Every country involved in World War 2 was busy producing propaganda in order to increase support for its war efforts. And the Allies were especially keen on promoting their own virtues and igniting the public’s hatred towards the enemy Axis powers.
However, the American government did not particularly like the idea of World War 2 propaganda at first. Nonetheless — in response to pressure exerted by businesses, advertising companies, and the media — the government was soon compelled to increase propaganda production.
Still, in the early days of the war, the government claimed that it was not trying to sway people’s opinions, but was instead simply informing the public of the “facts.” Either way, America's World War 2 propaganda soon took off, and special government agencies such as The Writers War Board were created to produce and distribute posters, radio advertisements, films, comic strips, and more.
These efforts promoted patriotism, encouraged men to join the armed services, and encouraged women to become nurses or join the local factory’s workforce.
Whatever its purpose, American World War 2 propaganda was among the most striking, especially when it came to posters. Their bright colors and sensational language no doubt drew the viewer in and encouraged him or her to aid the war effort in every way imaginable – by buying war bonds, rationing their food, walking instead of driving, and even refusing to engage in "careless talk" that could give away information of troop movements.
The main message was this: Every citizen can greatly help the war effort by performing seemingly menial tasks, such as growing their own food or conserving products such as fats, coffee, and rubber.
And when these posters weren't asking ordinary citizens to pitch in, they were making fun of the Axis powers, especially Hitler. One humorous poster, for example, depicted Hitler with his pants down along with a slogan that read, “Let’s catch him with his 'panzers' down!”
All in all, America created more than 200,000 propaganda poster designs during the war, and you can find some of the most striking in the gallery above.
After this look at World War 2 propaganda, check out 35 fascinating World War 1 Propaganda Posters. Then, have a look at how the Soviets motivated their people during World War 2 with these amazing Soviet propaganda posters.