Propaganda was used to great effect on all sides during World War II, however no other country produced as many propaganda posters as the United States.
Propaganda was used to increase support for the war and a continued commitment to an Allied victory.
Through the use of colorful posters, advertising, comic books, leaflets, radio, books, magazines, newspapers, movies, cartoons and catch phrases, propagandists instigated hate for the enemy, support for Allies, war effort production, victory gardens, donations and war bonds.
Often times, propaganda greatly caricatured individuals and races.
The central theme of propaganda in the U.S. was patriotism. Posters urging recruitment for the military and secrecy were widely spread.
Perhaps one of the most famous phrases to be born out of the U.S. WWII propaganda push is “loose lips sink ships.” In Great Britain, “keep calm and carry on” has endured the test of time.
Another popular and well known propaganda piece is Der Fuehrer’s Face. This cartoon depicts Donald Duck dreaming that he is a German war worker.
His dream turns nightmarish, and when he wakes up, Donald Duck expresses his gratitude that he is a citizen of the United States.
Propaganda from WWII is an example of the impact of psychological operations, something we still focus on in today’s conflicts.