The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 4 – Types and Architectural Features

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Italy’s Castel del Monte was built in the 1240s by Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II. You may not know it, but it originally had a curtain wall. Yet, it’s a unique enough castle to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Finally, we get to the castle architecture. Over the 900 some years castles were built during the Middle Ages, they took on many forms with many different features. Most castles were made from wood since it was cheap, readily available, and an easy building material. However, a wooden castle was totally helpless against flaming arrows because we all know how wood catches fire, breaks, and decays over time. However, if a noble could afford it, he’d have his castle constructed from stone despite the high expense and maintenance. But stone was significantly less flammable and breakable with siege weapons and the elements. Early castles mostly consisted of simple fortifications and design. But as the medieval period went on, they became more complex with more towers, stronger gatehouses, and sturdier walls.

Castle Types

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Restormel Castle in England is an example of a shell keep which was a circular stone keep, are type of castle design. Though once a luxurious residence of the Duke of Cornwall, it was in ruins by the 16th century.

Adulterine Castle- a castle built without a liege lord’s or king’s approval.

Concentric Castle- a castle with 2 or more concentric curtain walls, such that the inner curtain wall is higher than the outer and can be defended from it. Often had round towers.

Courtyard Castle- a castle type consisting of a stone curtain wall surrounding a courtyard with buildings built inside it, normally against the curtain wall.

Knight’s Castle- a castle owned by a knight.

Motte and Bailey- an early form of castle where a large mound of dirt was built up. A wooden fortification was placed on top, which were shaped like a timber fence forming a circle like a crown.

Rectangular Keep- a stone castle with a square or rectangular keep with a second-floor entrance. The castle on Monty Python and the Holy Grail is a classic example.
Shell-Keep- castle style consisting of a circular or oval wall surrounding its inner portion. Usually stores and accommodates wooden buildings inside the hollow walls.

Stone Keep Castle- the classic medieval castle with a stone keep and a thick stone wall, which can be rectangular or circular in shape.

Tower House- a small castle consisting mainly or entirely of a single tower.

Architectural Features

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Built in the 12th century, the Château de Pierrefonds almost seems straight out of a fairy tale. Despite its 19th century restoration, it retains most of its defensive military architecture.

Aisle- space between an arcade and outer wall.

Ambulatory- aisle around an apse.

Apse- a circular or polygonal end of a tower or chapel.

Baluster- a small column.

Balustrade- a railing, as along a path or stairway.

Bar Hole- Horizontal bar for timber bar used as a door-bolt.

Barrel Vault- a cylindrical roof of stone or wood.

Base Cruck- a form of wood framed construction where the roof is supported by curved logs rising from the walls and not by aisle posts set on floor.

Bay- an internal division marked by roof principals or vaulting peers.

Blind Arcade- a line of arches on the face of a solid wall for decoration.

Bonnet- a freestanding fortification.

Boss or Keystone- a central stone in an arch or vault.

Bressumer- a beam to support a projection.

Cap House- a small chamber at the top of a spiral staircase in a tower or turret, leading to an open wall walk on the roof.

Cavalier- a raised structure containing a battery, usually sited above a bastion’s center to give better trajectory.

Cesspit- a wall opening where waste from one or more toilets were collected.

Colonnade- a range of evenly spaced columns.

Course- a level layer of stones or bricks.

Crossbar or Transom- a horizontal window division.

Cupola- a hemispherical armored roof.

Crow or Corbie Steps- a step-gabled end to a roof.

Diaphragm- a wall running up to the roof ridge.

Dog Leg- a right angle in a passageway.

Dormer- a vertically placed window in a sloping roof. Like you see on the top floors of a Cape Cod house.

Entresol or Mezzanine- a low story between 2 high ones.

Fireplace- a walled hearth used for heating a room. Most castles in the later Middle Ages had one in almost every room once they took off.

Gable- a wall covering the end of a roof ridge.

Garret- a building’s top story within a roof.

Groined- a roof with sharp edges at intersection of cross vaults.

Groin- junction of 2 curved surfaces in a vault.

Hood- an arched covering.

Impost- a wall bracket to support arch.

Jambs- side posts of an arch, door, or window.

Joists- wall-to-wall timber beans to support floor boards.

Lancet- a long, narrow window with a pointed head.

Label- a projecting weather molding above a roof or window to deflect rainwater.

Lantern- a small structure with open or window sides on top of a roof or dome to let light or air into the enclosed space below.

Lattice- Lines crossing to form a network whether on a window, fence, or gate.

Lintel- a horizontal stone or beam bridging an opening.

Loggia- a covered arcade or colonnade.

Louvre- a potter vent allowing smoke to escape from the hearth.

Meurtriere- an opening in the roof of a passage where soldiers could shoot into the room below.

Molding- masonry decoration that’s long and narrow as well as casts strong shadows.

Mullion- a vertical division of a window that’s constructed in panels.

Newel- Center post of a spiral staircase.

Nookshaft- a shaft set in a jamb or pier angle.

Pediment- a low-pitched gable over porticos, doors, and windows.

Pilaster- a shallow pier used to buttress a wall.

Piscina- a hand basin with a drain, usually set against or into a wall.

Pointed Arch- a sturdy arch that distributed the force of heavier ceilings and bulky wall. Can support much more weight than previous, simply, spindly pillars.

Rear Arch- an arch on a wall’s inner side.

Relieving Arch- an arch built up in a wall to relieve thrust on another opening.

Rib- a raised molding dividing a vault.

Roofridge- a roof’s summit line.

Soffit- an underside of an arch, hung parapet, or opening.

Spur- a triangular buttress used to strengthen a round tower’s bottom.

Spiral Staircase, Corkscrew, or Turnpike- a winding, circular staircase spiraling up clockwise which allowed added sword room for defenders. Steps were built unevenly to make it difficult for attackers to climb and fight. Said to be among the most economical and convenient method of accessing upper tower floors and easier to defend.

Squint- an observation hole in wall or room.

Traverse- a small bank or wall cutting across a covered way’s line.

Tympanum- a space between a lintel and arch over a doorway.

Vault- stone roofing.

Vaulted Ceiling- a ceiling with sturdy pointed archers and pillars that allowed ceilings to be taller than ever before. Also provided an impression of height, grandeur, and elegance. Can be built in a variety of different shapes and sizes.

Wall-Plate- a horizontal roof-timber on wall-top.
Wall-Stair- staircase built into a wall’s thickness.

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The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 3 – The Keep, Bailey, and Interior

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Built in the 14th century, the French Château de Vincennes boasts one of the tallest medieval fortified medieval structure in its keep. Within Paris, this castle served as the French royal residence during the 15th century. Yet, it’s had a long and colorful history with memorable moments.

Once you get through the walls, it’s on to the castle’s interior. First, we go into the courtyard with the bailey where you’d find plenty of animals grazing, gardens, and buildings. These buildings consisted of stables, workshops, barracks, water suppliers, and storage facilities. You may even see a chapel there. Yet, the central heart of the castle was the keep, which was considered the strongest area and the last place of refuge if outer defenses fell. During times of peacetime, it was the lord’s main residence where he’d conduct his business. He’d hold meetings and entertain guests in the great hall. At banquets, the kitchens would be bustling preparing lavish feasts while everyone was treated to dinner and entertainment. In some castles, the lord and his family would eat and sleep in the hall. Sometimes you might even find a chapel or dungeon, too.

The Courtyard

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Scotland’s Doune Castle was built in the 13th century by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. Its 14th century reflected current ideas on what a royal castle should be. Yet, we remember this as the castle featured in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Its courtyard isn’t particularly big in this aerial shot. Yet, it at least includes a well.

Bailey, Courtyard, Enclosure, or Ward- open space surrounded by a castle’s walls. Walls making up the bailey could be considered part of it. A castle could have several of these like an upper bailey, lower bailey, west bailey, and/or east bailey. Had room for buildings to house the Lord and his immediate followers along with space for animals and storage. During attacks, the local people could enter the bailey for safety.

Bake House- building that would’ve baked fresh bread for everyone living within the castle since bread was a dietary medieval staple.

Barmkin- a yard surrounded by a defensive wall in smaller castles.

Brewery- a building where an ale wife would’ve brewed ale and beer. Mostly because brewing beer was said to sterilize highly polluted water.

Death Hole- the space between the inner and outer curtain walls of a concentric circle that trapped attackers.

Garden- green area located in the bailey near the kitchen. Was split into several sections: fruit trees and bushes, herbs for cooking, herbs for medicine, vegetables, flowers for cooking, and flowers for medicine. There were often stairs leading up to it.

Inner Ward or Quadrangle- large inner courtyard inside a castle, usually around the keep. A focus to day-to-day residential life within the castle.

Outer Ward- large courtyard outside the inner ward but still held within the curtain wall. Was mostly reserved for livestock for grazing.

Stables- part where the horses and other livestock are kept since they’re the main medieval means of transportation, communication, and battle. Included haylofts and spaces for the grooms to live.

Workshops- separate buildings in the bailey for artisans to make objects for maintaining the building the grounds. Consists of carpenters, farriers, and blacksmiths.

The Keep

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Germany’s Burg Eltz was built in the 12th century and has been own by the same family for over 33 generations. It is one of 3 castles in the country that have never been destroyed. Yet, its keep is quite imposing in the Alps.

Forebuilding- a fortified entrance to the keep. Often held a staircase and a small chapel.

Keep, Donjon, or Great Tower-generally the central main tower built in the inner ward which was the tallest and strongest structure in the castle and gave a commanding view of all fighting positions. Usually served as the ruling lord’s residence since it was the safest place. The top most part served as his and his family’s quarters. The bottom was used for storage. While the middle was used for the great hall. In warfare, it was mostly used as the last line of defense during a siege or attack. Can be square or round and comprise of several floors. Can be attached to walls or free standing. Its walls could be over 17 feet thick to prevent undermining and a built-in staircase.

The Dungeons

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Castle dungeons were the stuff of nightmares. If you were thrown in here for a crime, you can be subject to a dark room in the castle basement with all kinds of horrifying conditions. And yes, you may be subject to torture and possibly execution. If you don’t starve to death or succumb to disease first.

Dungeon- a place to confine political prisoners. Mostly consists of a single small room with a single access from outside like a heavy door. Is generally underground and sometimes a secret passageway would lead to it. Though it could also be in the keep or under a gatehouse. Has plenty of unique torture devices for interrogation like branding irons, collar, torture rack, and others. Other enhanced interrogation techniques include whipping, boiling in water, and starvation etc. Also, employed full-time executioner who also administered torture.

