Top 10 Most Ridiculous Propagandistic Posters

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All nations that partook in the First and Second World War had the difficult task of finding the best strategies to defeat their enemies. Yet that was not all they had to do, as one of the major concerns of the governments and army generals at the time consisted of justifying their involvement to the population. Since providing a logical explanation to why they want to drag the country into all-out war was mostly inefficient, they had to figure out a way to make the population WANT to get involved.

And, what better way to determine common people to want to fight, work for free and offer money to sustain military campaigns than propaganda? Following, we will analyze some of the most ludicrous propagandistic posters – all unintentionally so, in their defense – that were all over the place during the world war period.


1. The British on the not-so-dumb women

The British on the not-so-dumb women

The legend of the alleged WW1 spy Mata Hari remained vivid in the British culture and has continued to fascinate the officials throughout the Second World War as well. Otherwise, how else could you explain the “Keep Mum, She’s Not So Dumb” poster in an era when gender inequality did not constitute a critical problem for the society? The message is quite simple really: unless you’re nice to her, she will become a spy and show you who’s who.


2. From the wisdom of Private Caution

From the wisdom of Private Caution

The Private Caution Says series of posters really made a difference in WW2 and possibly turned the odds in the advantage of the United States and the Allies. If it weren’t for this hygiene obsessed character, the US soldiers would all engage in unprotected sexual activities and would require hospitalization due to contracting gonorrhea and/or syphilis. Yet, the unsettling thing about these posters is that the private appears to be scared when seeing an officer passing by. Perhaps there’s more “wisdom” in this than you thought.


3. Boy, the Soviets really had a problem with work related injuries

Boy, the Soviets really had a problem with work related injuries

If there was a time and a place where you wouldn’t want to have a job, then that would have be Soviet Russia during WW2. Well, at least this is what you can deduce from the amount of disturbing, yet silly posters proprietary to that period like the “Look Out For Buffers” or “Don’t Clutter Your Workplace”. Thank goodness for those warning posters or else the Russians would have surely lost the war because of too many men dying due to work related accidents.


4. Don’t worry, the lonely Canadian soldier will save us all

Don't worry, the lonely Canadian soldier will save us all

Men, and particularly brave men who are willing to fight for their countries are the most valuable resource during war. While the Canadian government understood this perfectly, they conveyed it into a completely laughable propaganda image. The most preposterous poster of the time was the “Why Don’t They Come?” picture that depicts a brave soldier watching hockey and asking himself why his fellow Canadians don’t want to participate in the great “hockey” game that is the war overseas.


5. If you continue to hurt yourself at work, the Nazis win the war

If you continue to hurt yourself at work, the Nazis win the war

What was initially intended to be a blood donation campaign created by the US government in WW2 turned out terribly mostly because of the obscure language used and the fact that all posters presented people driving screwdrivers through their hands. Not only did few people actually hear of the 7th column, but implying that work accidents can be prevented or else the Nazi’s win the war is a bit farfetched. Later on, the creepy “Don’t Give Your Blood To The 7th Column” posters were modified and became clearer for everyone.


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