World War I and The Art of War

British poster
(Courtesy Library of Congress) (17)

Posters and Propaganda

Propaganda is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one's cause or to damage an opposing cause."

Propaganda takes several forms: it can be a celebrity endorsing a product, an advertisement on television or in the newspaper, a sign in the neighbor's yard supporting a politician, a political cartoon, just about anything! During World War I, the majority of propaganda from all sides was in the form of posters. Posters were popular and the artists' designs were eye-catching and easily reprinted. Posters could also reach several people in multiple locations.

These posters encouraged people to be informed and get involved in the war effort. They asked men to join armed forces and women to join relief organizations. They inspired people to buy bonds and help others around the world. The posters helped generate a real fear of the enemy, and helped raise support for the war in several countries and on all sides. The following are some examples of posters issued from the Allied and Central powers governments.

Australian poster
(Courtesy Library of Congress) (18)

Shall We be more Tender with Our Dollars, Dan Sayre Groesbeck
(Courtesy The National WWI Museum and Memorial) (19)

British poster
(Courtesy Library of Congress) (20)

Enlist/On Which Side are You? 1917, Laura Brey
(Courtesy Smithsonian Magazine) (21)

(Courtesy University of Leeds) (22)



Central Powers Propaganda Posters


Translation: "You, too, should join the Reichswehr. Therefore, sign up at the next enlistment post, Reichswehr-Gruppen-Kommando no. 4 (Bavarian), Möhl, Major General."
(Courtesy Library of Congress) (23)

Translation: "Help Us Win! Subscribe to the War Loan"
(Courtesy The National WWI Museum and Memorial) (26)



Translation: "This is how it would look in German lands if the French reached the Rhine."
(Courtesy Imperial War Museums) (25)

Translation: "Imperial and Popular Fund for the Army and the Navy. Frankfurt Christmas Charity Day 1917. Contributions to 14 Theaterplatz, Office 5."
(Courtesy Imperial War Museums) (27)

Translation: "If the enemy's hate and army win, the workplaces will stand empty. Before closed doors, you'll have to tie up your bundles in hunger."
(Courtesy Imperial War Museums) (28)

Translation: "We Teach You to Run!" (Poster shows Allied soldiers running from German troops)
(Courtesy Boston University) (24)



Main Page
Economy and War Efforts
Economy and War Efforts
Oklahomans in World War I
Weapons of World War I
Posters and Propaganda
Artists and the Art of War
Conflict and Assimilation
Glossary
Bibliography