Oubliette- a dark, narrow, underground, vertical tunnel-like dungeon with the only opening consisting of an iron-grilled trap door on the ceiling from the guard room floor where prisoners were left in their solitude for psychological torture. Though other torture methods may be used for interrogation or increase a prisoner’s suffering. Once a victim was thrown in the oubliette, they were considered forgotten by the outside world and left to die. Survival was nearly impossible and there was no way to escape.

The Great Hall

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The Great Hall was the main room in the castle where the lord would conduct his business, hold meetings, and throw feasts. In early castles, the lord, his family, and staff would even eat and sleep there.

Gallery- passage built into the thickness of the walls that runs around the upper part of a keep’s hall. Windows allow light into the hall below and the passage allows for movement around the keep’s upper floors. Also provides a position where hall events can be viewed. If the hall’s captured, defenders could’ve used a gallery to shoot arrows from.

Hall or Great Hall- a major room that’s possibly the heart of the castle which served as the castle’s principal living quarters. Usually a castle’s largest room either built in the keep or a separate building. Generally, consists of an elaborate high vaulted roof and/or a gallery running around on top of it. Served as a throne room, conference center, and dining hall.

Minstrels Gallery- a raised gallery overlooking the great hall intended for the lord’s musicians. Consisted of a narrow balcony with a railing or balustrade.

Truss- a timber frame used to support the roof over the great hall.

The Chapel

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Since Christianity was very important to people in the Middle Ages, most castles included a chapel. These can range from a simple room like this to elaborate buildings.

Aumbry- recess to hold sacred objects, typically in a chapel.

Chancel- the space surrounding the altar.

Chapel- a place of worship usually built within the keep, near the gatehouse, or a separate building in the bailey. Can range from a simple room or an elaborate edifice that can be 2 stories high with the family sitting in the balcony and servants in the nave. May have a resident or visiting priest depending on the resident noble’s peerage rank. Great place for the lord to marry off family members to secure alliances, soldier funerals, and display of piety. Also, a great space safe since harming a priest was widely seen as the ultimate act of barbarity. For only the most fearless of castle attackers would do such a thing. Not to mention, killing anyone in a place of worship was often frowned upon in the Middle Ages.

Choir- part of a cruciform church east of the crossing where you’ll find the singers.

Narthex- a chapel’s principal hall between the nave and the main entrance.

Nave- the principal chapel hall, extending from the narthex to the chancel.

Living Quarters

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In most medieval castles, high ranking nobles rarely slept alone since many had servants there with them. Yet, they can nonetheless be colorful tableaus as you see in this one.

Apartment- a room belonging to a castle household resident like a lord’s widowed mother.

Bottlery or Buttery- a room for storing and serving beverages like wine land other expensive provisions like a castle wine cellar. Located between the great hall and the kitchen. The person who presided over this room was called the butler.

Bower- attractive private apartment intended for the Lady. Usually in a room behind the dais of the great hall but later a higher level in the keep.

Camera- a private room used for both living and sleeping that’s set apart from the more public areas of a house.

Cistern- a castle’s water source, which collected rainwater from roofs. Can be located within the keep or bailey. Some castles had rudimentary plumbing that channeled water from cisterns to sinks.

Great Chamber- the bedroom for the lord and lady located on the keep’s upper floor.

Kitchens- where food is made. In early castles, they were separate from the keep in kitchen towers due to fire risk. But moved to the keep when brick construction became more common. A castle kitchen’s size was often proportionate to castle’s intended grandeur and importance. The most elaborate kitchens were all set to cook and prepare game and fish when hunting on the grounds.

Larder- a cool area where perishable food is stored prior to use. Was usually close to the kitchen. Staffed by a larderer who was responsible for meat and fish. Often had ice to keep the food chilled along with meat hooks.

Latrine or Privy- rooms with holes in the seats used as toilets. Wastes dropped below into the bailey, the outer wall’s base, the moat, or cesspools within the tower. Usually far away from the chambers and often had double doors to reduce the smell. But as time went on, a private privy was built for people occupying important rooms. To keep out a noxious stink, privy windows had no glass, which made it freezing in the winter months. Can be fitted with a wooden or stone bench with as many as 4-6 holes in it. Hat a chute which led to a cesspit or moat. Supplemented by chamber pots.

Oratory- a private chapel with an altar used by the lord’s family for private prayer. Can also be a small cell attached to a larger chapel.

Pantry- a storage area for food, beverages, gold, and other items. Usually located in the keep’s lower levels.

Screens- wooden partitions at the kitchen end of a hall, protecting passage leading to the buttery, pantry, and kitchen.

Solar- originally a room above ground level, but commonly applied to the great chamber or a private room off the great hall. Was traditionally seen as the sleeping and private quarters of the Lord’s family. But later became their private living room. Usually above the great hall.

Wardrobe- a room used to store the lord and his family’s clothes and personal articles.

Well- a castle’s primary water source that proved important during a siege even if they had little food. Can be situated in the courtyard or keep. Or at least located near the kitchen either within the bailey or keep. Outside wells were usually protected from the elements by a wooden covering or iron grating. Yet, it was possibly the castle’s weakest point. Since invaders could poison the water supply if left unattended, which virtually guaranteed defeat.

Specialty Areas

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No castle could ever be without its own armory. But where it was could depend on the castle. On some it can be in the keep. In others, in the gatehouse or bailey.

Arcade or Cloister- a covered passageway with arches along one or both sides. Can also be a row of arches supported on columns, which could be free standing or attached to a wall (like a blind arcade).

Armory- a room which stored weapons, armor, and other defenses to use in war or attacks. Typically located in the keep’s upper levels.

Barracks- a building or group of buildings used to accommodate soldiers.

Blockhouse- a small square fortification, usually of timber bond overlapping arrangement of bricks in courses.

Dovecote- a building used to house pigeons and doves. Generally contained pigeon holes for birds to nest.

Guardroom- room used by on-duty guards. Can also store weapons. However, the guards wouldn’t sleep there since they’d be barracked in the gatehouse, a tower, or under the keep.

Ice House- building to store ice. Was usually built underground with a conical or rounded bottom to hold melted ice and a drain for water.

Kennel- place to keep animals, particularly hunting dogs.

Knight’s Hall- a large room or chamber within a castle where knights gathered for meetings, meals, and planning their next activities.

Knights’ Quarters- living area for resident castle knights.

Mess Hall- dining area for soldiers and servants. May include its own kitchen.

Secret Passage- secret routes in the castle that served a variety of purposes. Some were designed to pen up a distance from the castle so inhabitants could escape during an attack or get supplies in and out during a siege. Secret passages also led to secret chambers where people can hide, supplies could be kept, or a water well was dug.

The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 2 – Towers and Gates

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England’s Windsor Castle was built after William the Conqueror’s invasion in the 11th century. Since then, it’s been a residence for the royal family to this day. Even if modern British monarchs just use this place for a weekend getaway. And yes, you’d almost mistake this gatehouse as the castle itself.

So we’re off to a great start. Some of the other distinguishing castle features are towers and the gates. When you look at any castle picture, you might come across an imposing entrance with the impressive gatehouse containing a drawbridge and that sliding iron wrought door of spikes. Yet, since an unsecure entrance made a castle uniquely vulnerable, the gateway was usually the first structure built in stone. A gatehouse contained a series of defenses to make a direct assault more difficult than battering down a simple gate. Yet, you’d probably wouldn’t know this in movies where vast armies storm the castle with no problem. In reality, trying to storm a castle head was a stupid way to lose an army. Another prominent castle feature are the towers, which were used for look outs and shooting arrows along with storage and imprisonment. They could be built in various locations like the walls and the gatehouse as well as come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Though early towers were mostly square shape which were said to be quite easy to topple through burrowing at the foundations. While round towers were not.

The Main Entrance

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The Welsh Harlech Castle was built by English King Edward I Longshanks in the 1280s. It was involved in several wars and was used as a residence and military headquarters by Welsh hero Owain Glyndwr in the early 1400s. Later, it was held by the Lancastrians during the 1460s until the Yorkist forces took it during the Wars of the Roses. And served as a Royalist stronghold during the English Civil War in the 1640s. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site as one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe.” Nonetheless, seeing this imposing gatehouse, you wouldn’t want to storm this castle.

Barbican- a stone outpost protecting the castle’s gate usually built in front of the main entrance. Construed in the form of a tower or gateway where guards could stand watch. Some may include a narrow passage allowing for a limited number of attackers forced into a confined area for defenders to shoot at them like fish in a barrel through murder holes from the ceiling. Early barbicans were built from earthworks and wooden palisades designed to add complexity to the entrance’s layout and confuse attackers. Usually acted as the outermost defense of a castle. Due to limited space, was only defended by a small number of men.

Breastwork- a heavy parapet slung between 2 gate towers. A defensive work usually situated over the portcullis.

Drawbridge- wooden bridge in front of the main gate to span the moat or ditch. In early castles, it was moved horizontally to the ground by hand or destroyed and replaced. In later castles, it was built so it can raise up in a hinged fashion thanks to pulleys, ropes, chains, and winches. Can be raised or withdrawn making crossing impossible and prevent siege weaponry being pushed toward the castle’s walls and gates.

Gatehouse- a complex of towers, bridges, and barriers built to protect the castle’s main entrance. Often had a guard house and living quarters. Usually consisted of 2 very large stone towers joined above the main gate guarded by a bridge, gates, portcullis, or a combination. But can range from a simple structure to a 2-3 story building with an impressive façade to impress royal visitors. Above the entrance were rooms to house the constable and some men to defend the building who were stationed on the first floor. While the top floor contained murder holes and storage space for weapons. Traditionally the most vulnerable part of the castle, it became one of the most secure and with an excellent defensive position. Contains a passage with all kinds of obstacles, traps, and murder holes in the vaulted ceilings. So perhaps you want to think twice before storming a castle. Usually the first part of the castle to be completed. Though a larger and circular wall castle could have more than one.

Murder Holes- holes left in the floor on a gatehouse’s upper level, used to thrust pole weapons down, or shoot down flaming arrows at attackers trapped between the inner and outer gates. Also used for dropping heavy rocks, hot tar, boiling water, and other nasty things.

Neck or Death Trap- a narrow walled passage between a barbican and the castle walls which trapped invading enemies.

Portcullis- a heavy, sliding metal or wood grate with sharp spikes that was vertically dropped just inside the castle’s main gate through ropes and pulleys. Designed to block passage and make using rams against the main gate less effective. Think about that before trying to break down a door with a battering ram. Can also be dropped on an enemy and injure multiple people. Was always in a state of readiness and the guards can drop it from its suspended position at any time. Some gatehouses could had more than one, depending on the castle’s size and number of entrances.

