62. Government training schemes come with paid allowances. So train to win.
Though they really should use background checks. Since this guy seems to resemble the neighborhood psychokiller.
63. Use your blow torch to make a grilled cheese.
I’m sure that would work. But you really shouldn’t trust me with a blowtorch.
64. Defending American freedom is everyone’s job.
Here Uncle Sam puts on a more utilitarian hat so he won’t get his star-spangled top hat dirty. Though he doesn’t seem to be in prime condition.
65. Steel, not bread for the conquered.
You can see the knife has a swastika on the handle. Though the conquered can also use bread, too.
66. Are you in the British war effort?
The guys on the top go into the trenches. The others below stay on the home front. Be the folks at the home front.
67. The Patriotic Service League is America’s third line of defense.
You can tell it’s from World War 1 since it says “Confront Prussia.” Prussia had ceased to exist as a country in the 1870s. It was Germany then.
68. Remember folks, war traffic must come first.
Because in a time of war, the trains must run on time. Our servicemen’s lives depend on it.
69. Buy war bonds. They’re waiting.
If you don’t, the kid and the dog dies from a bombing. Just saying.
70. Buy war stamps to keep the planes fighting over the ocean.
Because we’ll need to a ton of planes to deal with those Japanese Zeroes. Still, the Pacific front is a real shitshow.
71. Your blood can save this soldier.
Blood donation offers available to white people only. Because 1940s America is under segregation where blacks in the South are effectively disenfranchised.
72. Russian bricklayers are willing to do their part.
Though this guy seems more likely to drop one on you. Make sure he’s not above you or you’ll live to regret it. If you live at all.
73. Cut down on the carbs and take down the Kaiser.
Because the troops need food to take down those U-Boats. But WWI will be won in the trenches.
74. During wartime, create make your own victory home.
So this means getting war work, raise and share food, walk and carry packages, conserve everything, and save 10% in war bonds. Some of this can apply to fighting climate change.
75. The American Junior Red Cross are builders of a new world.
Though lately, the American Red Cross has been under a lot of scrutiny. Since they haven’t had a great reputation in recent years.
76. Arise women, your country needs you.
And after you’re done, you might get the vote with the 19th Amendment. But don’t ask for it now.
77. Someone’s absent. Is it you?
What’s unsettling about this is that John Bull kind of resembles Donald Trump in a top hat and Union Jack vest. Makes me want to puke.
78. Do your part to help your country and make these planes fly.
Note that if you serve on a bomber plane, you don’t have very good survival odds. So write your last will and testament while you can.
79. Stay away from the red light district.
Notice how the prostitute’s depicted like a skeleton? That’s because she’s riddled with STDs.
80. Want to help defend America, ladies? Join the SPARS.
Guess that’s the female auxiliary to the Coast Guard. Yet, they show a woman wielding a shotgun in front of a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail. Bet she lost someone to dysentery.
81. Best keep your mouth shut since spies can be anyone.
Note Hitler behind. So he has people listening around since he’d like an easy victory.
82. Express your thanks to the Merchant Navy.
They don’t get appreciated for their work that much. But without them, the troops would have nothing. Still, it would be better to depict sailors than guys in business suits.
83. Join the Marines so we can smack ’em down.
And yes, they have flyers like the Army and Navy. Make sure he’s not on a bomber or he’s probably history.
84. In France, gold fights for victory.
And the rooster on the gold coin won’t let the soldier forget it. Also, chickens aren’t cowards since they can rip your freaking face off if you provoke them.
85. Ladies, join the WAVES to make your parents proud.
Since little Jimmy is too young to serve. While you just want to get as far from your parents as you can.
86. Britain expects national service.
And here you see Athena with a Union Jack over a military base. Sure won’t protect against German bombings.
87. If you can’t go across, come across by buying bonds.
However, I pity the ship who gets this seaman. Since he has that killer instinct and probably tortured animals as a child.
88. Don’t let American GIs pistol whip innocent Italian children.
Yes, this is another Fascist Italian poster. And yes, Americans aren’t depicted in a sympathetic light.
89. Want to be a ship’s officer? Join the Merchant Marines.
For the guy who wants to do his part but doesn’t want to see combat. Seriously, Mr. Roberts is basically a war movie without battle scenes since merchant marine service is the boring side of war.
90. Beach fronts are only reserved for the Master Race.
You’d almost think this was a vacation photo of the Malfoys. Except the Malfoys are pale while the dad seems like he’s related to the Trump family.
91. Join the Scottish War Savings Committee for honor’s sake.
They may bomb our lands. But they’ll never take our Freeeedom! Okay, I have to include at least one reference to Braveheart.
92. You defeated the Germans. Now defeat VD.
Because there’s gonna be a lot of it. So if you have an STD, keep it in your pants.
93. Apparently, France will be on fire soon if we don’t act now.
Wonder what war is this for. Judging by the guy’s uniform, it might be straight out of the 19th century. Perhaps the Franco-Prussian War.
94. Slaughter a bunch of Russians, you’ll get an Iron Cross.
Luckily, the Germans didn’t have much luck in Stalingrad. And Stalingrad marked the turning point in WWII. Sorry, D-Day fans.
95. Britishers need you so come across now.
After all, the US and Britain are close. And the US is kind of leaning on the Allies. Though they won’t decide until Pearl Harbor. Or Lusitania since I might be talking about the wrong war.
96. Are you Irish and Canadian? We got a unit for you.
By the way, they’re recruiting in Montreal. You know a major city in Quebec, where they speak French. Wonder what’s weird about this.
97. Since Pearl Harbor, we’re all in this together.
Notice the big red letters designed to grab your attention. Still, we’re all in this together. So dump Trump from the White House once and for all in 2020. Please, I’m begging you.
98. The military still has a place for you.
But if you haven’t joined already, don’t bet on avoiding the draft. We can’t all afford to get temporary bone spurs.
99. Appreciate America and stop the 5th Column.
Because we must resist foreign propaganda. Whether it’s Nazi tirades or fake Russian websites and Twitter accounts.
100. Remember that a night with Venus could mean a lifetime of Mercury.
So unless you got condoms on you, you might want to keep it in your pants, soldier. Yes, STDs are a bitch.