Turning Bridge- drawbridge pivoted in the middle and worked like a see-saw. Had a counterweight attached to the end near the gateway.

Wicket- a person-sized door set into the main gate door.

Wing-Wall- a motte’s wall downslope to protect stairway.

Yett- a portcullis of lattice wrought iron bars used for defensive purposes.

The Towers

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Originally built in the early 1100s, the Alcazar of Segovia started out as a fortress, but has served as a royal palace, a state prison, a Royal Artillery college, and a military academy. Today it’s a military archives building, museum, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Yet, you have to admit how its towers give the place a unique look.

Bastion Tower- tower projecting from a wall face that functions as a bastion.

Bastle House- a small tower house with a living room over a cowshed.

Corner or Archer Tower- tower located on curtain wall corners used for firing arrows from slits.

Drum Tower- a large, round, low, squat tower built into a wall, usually connecting stretches of curtain wall.

Flanking or Mural Tower- tower located on the castle walls that provided effective flanking fire.

Gate Tower- tower constructed at the main entrance. May be part of the gate house.

Tower- fortification used to provide stability and additional defensive capabilities to the curtain wall. Used for firing upon enemies, lookout, storage, and keeping prisoners. Provided access to lookout points, wall walks, and sleeping points. Can be constructed in various shapes, sizes, and at various locations.

Sanitary Towers- a tower in the inner or outer walls used as a toilet. The wastes would drop into a cesspool in a pit.

Wall Tower- tower on wall that archers used for showering arrows on invading armies.

Watchtower or Look Out- a freestanding structure used to alert the castle in an enemy attack, spot returning soldiers and visitors in the distance, check whether the coast was clear before anyone left the castle, and send messages to distant people using recognized symbols. Had to be so high that areas around the castle could be watched for an impending attack or siege. Usually had a 360-degree view as well as employed a guard or watchman to see for many miles around.

Turrets

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Belgium’s 14th century Cleydael Castle seems straight out of a fairy tale on the water. However, the turrets on that one tower are quite unique.

Bartizan or Crow’s Nest- a small turret at the corner of a tower or wall. Usually at the top but not always. Usually located at one of the highest points of the castle and used as a lookout.

Belvedere- a raised turret or pavilion.

Squinch Arch- arched support for an angle turret that doesn’t reach the ground.

Turret- a small tower rising above and resting on the walls or the edge of the castle’s main towers, usually used as a lookout point. Allowed defenders to provide sheltering fire to the adjacent wall in attacks. Can contain a staircase if higher than the main tower or an extension of a tower room.

The Anatomy of a Medieval Castle: Part 1 – Around the Walls

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This is Bodiam Castle in Sussex, England. Built in 1385 to defend against French invasion during the Hundred Years War, it doesn’t have a keep. But its walls and moat are impressive.

Whether you’re into Disney movies, Middle Earth, or Game of Thrones, we all seem enchanted with medieval castles. However, while we imagine them as a fairy tale palace, they were medieval house fortresses for European nobility. Though you’ll also find castles in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Castles originated in the 9th and 10th centuries as the fall of the Carolingian Empire resulted in individual lords and nobles dividing the territory. To control the area surrounding them, these guys built castles as both offensive and defensive structures. Castles provided a base to launch raids and protect from enemies. Though castle studies often emphasize their military origins and see castles as “a fortified private residence,” they also served as centers of administration and power. Urban castles were used to control the local populace and important travel routes. Rural features were often near features integral to life and community like mills, fertile land, or a water source. Though most medieval castles in Europe today are made from stone, many were made from wood, especially in the early Middle Ages. Due to lacking arrow slits and towers, early castles often exploited natural defenses and relied on a central keep. But as a scientific approach to castle defense emerged, leading to tower proliferation and emphasizing flanking fire. Taking inspiration from Roman forts and technology from the Crusades, you’ll find some concentric castles. Nevertheless, since all things much come to an end, castles began to decline began to decline with the introduction of gunpowder which made them uncomfortable and undesirable places to live. Though these structures still captured the imagination enough to make aristocrats want to build castle like houses, but without the key defenses.

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This is Herstmonceux Catstle in England’s East Sussex. Built in the 15th century, it’s one of the most significant brick buildings in England. Though more like a palace than a fortress, its walls and moat are nonetheless impressive. By the way, from 1957-1988, it was home to the Greenwich Royal Observatory. Today it’s used by the Bader International Center of Queen’s University in Canada.

The first part of this series will focus on the outermost components like the walls and what’s outside them. As the first line of defense, such structures would have to make invasions and sieges incredibly difficult for the enemy. Before a castle was built, you’d often construct an artificial hill called a motte and a ditch filled with water called a moat. A castle’s walls had to be high enough to make scaling with ladders impossible. And they had to be thick enough to withstand bombardment from siege engines. Though sizes vary, a typical castle wall could be 10 feet thick and 39 feet tall. They’d also have stone skirts around their bases to prevent infiltration as well. Walkways on top of curtain walls allowed defenders to rain arrows on the enemies below with battlements giving them further protection.

Outside the Walls

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The Chateau de Gisors in France whish was a key fortress for the Dukes of Normandy in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was built to defend the Anglo-Norman Vexin territory from the King of France. However, when Richard the Lionheart got imprisoned in Germany, the castle went into Philip Augustus’s hands. Was also known for its links to the Templars, serving as a final prison for its last Grand Master in 1314. Still, its motte is particularly notable.

Berm- a flat piece of land between the curtain wall and the moat protecting it. Intended to reduce soil erosion to keep the wall from collapsing. Also kept debris from the wall from falling into and filling the moat.

Bivalate- a pair of defensive ditches or earth embankments surrounding a mound or medieval castle.

Caponier- a covered passage within a ditch.

Caponiere- a covered passage across a ditch to an outer fortification structure like a ravelin.

Counterscarp- outer slope of a ditch.

Couvre Face- a low rampart in a ditch protecting the ravelin’s face.

Covered Way- a protected communication wall all around the ditch’s outer edge, covered by earthworks from enemy fire.

Crownwork- a freestanding fortification built in front of the main defenses.

Cunette- a trench at a ditch’s bottom.

Ditch or Fosse- a common defense dug around the castle’s outside walls and the resulting earth to create banks. Most were dry but some were filled with water to create moats. The steeper the ditch sides, the better since it made it more difficult for attackers to climb. Though ditches weren’t filled with water, rainfall would’ve created a muddy obstacle to cross. The castle’s toilets also emptied into it, giving attackers another disgusting problem.

Earthwork- fortification made of earth mounds, banks, and ditches.

Glacis- a bank sloping down from a castle which acts as a defense against invaders. Consists of broad, sloping, naked rock or earth on which the attackers are completely exposed.

Hornwork- an independent earthwork located in front but not connected to the curtain wall within its bastions’ range (so it can be defended by them). Had long parallel sides with a back shaped like a crescent moon facing the castle’s curtain wall. But was built so low so it couldn’t shelter attacking forces if overrun. Forced attackers to start their siege further away from the castle and gave defenders a better chance to destroy siege lines before they could reach the structure.

Moat- a deep, wide ditch surrounding a castle’s outer walls. Often filled with water from diverted rivers, lakes, or springs with a special dam. Mostly had an inlet and outlet of water rather than being a self-contained donut (unless the castle was built on an island in the middle of a lake). It was often around 3-30 feet deep and at least 12 feet wide. It was sometimes within the outer wall or between the outer wall and the inner wall. Its primary purpose wasn’t to stop attackers but siege weapons, siege towers, battering rams, and most importantly, tunnelers. Since tunneling a castle was an effective means of collapsing the walls or infiltrating it. A moat would cause any tunnel to collapse through flooding. Also, gave valuable time for castle defenders to form strategies for subsequent defense. Sewage was often tipped into the moat so it would smell pretty unpleasant.

Motte- a natural or artificial hill with a flat top upon which a castle was built. Was constructed from dirt and rocks to a height between 10 and 100 feet.
Neck Ditch- a ditch cutting across a neck of land to hinder an enemy’s advance.
Place of Arms- an enlarged area in a covered way where troops could assemble.
Ravelin or Demilune- a triangular earthwork located in front (but not connected to) the curtain wall, within range of the curtain wall’s bastions. The back was shaped like a crescent moon and faced the curtain wall. But built low so it couldn’t shelter attacking forces if the ravelin was overrun. The front sides also had a defensive wall of their own. Allowed defenders to fire upon attacking troops before they could reach the curtain and a better chance to destroy siege lines before they could reach the castle. Forced attackers to start their siege further away from the castle.

Revetment- a retaining wall to prevent erosion.

Scarp- a slope on a ditch’s inner side.

Tilting Yard- yard or field where jousting tournaments and combats took place. Usually situated just outside the castle’s confines.

Watergate- a gate allowing a coastal castle to be resupplied by sea, especially during a siege.

The Walls

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Scotland’s Craigmillar Castle is a ruined castle in Edingburgh built in the 14th century. Mary, Queen of Scots once stopped here to convalesce after her son James’s birth. It was here some of her supporters decided to kill her godawful husband Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Still, the walls are amazing to look at.

Allure or Wall Walk- walkway at the top inside of the curtain wall, which allowed guards to look for enemies. Reached either from a set of stairs running up from the wall’s inside or from a built-in tower. Can also be the fighting area on a tower as well.
Bastion or Bulwark- a structure projecting at the end of the curtain wall or at the junction of 2 walls. Usually situated at each corner of a curtain wall. Though could be placed in the middle if the walls were long. Allowed the defenders to cover dead ground (blind spots where attackers can’t be seen or fired upon) and provide crossfire for the curtain wall and adjacent bastions. Can consist of a tower or turret.

Batters- a section at a castle wall’s base that’s angled in such a way to make dropped stones bounce away from the curtain wall and into the enemy. Also add strength to the wall walk’s base.

Buttresses- a rectangular masonry projections used as additional outside strength and support for walls. Become thinner towards the top. Prominently featured in Gothic cathedrals like Notre Dame.

Chemin-de-Ronde- a walk-walk extending all the way around a castle.

Chemise Wall- wall formed by a series of interlinked or overlapping semicircular bastions.

Citadel- the innermost curtain wall of a concentric castle. Had walls higher than the rest and was the last line of defense before the keep itself.

Corbel- a stone bracket projecting from a wall or corner that supports a main floor or other structure’s weight. Often used for turrets.

Cornice- a decorative projection along the top of a wall.

Counterguard- a long near-triangular free-standing fortification within the moat.
Crenels, Embrasures, or Wheelers- small openings in crenellation that’s splayed on the inside, allowing the archer to move into the arrow slit space and get a better view.

Cross-Wall- an internal dividing stone wall in the keep providing extra strength and a platform for wooden floors. Also served as a barrier at times when the keep had been invaded.

Curtain Wall or Enceinte- a surrounding outer stone wall around the castle connecting the towers and other fortifications. Was designed to protect the castle. Can be 8-20 feet wide, up to 45 feet high and 1,500 feet long.

Flying Buttresses- masonry projections used to spread and support the weight of tall walls by transferring force directly to the ground. Were often elaborately designed, appearing to dart and sweep around each building, giving a sense of movement and flight. Usually decorated with intricate carvings giving a sense of grandeur and importance.

Garderobe- a room projecting from a wall that served as a toilet the family’s clothes. A hole in the floor allow wastes to drop below. Had chutes for discharge which often led to the castle moats and had iron bars to prevent entry from attackers.

Glacis- an angling of the curtain wall along the vertical plane that allows the wall to deflect some or all the force of rocks or other missiles thrown from a siege engine or cannon balls fired from siege cannons.

Hoardings or Brattices- wooden fortifications added to the crenellations and towers to provide additional protection to the castle’s defenders. They were removable and provided overhead cover. Also provided a walkway outside the crenellations facilitating the dropping of stones and hot liquids on attackers.

Hoarding Holes- holes in the castle walls to support the hoarding.

Inner Curtain Wall- defensive wall within a castle dividing the inner area into 2 or more defensive areas.

Lunette- a fortification shaped like a half-moon or arrowhead which was similar to a bastion except that it didn’t have wings connecting to a castle’s wall and the back was generally open. Can be its own structure or connected to a curtain wall like a bastion.
Machicolations- permanent stone additions to a castle’s battlement which provided better cover for defenders inside the castle, allowing them to drop items like boiling oil, hot lead, dead animals, human excrement, and rocks on attackers. Most often located in places that would be commonly attacked like near the main entrance.

Oriel Window- a window or set of windows sticking out from a building like bay windows. Made of stone or wood. Often had corbels underneath to support them.

Orillion- an arrowhead bastion.

Palisade- a sturdy wooden fence built to enclose a site until a permanent stone wall could be constructed. Can be as high as 10 feet tall.

Pitatta Forma- a fortification structure protecting the curtain wall between 2 bastions. It’s square or rectangular in plan but takes the form of a small tetrahedral bastion.

Plinth- a wall’s projecting base.

Postern or Sally Port- a small secondary gate located in the curtain wall’s back, which mostly functioned as a backdoor entrance or exit. Was connected to a small guard room near the bailey. Was often in a concealed location which allowed occupants to come and go inconspicuously. If possible, it could be built on a cliff, only accessible by footpath. During a siege a postern could act as a secret exit for troops to pass through besiegers or send out a messenger. Was firmly barricaded during conflict and people sometimes used a password to enter. Used by tradesmen and servants during peacetime. Designed for only one unmounted person could go through at a time.

Putlog Holes- castle wall holes to support scaffolding.

Rampart- a defensive wall of stone and mounds of earth that can be built quickly for early medieval castles. Later replaced by battlements.

Rear Arch- arch on an inner wall’s side.

Relieving Arch- an arch built in a wall to relieve thrust on another opening.

Respond- a half-pier bonded into a wall to carry an arch.

Redan- a small ravelin, derived from the lunette but had shorter sides. Was often made of earthwork but could comprise of stone and other materials. Could be its own structure or connected to a curtain wall like a bastion.

Rubble Core- a filling between the outer and inner wall parts.

Shield Wall- an exceptionally thick wall protecting the castle on its most vulnerable side.
Talus- a slope on the curtain wall that inhibited an attacker’s ability to reach the wall with a siege tower. Since a tower’s ramp wasn’t enough. Also provided a strong foundation to help support a wall against undermining.

Battlements

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England’s Warwick Castle was developed from an original built by William the Conqueror during the 12th century. During the Hundred Years War, it was refortified which resulted in one of the most recognizable examples of 14th century military architecture. After its stronghold days were over in the 17th century, it was converted in a country house. And yes, you’ll find a lot of cool battlements here.

Arrow Loops, Arrow Slits, or Loopholes- thin slots in the walls and structures used to shoot arrows through. Came in a variety of shapes and sizes, usually depending on the weapons fired from it. Low and narrow arrow slits were suited for crossbows. High and wide arrow slits were built for longbows, which can be as high as 9 feet. But common designs are key holes, vertical slits, or crosses which allow the archer to fire his weapon with a great amount of protection.

Battlement, Rampart, or Crenellation- a defensive, outside top wall that has a broad top with a walkway and a typically stone parapet. Notched wall consists of alternate crenels (openings) and merlons (square sawteeth) to give castle defenders a position to fight or fire through as well enough protection to reload.

Fausse Braie- an exterior battlement, outside and parallel to the main battlement and considerably below its level.

Finial- a slender piece of stone used to decorate the merlon tops.

Merlons- upward square sawteeth of a battlement. Often pierced with arrow slits for observation and fire. Are usually rectangular in medieval Europe but can also appear in a swallow-tail form along with other shapes. Also have a secondary decorative purpose by giving the castle a distinct castle like appearance you find in storybooks.

Oilette- a round opening at a loophole’s base to help archers to easily aim a shot.

Parados- a low wall on a main wall’s inner side.

Parapet- a barrier at the edge of a roof, terrace, walkway, or other structure. Often used to defend a castle from military attack as a low defensive wall at shoulder or head height.

I Want You to View These Vintage Wartime Propaganda Posters (Second Edition)

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Once again, the 4th of July puts us in the patriotic kick of things. Unless the Trump administration put a damper on that, like it does with everything. Anyway, I did a post of old wartime propaganda posters for the 4th of July last year. And since I have plenty left over, I thought it would be a good idea to do another. Because I think we all long for the days when propaganda didn’t try to pass itself as news. Though to be fair many of these wartime posters function more like public service announcements with messages like conserve resources, do your part, don’t give out any military secrets, buy bonds, enlist, and what not. And yes, you’ll find plenty with racist caricatures, particularly on any of the WWII ones featuring the Japanese. Still, they tend to be rather interesting to look at and not such for the artwork. But many of them have become so ingrained in the popular imagination that they’ve been parodied in pop culture for years. Nevertheless, for your reading pleasure, I give you a treasure trove of more propaganda posters from the old wartime years. Enjoy.

  1. Conserve water for the military industrial complex.

To be fair, this is for WWII when many nations were fighting for their survival. Still, the military industrial complex has gained a shadowy reputation since then.

2. This Christmas give your family the gift of war bonds.

Sure your kids may not enjoy them now. But wait until they’re about to go to college. Also, it’s your patriotic duty to do so.

3. Don’t get VD or else you’ll miss the boat.

Because our nation can’t afford soldiers with gonorrhea or chlamydia. So guys, keep it in your pants.

4. Angelic lady with harp wants you to enlist at your nearest recruiter station.

Because if you don’t enlist now, there’s a good chance they’ll draft you. A gem from World War I, by the way with George M. Cohan’s “Over There.”

5. One legged sailor wants you to do your part.

Because as you can see, he already did and got his leg blown off for it. And to him, it was worth it.

6. The YWCA wants you to support women workers.

Because women build planes and bombs so men can use them to blow up or shoot down other guys. By the way, average air time in a WWI aircraft was 20 minutes.

7. “When the sword is drawn, the Navy upholds it!”

So join the US Navy. Because spending long days warding off German U-Boats sure beats trenches and planes. Seriously, anything is better than the trenches.

8. Before you bang this woman, know that she might be an STD laden whore.

Yes, they seem to have a lot of wartime posters on STDs. But then again, contracting an STD is far worse than getting a cold.

9. Don’t be lazy or you’ll help the Nazis win.

Makes me wonder if they’re putting this guy down or sympathizing with him. I mean, the guy has a broken arm and can’t really do his job.

10. Even Mickey Mouse wants you to buy bonds.

Because Mickey loves America and wants to protect it from Nazis. Despite that Walt Disney was anti-Semitic.

11. Strike a blow for the Axis and give more wood for the army.

And we mean lumber this shirtless jacked guy chops down. Not the other kind since being gay in the military can give you a one way ticket to Levenworth, Kansas.

12. Civilians need food so plant more beans.

Because these people liberated from Axis occupation are absolutely starving. Mainly because of totalitarianism, systematic oppression, and the fact we bombed the shit out of their towns.

13. Buy war bonds to the moms and kids of fallen men.

Because a lot of employers simply won’t hire single moms during the 1940s. This is especially the case when she has two kids under the age of 5.

14. In a time of war, great Americans don’t take time off when their country needs them.

Though even during a time of war, can’t people just take time off for medical needs? Besides, everyone needs a break.

15. A woman loves a man who volunteered for submarine service.

Yet, serving in a submarine is absolutely no picnic at all. Still, at least they didn’t have women on there fortunately for her.

16. Defeat the Nazis and defend religious freedom.

Though I’d think it would be more to the point if it was a synagogue instead of a church. But church works fine.

17. The traffic light is right, stop waiting to beat Hitler and enlist.

However, they forgot to put a disclaimer: Must be 18 years or older. Though the traffic light is very effective.

18. Send your scrap to Uncle Sam so they can shoot down Nazi planes.

Still, I’m not sure a burning plane for a scrap metal poster is a good idea. But then again, this is WWII so it’s understandable.

19. Want to avoid VD? Try Prophylaxis.

Prophylaxis means prevention. And I guess the prophylaxis here is keeping it in your pants.

20. Whether in the fields, factories, or combat zones, we must attack at all fronts.

Yet, this doesn’t necessarily mean using a hoe or a blow torch as weapons. But they’re the home front.

21. Kids, help Uncle Sam win the war by buying war savings stamps with your change.

Since bonds are for grownups. And the US government isn’t above getting its hands on your monthly allowance to pay for a new machine gun.

22. Ladies, don’t worry about rations, can your food instead.

Yes, they encouraged people to can their food so they’d last for weeks. Then again, they didn’t have as reliable refrigeration then.

23. The Red Cross and Uncle Sam need you!

I don’t know about you, but Uncle Sam seems to be a bit creepy with that nurse. I have a bad feeling where this is leading.

24. Soldiers, when you sleep with a woman, you might pick up more than a girl.

And they think college hookup culture is bad these days. Yes, the World War II generation slept around, too.

25. This soldier wants you to save gas through carpooling.

Yes, carpooling saves gas. But the disadvantage of carpooling is that it’s not always feasible for co-workers living a neighborhood away from each other. Though this wasn’t much of a problem in the 1940s.

26. Before the war, men never thought a woman can do a blue collar job.

Yes, this is kind of sexist. But women did work in factories during both world wars. Not to mention, many female factory workers in WWI started out as girls.

27. Be wary and don’t fall for Axis propaganda.

Note they included religious bigotry on there but left out other faiths. Still, I’d worry more about Axis Sally than Tokyo Rose.

28. See a German U-Boat? Bomb it!

This is a navy recruitment poster. And here’s a guy carrying explosives. Hope he throws it at the Germans quick or he’s sunk.

29. Someone talked and this man’s ship got bombed.

Yes, scare them straight into shutting up while they make port in a foreign country. Still, you’d wonder if this guy ever learned to swim.

30. Uncle Sam wants you to shut up about military strategy.

Because you’ll never know when you meet a Nazi spy. So keep your trap shut.

31. The British Navy needs your bones for bombs.

They also need bones for all this other stuff, too. Though the aircraft one is puzzling to me.

32. Remember, loose talk during lunch can cost lives.

Nothing inspires paranoia like this one. Doesn’t help they’re drinking beer either. Oh, I see what they’re getting at.

33. Winston Churchill always holds the line to victory.

Here’s Churchill’s famous English bulldog portrait. And it doesn’t seem very flattering to me.

34. Careless talk will give you a German Iron Cross.

Or as this poster conveys, “make you a traitor.” Also not, the Nazi signet in full display.

35. Remember to eat healthy to be US strong.

Too bad a lot of people in our country do not nowadays. Still, you can see the point.

36. Talk less because you’ll never know if you meet a German spy.

Keep in mind that the Gestapo mainly dressed in civilian clothes in Nazi Germany. So this isn’t incredibly far fetched.

37. Fight for your country so you won’t have to lose your sacred rights.

Too bad they didn’t try to warn us during the 2016 election. Because our rights are now under attack from the Trump administration and the GOP as we speak. Have you seen the GOP healthcare plan and anti-protest laws?

38. VD can be cured, but antibiotics can’t relieve your regret.

So a sailor should be a good boy to keep it in his pants and his mouth shut. Because careless talk may mean death to your comrades.

39. Set to course to victory, join the US Coast guard.

Sure patrolling the nation’s borders may seem like a boring gig as you see these guys’ faces. But at least you most likely won’t die.

40. Defend America, don’t waste your food.

Because Americans need to be healthy to defeat the Nazis. So clean your plate at dinner.

41. Empty cans? Save them for ammunition.

Funny how the bullet chains are cans with tomatoes. As if they’re firing a machine guns with sauce bullets.

42. To avoid careless talk, don’t forget to tie your parrot’s beak shut.

Or any military camp could just ban pets. Much easier than tying something on a parrot’s mouth.

43. Soldiers, Uncle Sam wants you to take care of your gear.

For soldiers need to make sure everything’s working so their equipment can last. Doing that, the life they could save, could be their own.

44. Support oil for it powers planes and land vehicles.

Though today, you’d be more for clean energy like wind and solar. Okay, maybe we’re not that far yet, technology wise. But we’ll get there.

45. Join the Navy and man the guns!

I don’t know about you. But there’s something phallic about that missile and it doesn’t help that the guy doesn’t have shirt on. Just a thought.

46. Produce to the limit or else the 2 headed Axis hulk will storm New York City.

Because you don’t want this monster destroying the Statue of Liberty. Still, in movie world, cataclysmic events in New York are commonplace.

47. Use your ration stamps to stamp out black markets.

Funny how they have a black marketer in disgusting green. Yes, ration stamps get the job done.

48. Keep em’ fighting since production wins wars and prevent accidents.

Again with the bare chest and phallic looking missiles. And you wonder why sailors are more prone to gay stereotyping.

49. Every minute counts so avoid time off.

Instead of avoiding time off, it’d be better if it said, “avoid vacation time.” Because if someone needs a day off for illness, injury, or family, then they should have it.

50. Keep our cars rolling cause America can’t hitchhike to victory.

Still, hitchhiking isn’t a good idea even if that’s a way people got around at the time. And hitchhiking to victory, forget it.

51. “We’ve just begun to fight! Watch us put it across!”

I guess this is for recruitment as the eagle looks ahead. Guess this is from WWII.

52. The housewives brigade wants your scraps.

So give them all your junk so they can give to the war effort. Metal, paper, and bacon grease preferred.

53. Don’t read history, make it. Join the Navy.

But I think reading history is very important. This goes especially for the stuff that isn’t flattering like slavery.

54. Buy bonds to keep Germany and Japan from this mom and kid.

Yes, they have menacing hands that’ll go after your family. Just imagine the suffering.

55. Men who know always say no to prostitutes.

Because prostitutes are STD ridden whores who’ll infect them. Then again, this isn’t an entirely accurate description.

56. War bonds are the crop that never fails.

Though if I can grow money I would. But unfortunately money doesn’t grow on trees. Or from the ground.

57. Eat some of each from every food group every day. Other than that, eat whatever you want.

Nowadays, you’d have to eat a set of servings from each group. And it’s usually shaped within a plate or a pyramid.

58. In a time of war, it’s best you watch your weight.

So I guess they don’t want you to overeat either. Yes, it’s best you know your capacity.

59. Knock out VD. Prophylaxis prevents disease.

And yet, they have tanks shooting out saying, “soap,” “silver,” and “mercury.” Unfortunately, such treatment aren’t as good as penicillin.

60. July 4th is Uncle Sam’s birthday and the US is still going strong after 142 years.

And see Uncle Sam charge with his bayonet among the exploding bombs. Not necessarily a safe way to run through. But it’s WWI.

61. Simple Sam breaks a tool every day at work.

Here he is on a stool with a dunce cap. Yes, his antics in the factory waste time. But he really can’t help himself.

62. The Statue of Liberty wants you to buy a liberty bond or she perishes.

So while Uncle Sam urges men to serve, Lady Liberty urges everyone else to buy bonds. But she doesn’t look defenseless here.

63. Take the pledge that you’ll use ration points and not buy black market stuff.

Because it’s your patriotic duty to do so as an American consumer. So raise your hand and swear to it.

64. Let the guns do the talking for silence is security.

Because the guns can do quite a lot of damage. Kind of intimidating if you ask me.

65. Sure she might be hot but she could very well be a Nazi spy.

If you want to know, just ask her what she thinks about Jewish people. Okay, maybe that’s a bad indicator.

66. Always be be on the alert and join the Marines.

Here he has a gun pointed at planes during the night. I’m sure the planes don’t know what’s coming.

67. A rattlesnake is less dangerous than careless talk.

And rattlesnake bites are are real bitch. In fact, rattlesnakes can kill you. Just look at the fangs of this thing.

68. Think this Japanese beauty is hot? Avoid her.

Crazy how they managed to put a naked woman on here. Not often you see this on a WWII poster.

69. Sailor, beware of who you screw at port.

So don’t tell her anything about equipment, salings, or troop movements. She might be using her hotness to get you to talk.

70. Want to bring him back sooner? Get a war job.

Though the sooner you bring him back home, the sooner you’ll get a pink slip. So what it brings you is mixed.

71. “You give us the fire. We’ll give ’em hell!”

Here he is about to get in a fighter. Remember that bombers and pilots didn’t have a high survival rate in WWII. So he’s not likely to make it.

72. In Germany, someone is doing the same job as you, beat ’em.

Funny how they put it behind a large white swastika. Looks so evil.

73. The swastika marks the spot.

And it’s squarely on Hitler’s ass. And the planes are bombing it like crazy as he screams in pain.

74. Make every minute count for Pershing. Join the  shipyard.

However, keep in mind that WWI era wasn’t known for good health and safety conditions. And that the guy isn’t in proper safety equipment.

75. Remember, housewives, save fats for explosives.

Because fats contain nitro glycerin. So whenever you contribute grease to the military, you’re killing Nazis.

76. Women, there’s a war to be won. So get on your feet now.

Because when there’s a war on, the US needs everyone they have. So ladies, it’s off to the munitions factories.

77. Canada needs soldiers like you in its army.

Instead of a noble knight on horseback, we have a soldier on a motorcycle. Don’t think popping a wheelie is a good idea.

78. Smack the Japanese and join the submarine service.

Here’s a guy holding a V for victory. Hope he knows that the Pacific front was particularly horrific.

79. A starving child’s life was saved because you went without luxury. So give us money.

What a way to pull at people’s heartstrings. Though recently, the American Red Cross’s reputation has suffered.

80. “Let’s go Canada!”

Apparently, Canada didn’t have its famous maple leaf flag yet. And this guy hardly looks like a badass.

81. Every time you take the day off, you help Hitler.

Seems like they’re big on getting people not to miss any day at work. Though everyone deserves a break now and then. Even in wartime.

82. Break the bottle neck traffic, carpool.

Yet, in this one, the car breaks the bottle. But you have to agree, carpooling is a good idea, whenever it’s feasible.

83. Tell where he’s going, he’ll never get there!

Because telling where he’s going helps the enemy. So don’t. Okay?

84. Remember, make a mistake, you help the enemy! Because there’s a war on.

Sorry, but we can’t afford secretaries making mistakes. Too bad she might not have adequate training which I’m quite sure about.

85. Don’t forget that this hideous Japanese guy is the enemy.

Really? Depicting Japanese guys as raping white women? That’s about as racist and horrendous as sending a bunch of Japanese Americans to internment camps out west.

86. Still need more rags for salvage.

And yet, this old guy leads an invisible homeless guy. Couldn’t see anything so cruel.

87. “Remember Pearl Harbor and purl further!”

Seems like this was designed by a knitting circle. Still, it’s kind of clever.

88. Hey, British POWs, want some fresh air? Join the Free Corps.

The British Free Corps was a Waffen SS unit during WWII consisting of British prisoners of war who were stationed at the Eastern Front to fight the Russians. Only 54 joined up and major figures were later court martialed as traitors.

89. Fight the Japanese menace surrounding Australia. Blockade!

Though to be fair, militaristic Japan wanted an empire. And Australia is quite close to Indonesia.

90. “Couldn’t have done it without you!”

As if this American sailor can’t help but show how many Japanese boats he’s sunk. So proud of his accomplishments.

91. Salvage your rubber cause these guys have more important places to go.

Though it seems like they’re going on a joy ride more than anything. But they need rubber for tires to get around places.

92. Talk too much and this soldier’s behind a barbed wire fence.

Of course, he’d probably be at some POW camp which is nothing like Hogan’s Heroes. But at least he can be happy he’s not from Russia.

93. Can’t fight in war? Plant a victory garden instead.

After all, if you can grow it, you don’t need to buy it. You can even give some of your produce to the troops, too.

94. Open your eyes, America, since fighting Nazis isn’t business as usual.

Nor is it with the Trump administration. Not sure how we’ll get through that with our federal government intact.

95. Be good this year and invest in defense.

Because if you’ve been bad and help Nazis, then you’ll probably get something worse than coal. Like a charge for treason. And Santa wouldn’t like that.

96. Keep your mouth shut and don’t rat out information.

Cause you never know when the Axis powers would use it against you. So be smart and don’t say anything about war stuff.

97. The YWCA wants you to back our girls over there.

Yes, women who served in WWI didn’t get the credit they deserved. This switchboard operator is one of them.

98. Even a fish would keep its mouth shut around Japanese bait.

Boy is their rendition of the Japanese racist. Still, even if the fish took the bait, it would die right there.

99. After Iwo Jima, it’s all of us together.

This is a depiction of the famous photo at Iwo Jima. Subject of two Clint Eastwood movies.

100. Wasting stuff helps Hitler.

And they had to do a paper version of Hitler with a weird looking mustache brush. Not flattering but he’s a horrible man anyway.

A Speech for Our Times

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The 1940 film The Great Dictator is a historically significant political satire where Charlie Chaplin condemns Hitler, Mussolini, the Nazis, and Anti-Semitism. At the end of the movie, Chaplin as the barber is mistaken for the titular despot and gives a speech denouncing totalitarian regimes like Nazi Germany and rallying the soldiers along with the audience to fight for free liberal democracy. 76 years later with the rise of right-wing populist authoritarianism, Chaplin’s 5-minute climatic speech resonates as much as ever. These regimes may not be like the militarist nationalist regimes of the 1930s, but they can be just as much a threat to democracy, civil liberties, state institutions, human rights, and even the civic moral fiber. Many of these regimes came into power on platforms promoting racism and xenophobia. And many of the movements have demagogue leaders who have abused their power for their own enrichment, discredited and intimidated anyone who’s challenged or criticized them, and have little respect for the laws, values, and traditions in the very country they’re supposed to lead. Furthermore, their elections have emboldened extremists within their own nations into committing acts against vulnerable people with little or no consequence. But unlike some dictators of the 1930s, authoritarian leaders are much more likely to erode their constitutionally democratically elected regimes through legitimate means from within, which can even be scarier as well as just as disturbing. We must stand firm against authoritarian regimes that may not just compromise people’s liberties and rights, but can also rot a nation’s soul through corruption, misinformation, manipulation, and incompetence. Today we need to hear the words of Chaplin’s climatic speech more than ever to be reminded of our common humanity and how authoritarian leaders threaten our way of being. And since I doubt it’ll be heard at the Oscars this weekend, I have it on my blog.

Chaplin’s Final Speech from The Great Dictator:

I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men – cries out for universal brotherhood – for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world – millions of despairing men, women, and little children – victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say – do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed – the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. …..

Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes – men who despise you – enslave you – who regiment your lives – tell you what to do – what to think and what to feel! Who drill you – diet you – treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men – machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate – the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” – not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power – the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then – in the name of democracy – let us use that power – let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world – a decent world that will give men a chance to work – that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world – to do away with national barriers – to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!

I Want You to View These Vintage Wartime Propaganda Posters

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Now that we’re in the patriotic swing of things for the 4th of July, perhaps we should take a look at some wartime propaganda. Of course, last year I did a series on Declaration of Independence signers which wasn’t a huge hit among the blogosphere or Google Search. But this year, I think doing a post on wartime propaganda from the two World Wars from the early 20th century might bring some flag waving fervor. Or it just might be something that I could have a lot of fun with. After all, I’ve already done the American flag. Nevertheless, these propaganda posters not only served as iconic images from governments and other agencies to do their part for the effort, but also pointed out that as a nation at war, we’re all in this together. And if you’re not doing your part or making any sacrifices, you’re being an unpatriotic dimwit who should be ashamed of yourself. Still, it’s interesting to look at these posters and see what kind of messages and images there are at the time. You’ll find Uncle Sam and Rosie the Riveter. But you’ll also find stuff on encouraging conservation, not throwing stuff away, buying bonds, men keeping it in their pants, and even carpooling. Yes, carpooling. Not only that, but a lot of these propaganda posters have been parodied over the years, even after the conflicts that made their existence. So for your reading pleasure, I want you to see a treasure trove of some historical posters encouraging you to do your part for the cause.

 

  1. Your friends are fighting, why aren’t you, man?
This is a recruitment poster from Canada encouraging young men to join the armed forces. And Canada certainly participated in both world wars. James Doohan was one of the most famous Canadian WWII veterans since he was Scotty from Star Trek.

This is a recruitment poster from Canada encouraging young men to join the armed forces. And Canada certainly participated in both world wars. James Doohan was one of the most famous Canadian WWII veterans since he was Scotty from Star Trek.

2. Be a Merchant Marine and help deliver the goods.

The merchant marines are among the most underrated war heroes in both world wars since transporting supplies is crucial for any war effort. However, like you see in Mr. Roberts, they don't see much action and it was very boring gig.

The merchant marines are among the most underrated war heroes in both world wars since transporting supplies is crucial for any war effort. However, like you see in Mr. Roberts, they don’t see much action and it was very boring gig.

3. Ladies, Joan of Arc saved her country, you can save yours by buying stamps.

Except that Joan of Arc saved France by being the French Army's mascot and providing divine inspiration. Lincoln's comment of Ulysses S. Grant's drinking would describe her perfectly.

Except that Joan of Arc saved France by being the French Army’s mascot and providing divine inspiration. Lincoln’s comment of Ulysses S. Grant’s drinking would describe her perfectly for those who think she had schizophrenia.

4. “My M-1 does the talking!”

There are a lot of posters encouraging people to be careful what they say or write. Because they can unintentionally help the enemy. And you don't want to do that.

There are a lot of posters encouraging people to be careful what they say or write. Because they can unintentionally help the enemy. And you don’t want to do that.

5. Remember men, disease is disguised so don’t gamble with VD.

I know this is telling men to keep it in their pants. But given double standards and realistic consequences, I think this message is necessary. Because people really need to be careful on who they screw.

I know this is telling men to keep it in their pants. But given double standards and realistic consequences, I think this message is necessary. Because people really need to be careful on who they screw.

6. “He gives 100%. You can lend 10%.”

And it looks like he's stepped on a mine and isn't long for this world. If that's not giving 100%, I don't know what is.

And it looks like he’s stepped on a mine and isn’t long for this world. If that’s not giving 100%, I don’t know what is.

7. Uncle Sam says, “Fill those empty seats!”

Because car sharing saves on gas that could be used to fuel our tanks in North Africa. And this is definitely from WWII, by the way.

Because car sharing saves on gas that could be used to fuel our tanks in North Africa. And this is definitely from WWII, by the way.

8. Housewives, save waste fats for explosives.

Because bacon grease can be used as nitro glycerin. And I'm not kidding on this.

Because bacon grease can be used as nitro glycerin. And I’m not kidding on this.

9. Remember men, self-control is self preservation.

Because screwing whores at the front leads you prone to contracting nasty STDs. So keep it in your pants, boys.

Because screwing whores at the front leads you prone to contracting nasty STDs. So keep it in your pants, boys.

10. Survive the wartime winter with coal for warmth.

Because the war effort needs oil. But you can also order wood. Love the freezing penguin in this.

Because the war effort needs oil. But you can also order wood. Love the freezing penguin in this.

11. Can this Nazi save more grease than you?

There's ammunition in this kitchen with bacon grease. And even the Nazis know that.

There’s ammunition in this kitchen with bacon grease. And even the Nazis know that.

12. Maintain your gas mask.

Because you might need it during a gas attack. So don't use it as a knapsack and pillow. Wonder what people doing with their gas masks for that poster to exist.

Because you might need it during a gas attack. So don’t use it as a knapsack and pillow. Wonder what people doing with their gas masks for that poster to exist.

13. “Let’s catch him with his ‘panzers’ down!”

I think this is a clever one for WWII. Notice how Hitler has swastikas on his underwear.

I think this is a clever one for WWII. Notice how Hitler has swastikas on his underwear.

14. Mr. Peanut goes to war.

Not even corporate advertising mascots were exempt from war service. Mr. Peanut from Planter's ought to know.

Not even corporate advertising mascots were exempt from war service. Mr. Peanut from Planter’s ought to know. Weird to see him without his top hat and monocle.

15. Saving old metal and paper puts the lid on Hitler.

Salvage saves lives and so does recycling. So save as much as you can on paper and metal.

Salvage saves lives and so does recycling. So save as much as you can on paper and metal.

16. Buying bonds and saving money will beat the devil!

And the devil here is Adolf Hitler. Here he's even red with horns and pointy ears.

And the devil here is Adolf Hitler. Here he’s even red with horns and pointy ears.

17. Join the tanks and beat em’ rough!

Wonder why they have a screaming black cat here. Sure it looks evil but it was more stupid to be on a battlefield than malicious.

Wonder why they have a screaming black cat here. Sure it looks evil but it was more stupid to be on a battlefield than malicious.

18. Civilians, if you don’t need it, don’t buy it.

Yeah, you really don't need to buy a white elephant. Of course, it's only in here as a figure of speech.

Yeah, you really don’t need to buy a white elephant. Of course, it’s only in here as a figure of speech.

19. Uncle Sam says, “Protect your nation’s honor, enlist now!”

Enlist now because your nation has just been raped, metaphorically. Of course, I think this might be from WWI.

Enlist now because your nation has just been raped, metaphorically. Of course, I think this might be from WWI though.

20. This dog’s owner died because someone wouldn’t shut up.

Yes, go with the gold star dog treatment. Because dogs are seen as loyal friends to their master and are quite adorable.

Yes, go with the gold star dog treatment. Because dogs are seen as loyal friends to their master and are quite adorable.

21. “Tell nobody-not even her!”

Because you'll never know where you'll find a Nazi spy. This is especially if she talks in a German accent.

Because you’ll never know where you’ll find a Nazi spy. This is especially if she talks in a German accent.

22. Dressing extravagantly is unpatriotic.

Because in wartime, everyone should make sacrifices. So dressing to the nines isn't just bad form, it's unpatriotic. Get it?

Because in wartime, everyone should make sacrifices. So dressing to the nines isn’t just bad form, it’s unpatriotic. Get it?

23. This man’s life is in your hands.

If I were him, I'd be more worried about throwing it too late than it being a dud. Those things can blow your freaking hand off.

If I were him, I’d be more worried about throwing it too late than it being a dud. Those things can blow your freaking hand off.

24. Remember, the Nazis burned books that Americans can still read.

Because unlike Americans, the Nazis don't believe in a free press. This is why they staged book burnings. Yes, they hate American freedom.

Because unlike Americans, the Nazis don’t believe in a free press. This is why they staged book burnings. Yes, they hate American freedom.

25. No sailor has to prove he’s a man on shore leave.

Because giving in to 1940s masculinity pressures might get you an STD. And there's no medicine for regret.

Because giving in to 1940s masculinity pressures might get you an STD. And there’s no medicine for regret.

26. Drivers, drive a truck for Uncle Sam.

I could tell this is from WWI because of the car design. And the artwork is a little bit crude, too.

I could tell this is from WWI because of the car design. And the artwork is a little bit crude, too.

27. The kitchen is the key to victory, eat less bread.

Because our men need carbs, dammit. So eat more garden veggies instead.

Because our men need carbs, dammit. So eat more garden veggies instead.

28. Remember, our men are ready to fight at any time.

However, looking at this you have to wonder how these soldiers got any sleep. Oh, wait, some of these guys didn't sleep for days.

However, looking at this you have to wonder how these soldiers got any sleep. Oh, wait, some of these guys didn’t sleep for days.

29. This woman is wanted for murder.

Because she didn't know when to shut the hell up. This cost lives overseas. Yeah, watch your mouth, ladies.

Because she didn’t know when to shut the hell up. This cost lives overseas. Yeah, watch your mouth, ladies.

30. Uncle Sam wants you to stop stealing tools!

Because combat crews need them to repair stuff with. At least this poster makes a lot of sense.

Because combat crews need them to repair stuff with. At least this poster makes a lot of sense.

31. This, soldier, is what is known as a booby trap.

Because she's loaded with boobs and STDS. Don't have sex with her. Seriously, keep it in your pants.

Because she’s loaded with boobs and STDS. Don’t have sex with her. Seriously, keep it in your pants.

32. Help China! Because China is helping us.

Well, they should be helping us. But the Nationalist and Communist factions don't like each other at all. So it's not uncommon for these Chinese factions in some areas to fight each other or side with Japan.

Well, they should be helping us. But the Nationalist and Communist factions don’t like each other at all. So it’s not uncommon for these Chinese factions in some areas to fight each other or side with Japan.

33. Don’t let the Nazi swastika touch them!

So buy bonds and keep our kiddies safe from the Nazis. This is especially if you and/or your kids are Jewish.

So buy bonds and keep our kiddies safe from the Nazis. This is especially if you and/or your kids are Jewish.

34. Careless talk took her daddy!

So be careful of what you say. You may not know when you're talking to an enemy spy in your neighborhood.

So be careful of what you say. You may not know when you’re talking to an enemy spy in your neighborhood.

35. Losing an arm at Pearl Harbor shouldn’t keep you away from patriotic duties.

After all, just because he can't be a soldier no more doesn't mean he can't help. Because you don't need two arms to hold a blow torch.

After all, just because he can’t be a soldier no more doesn’t mean he can’t help. Because you don’t need two arms to hold a blow torch.

36. Keep your mouth shut and don’t be a sucker!

Because a fish that opens its mouth is a sucker, hook, line, and sinker. Still, you have to like the artwork on this.

Because a fish that opens its mouth is a sucker, hook, line, and sinker. Still, you have to like the artwork on this.

37. For defense, give blood since it’s life.

However, this offer's not available for blacks since their blood isn't fit for white GIs, especially from the segregated South. I know it's based on dubious claims based on racism, but that's what people believed in those days.

However, this offer’s not available for blacks since their blood isn’t fit for white GIs’ veins in transfusions. I know that concept based on pseudoscientific claims as well as stupid flagrant racism, but that’s what white Americans believed in the 1940s.

38. On April 19, 1917, Wake Up America Day.

I guess this date was picked specifically as the anniversary of the American Revolution. Also the girl is wearing a cocked hat and carrying a lantern.

I guess this date was picked specifically as the anniversary of the American Revolution. Also the girl is wearing a cocked hat and carrying a lantern.

39. Plant your own garden for victory.

Both world wars encouraged people to plant their own vegetable gardens for food. This is from WWI.

Both world wars encouraged people to plant their own vegetable gardens for food. This is from WWI.

40. It’s a women’s war so join the WAVES!

This woman's face says, "This is not what I signed up for. Really hope this ship on my radio doesn't get bombed. Don't want to hear a bunch of screaming sailors going down to their deaths."

This woman’s face says, “This is not what I signed up for. Really hope this ship on my radio doesn’t get bombed. Don’t want to hear a bunch of screaming sailors going down to their deaths.”

41. Soldiers, know the risks of syphilis and gonorrhea.

To be fair, regardless of what this ad says, there's a strong chance that many of these guys didn't have a lot of sex education. And yes, STDs do kill. But yeah, it's not really nice to women.

To be fair, regardless of what this ad says, there’s a strong chance that many of these guys didn’t have a lot of sex education. And yes, STDs do kill. But yeah, it’s not really nice to women.

42. “If you talk too much, this man may die.”

Another poster that says, "loose lips, sink ships." Besides, he seems like a handsome sailor in that submarine.

Another poster that says, “loose lips, sink ships.” Besides, he seems like a handsome sailor in that submarine.

43. Destroy this mad brute of a Hun, enlist.

The funny part about this poster that it's from WWI as you can see by the Kaiser helmet. Still, you have to ask yourself whether this image inspired King Kong.

The funny part about this poster that it’s from WWI as you can see by the Kaiser helmet. Still, you have to ask yourself whether this image inspired King Kong.

44. While commuting to work, try to squeeze for one more.

Yet, I'm not sure how many people this car can take. Since it seems full to the brim already.

Yet, I’m not sure how many people this car can take. Since it seems full to the brim already.

45. Remember, war bonds are always cheaper than wooden crosses.

Or military funerals for that matter. And yes, the US military did a lot of them during both world wars.

Or military funerals for that matter. And yes, the US military did a lot of them during both world wars.

46. Like digging a foxhole, conserving’s for your own protection.

Because conservation helps save resources for the war effort. Plus, it's good for the environment in an age where one of the biggest threats is climate change.

Because conservation helps save resources for the war effort. Plus, it’s good for the environment in an age where one of the biggest threats is climate change.

47. Wake up, America, civilization calls every man, woman, and child.

And here's the lady personifying America fast asleep. Another WWI poster.

And here’s the lady personifying America fast asleep. Another WWI poster.

48. Along with gardening, wartime housewives should also take to canning.

This is a famous picture I've might've seen somewhere. Nevertheless, the girl looks a bit freaky to me.

This is a famous picture I’ve might’ve seen somewhere. Nevertheless, the girl looks a bit freaky to me.

49. Remember, every time you miss work for no reason, you stab the Statue of Liberty in the back.

Because time must not be wasted. Still, bound to make you guilty of missing work during WWII.

Because time must not be wasted. Still, bound to make you guilty of missing work during WWII.

50. Always practice good eating habits in fox holes.

Because it might make your ass a huge target for enemy gunfire. So eat wisely.

Because it might make your ass a huge target for enemy gunfire. So eat wisely.

51. This soldier needs smokes more than anything else.

What he really needs is to quit smoking. But don't bet on that because only the doctors in his day see it'll kill him if the war doesn't.

What he really needs is to quit smoking. But don’t bet on that because only the doctors in his day see it’ll kill him if the war doesn’t.

52. See action now and join the submarine service.

They do a bunch of cool stuff like shooting down U-boats. However, I don't see a sinking ship on fire as a glorious sight worthy of a recruitment poster.

They do a bunch of cool stuff like shooting down U-boats. However, I don’t see a sinking ship on fire as a glorious sight worthy of a recruitment poster.

53. Remember, the enemy is watching you.

I've seen this one parodied a few times. Those eyes are so menacing which is kind of the point.

I’ve seen this one parodied a few times. Those eyes are so menacing which is kind of the point.

54. Help military pilots by building and fixing the planes right.

He can't fix any plane problems in the air. Nor could he shoot down Nazis either. So don't screw up his chances of survival. Not that they're great anyway.

He can’t fix any plane problems in the air. Nor could he shoot down Nazis either. So don’t screw up his chances of survival. Not that they’re great anyway.

55. Remember, men, beautiful blondes aren’t always so dumb.

This one tells soldiers to be careful that you're not discussing battle plans around pretty civilian women. Because she could be a Nazi spy and you don't want anyone to die.

This one tells soldiers to be careful that you’re not discussing battle plans around pretty civilian women. Because she could be a Nazi spy and you don’t want anyone to needlessly die.

56. Donate your books for soldiers to pass the time.

Because soldiers in the trenches can be really starved for entertainment. And they can't really abandon their stations there either.

Because soldiers in the trenches can be really starved for entertainment. And they can’t really abandon their stations there either.

57. More firepower, over here!

"But please, bomb them not me. We don't need any friendly firepower here." Note that friendly fire happens in wars 10% of the time.

“But please, bomb them not me. We don’t need any friendly firepower here.” Note that friendly fire happens in wars 10% of the time.

58. Gremlins like to throw stuff in your eyes, so wear safety goggles.

Gremlins or no gremlins, wear safety goggles. Because when you're working with munitions, you're working with a lot of harmful chemicals. Duh.

Gremlins or no gremlins, wear safety goggles. Because when you’re working with munitions, you’re working with a lot of harmful chemicals. Duh.

59. Every girl is pulling for victory!

Yes, these ladies are pulling for victory with their united war work while the men are languishing in the trenches. Surely anyone with a right mind needs to believe that they should have the vote by now.

Yes, these ladies are pulling for victory with their united war work while the men are languishing in the trenches. Surely anyone with a right mind needs to believe that they should have the vote by now.

60. In wartime, have you ever considered a staycation?

After all, it saves gas and you'd probably not want to go to Europe anyway. Or Asia. Or North Africa. Or anywhere in the Pacific.

After all, it saves gas and you’d probably not want to go to Europe anyway. Or Asia. Or North Africa. Or anywhere in the Pacific.

61. Even sports figures like Joe Louis enlist to do their part.

A lot of male celebrities fought in WWII like Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, David Niven, Henry Fonda, and others. One major celebrity who didn't fight in WWII but could: John Wayne.

A lot of male celebrities fought in WWII like Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Tyrone Power, David Niven, Henry Fonda, and others. One major celebrity who didn’t fight in WWII but could: John Wayne.

62. For war nerves, stop needless noise.

Yes, war is scary. But it helps to keep calm in the face of danger even when you're shitting your pants. Same goes when you come in contact with a bear.

Yes, war is scary. But it helps to keep calm in the face of danger even when you’re shitting your pants. Same goes when you come in contact with a bear.

63. Whose boy will die if we should fail?

That's a harrowing propaganda poster. But when in war, a lot of soldiers die. Such is life.

That’s a harrowing propaganda poster. But when in war, a lot of soldiers die. Such is life.

64. Be patriotic and save the food.

Yes, people save food because soldiers need it. Because America is begging you.

Yes, people save food because soldiers need it. Because America is begging you.

65. GIs will take care of Japan, this is how you can save money.

This poster gives you some good ideas to save money at a time of rising prices on the Home Front. Also great tips for money saving in general. At least most of them.

This poster gives you some good ideas to save money at a time of rising prices on the Home Front. Also great tips for money saving in general. At least most of them.

66. This is a Russian soldier. He is your friend.

Well, only until the war ends and the Soviet Union is engaged in an arms race with the US over nuclear weapons. So don't expect the friendship to last.

Well, only until the war ends and the Soviet Union is engaged in an arms race with the US over nuclear weapons. So don’t expect the friendship to last. Also, he doesn’t really fight for freedom because Stalinist Russia isn’t a freedom loving place. Not to mention the genocide and purges.

67. Do with less so they’ll have enough!

That's another famous WWII poster, too. And the GI just sits drinking his coffee.

That’s another famous WWII poster, too. And the GI just sits drinking his coffee.

68. Remember, take precautions during an air raid.

Sure you're going to be scared shitless during one. But this doesn't mean you have to go crazy. In fact, on the contrary.

Sure you’re going to be scared shitless during one. But this doesn’t mean you have to go crazy. In fact, on the contrary.

69. Liberty on the phone, war effort needs cash now!

Not sure how she's able to talk with that ridiculous crown on her head. But she'll manage.

Not sure how she’s able to talk with that ridiculous crown on her head. But she’ll manage.

70. For action, enlist in the air service.

Just remember that you'll have insufficient time to train and that a pilot's in flight lifespan is 20 minutes. As I've learned from Blackadder.

Just remember that you’ll have insufficient time to train and that a pilot’s in flight lifespan is 20 minutes. As I’ve learned from Blackadder.

71. Join the Navy, the service for fighting men.

And that guy has to spread his legs on a torpedo. In a Dr. Strangelove bomb pose, no less.

And that guy has to spread his legs on a torpedo. As for fighting men, it doesn’t apply to everyone. Mr. Roberts points that out brilliantly.

72. We’ll win the war, you give us the stuff.

Guy seems quite proud of himself holding up a Japanese Rising Sun flag. He'll probably hang it as a souvenir in his office someday.

Guy seems quite proud of himself holding up a Japanese Rising Sun flag. He’ll probably hang it as a souvenir in his office someday.

73. Join the Veterinary War Corps and treat horses.

Sure the guys may learn something useful. However, WWI kind of helped us all realize that the cavalry had no future in 20th century warfare.

Sure the guys may learn something useful. However, WWI kind of helped us all realize that the cavalry had no future in 20th century warfare.

74. If I was a man, I’d join the Navy.

Seems like they're really pressuring guys to join the Navy with fanservice and an appeal of masculinity. From WWI by the way.

Seems like they’re really pressuring guys to join the Navy with fanservice and an appeal of masculinity. From WWI by the way.

75. Here’s life in the US Navy and what it offers.

A sailor's life at sea is great until either a U-Boat bombs it or seasickness. Also, I'm not sure if monkeys are allowed on board.

A sailor’s life at sea is great until either a U-Boat bombs it or seasickness. Also, I’m not sure if monkeys are allowed on board. Sure beats the trenches though.

76. Guys, enlist so you won’t have to disappoint your kids.

Of course, if men didn't list during WWI, there's a chance they could be drafted. Still, this is another famous poster.

Of course, if men didn’t list during WWI, there’s a chance they could be drafted. Also, didn’t seem to factor in PTSD either. Still, this is another famous poster.

77. Don’t take a chance with prostitutes, guys, these dames are loaded.

So, soldiers, keep it in your pants and don't take your chances. Yet, as we know from human nature, such statements aren't 100% effective.

So, soldiers, keep it in your pants and don’t take your chances. Yet, as we know from human nature, such statements aren’t 100% effective.

78. Join the submarine service and learn to operate something like this.

Wonder why they chose to use a shirtless sailor with a male gaze. Seems a bit suspect, considering that women weren't allowed on subs for a very long time.

Wonder why they chose to use a shirtless sailor with a male gaze. Seems a bit suspect, considering that women weren’t allowed on subs for a very long time.

79. Rosie the Riveter says: “We can do it!”

Of course, I couldn't forget to add her. Such an icon for female empowerment during WWII to get women working in factories.

Of course, I couldn’t forget to add her. Such an icon for female empowerment during WWII to get women working in factories.

80. Even Santa Claus has gone to war.

And he's holding an automatic weapon, too. Not sure if that makes him good or bad though.

And he’s holding an automatic weapon, too. Not sure if that makes him good or bad though.

81. Prevent trench foot, clean and dry your feet, soldiers!

I'm sure this was endemic during WWI since troops spend long spans of time in the trenches. Yet, where would they be able to clean them?

I’m sure this was endemic during WWI since troops spend long spans of time in the trenches. Yet, where would they be able to clean them?

82. In the Pacific, we’re all in this together.

Everyone should know this is the Iwo Jima pose from the photo. Now it's an American iconic image from WWII.

Everyone should know this is the Iwo Jima pose from the photo. Now it’s an American iconic image from WWII.

83. Ladies, take up the jobs he left behind.

Just note, that after the war, you'll be forced to give that job back if it's still available. After that, you'll need to settle into being a wife and mother in suburbia. Because housewives are what women were made to be (sarcasm).

Just note, that after the war, you’ll be forced to give that job back if it’s still available. After that, you’ll need to settle into being a wife and mother in suburbia. Because housewives are what women were expected to be in peacetime (sarcasm).

84. Uncle Sam wants you to buy war bonds.

Here Uncle Sam comes from the sky in blazing glory. He also carries an American flag, too.

Here Uncle Sam comes from the sky in blazing glory. He also carries an American flag, too.

85. Even a dog can enlist, why not you?

Man, they really tried to put men on guilt trips during WWI. Yet, here's scruffy in his Red Cross glory. One dog in that war was even made a sergeant (no joke).

Man, they really tried to put men on guilt trips during WWI. Yet, here’s scruffy in his Red Cross glory. One dog in that war was even made a sergeant (no joke).

86. Housewives, preserve perishable food with cans and jars.

Her she is holding her tin cans. Let's hope she didn't forget to label them because that would be a problem.

Her she is holding her tin cans. Let’s hope she didn’t forget to label them because that would be a problem.

87. In war, knowledge wins.

So learn something by going to your public library. Because the Internet ain't available yet.

So learn something by going to your public library. Because the Internet ain’t available yet.

88. Even office workers do their part with their typewriters.

Is that supposed to be Miss USA? Then again, I don't pay attention to those beauty pageants anyway.

Is that supposed to be Miss USA? Then again, I don’t pay attention to those beauty pageants anyway.

89. Remember, absence makes the war last longer.

So don't sleep in and stay on the job. Yes, it's not easy doing work all day. But you want victory, dammit.

So don’t sleep in and stay on the job. Yes, it’s not easy doing work all day. But you want victory, dammit.

90. Just because she looks clean doesn’t mean she is.

Another anti-STD ad to scare men into keeping it in their pants. As if they didn't have film noir to do it for them already.

Another anti-STD ad to scare men into keeping it in their pants. As if they didn’t have film noir to do it for them already.

91. Tragically, all these soldiers now have syphilis.

Some of them will soon give their wives and sweethearts a very big surprise. And, no, they won't like it. STDs: The gift that keeps on giving whether you'd like it or not.

Some of them will soon give their wives and sweethearts a very big surprise. And, no, they won’t like it. STDs: The gift that keeps on giving whether you’d like it or not.

92. Learn while you serve: join the US Coast Guard.

Because it's the least exciting military branch there is which is great for chickenshits. You just have to watch for enemy ships all day.

Because it’s the least exciting military branch there is which is great for chickenshits. You just have to watch for enemy ships all day.

93. Don’t be a job hopper, it’s bad for the war effort.

Like how the job hopper is depicted as an insect with a hat and lunch box. So funny.

Like how the job hopper is depicted as an insect with a hat and lunch box. So funny.

94. Save your cans and help pass the ammunition.

Like how the bullet chain turns into cans. However, this is about recycling and donating scrap metal.

Like how the bullet chain turns into cans. However, this is about recycling and donating scrap metal.

95. Buy bonds so your kid won’t grow up a Nazi.

Now this is a poster that'll make any parent scared. Yeah, you don't want your kids growing up Nazi.

Now this is a poster that’ll make any parent scared. Yeah, you don’t want your kids growing up Nazi.

96. Ladies, join the Armed forces and help win the war.

Yes, women served in the military during WWII, too. And yes, they did all kinds of things there.

Yes, women served in the military during WWII, too. And yes, they did all kinds of things there.

97. Don’t wait for them to come home, be with them by being a WAC.

Because it's a women's war, too. Also, don't forget to put on lipstick before venturing out of the battlefield.

Because it’s a women’s war, too. Also, don’t forget to put on lipstick before venturing out of the battlefield.

98. Remember, when you ride alone, you let the Nazis win.

So carpool whenever you can. You don't want an invisible Hitler in the passenger seat. You really don't.

So carpool whenever you can. You don’t want an invisible Hitler in the passenger seat. You really don’t.

99. Yes, it can happen here.

Yes, keep em' firing so it doesn't happen here. However, if you live in Britain, it already has since they dealt with the Blitz.

Yes, keep em’ firing so it doesn’t happen here. However, if you live in Britain, it already has since they dealt with the Blitz.

100. Sow the seeds for victory, plant a war garden.

Doesn't hurt if there's a rainbow shining on it either. Such an uplifting image during a time of war.

Doesn’t hurt if there’s a rainbow shining on it either. Such an uplifting image during a time of war.