World War II Propaganda on the Home Front


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A look at the propaganda used on the Home Front during WWII: Movies, Music, Cartoons, and other forms.

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World War II Propaganda on the Home Front

  1. 1. World War IIPropaganda The Home Front
  2. 2. World War II PropagandaO During World War II propaganda was a tool used by many of the great powers involved in the War. Propaganda came in many forms be it through the newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts, movies, posters and cartoons. This is a small sample of what was found.
  3. 3. The Beginning O InfamyO President Franklin Delano Roosevelts choice of words in his declaration of war speech were designed to make the burning fire to take action even hotter. He actually changed the wording of the speech opting for the word infamy as it sounded stronger than the initial words in history. FDR also O http://www.presidency.ucsb.ed carefully selected the word u/mediaplay.php?id=16053&ad “dastardly” to describe the min=32 attack.
  4. 4. PostersO Posters were the most popular form of propaganda used in the United States during World War II. Posters were used in different ways and with different meanings. Posters were used to encourage enlistment by men and women; they were used to encourage conservation of materials at home; they were used to warn against open talk for "loose lips sank ships" and one could never be sure of who was listening; finally one of the most used themes of propaganda posters, encouraged Americans to purchase "War Bonds." Mainly posters were used to inspire patriotism, courage, honor, and duty to country, especially before the tide of the war had turned in favor of the United States and its allies. Propaganda posters were found just about everywhere; stores, Post Offices, movie theaters, restaurants, government buildings, train stations, schools, and even in the windows of peoples homes.
  5. 5. Volunteerism
  6. 6. Volunteerism
  7. 7. National Pride
  8. 8. National Pride O This poster of “Rosie the Riveter” was aimed at getting women into the workforce to support their fighting husbands, brothers, and sons overseas.
  9. 9. Security
  10. 10. Security
  11. 11. War BondsO The concept of War Bonds was that in buying Americans were investing in their security now and ultimately their future.
  12. 12. War Bonds
  13. 13. Victory GardensO During World War II, Americans planted “victory gardens,” in which they grew their own food.O By 1945, some 20 million such gardens were in use and accounted for about 40 percent of all vegetables consumed in the U.S.
  14. 14. MusicO U.S. soldiers, sailors, and airmen had regular access to radio in all but the most difficult combat situations, and not only did soldiers know specific songs, but specific recordings. This gave a nature to American troops music during WWII, not as much songs sung around a fire or while marching, but listened to between combat on Armed Forces Radio.O WWII was the first conflict to take place in the age of electronically mass distributed music through record sales and radio airplay. WWII was a unique situation for music and its relationship to warfare. This was the first time it was possible for not only single songs but also single recordings of songs to be so widely distributed to the population. With Americans listening to the radio nightly for news from overseas music took off like never before and many songs carried a message.
  15. 15. MusicO Some of the most popular O Glenn Miller songs of the era included:O Dont Sit Under The Apple Tree (The Andrews Sisters)O Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (The Andrews Sisters)O Remember Pearl Harbor (Sammy Kaye)O American Patrol (The Glenn Miller Orchestra)O Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition (Kay Kyser Orchestra)O Sentimental Journey (Les brown Orchestra w/Doris Day)
  16. 16. MusicO During World II Music was strong not only as O The Andrews Sisters propaganda but also for morale. Songs could lift spirits and invoke national pride. An anthem for the day was "Dont Sit Under the Apple Tree" which was a call from the soldiers on the front lines and the girls back home to stay true to each other. Made famous by the Andrews Sisters, it is performed here by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. O
  17. 17. Magazines and Newspapers O During World War II radio, newspapers, and magazines were the primary sources of information for the American public. Magazine and newspapers were integral in creating the image of the enemy being fought as evil aggressors. Magazines were an especially popular propaganda tool because of their wide circulation and favor with American housewives. Unlike the media of today newspapers were more inline with telling the news and not creating the story. Newspapers also worked with the military to keep any items from print which might help the enemy cause.
  18. 18. Magazines and Newspapers
  19. 19. A Thousand WordsO The phrase "A picture is worth a thousand words" carried a great deal of weight with magazines and newspapers. The pictures they chose boosted morale on the home front. O P-40 Warhawk of the Flying Tigers
  20. 20. A Thousand WordsO Doolittles raiders who launched O Doolittles Raiders B-25s on USS the first strike against mainland Hornet Japan in 1942
  21. 21. A Thousand WordsO Japanese carrier burning at the O American GIs manning their guns Battle of Midway at Saipan
  22. 22. A Thousand WordsO The raising of the American flag by Marines on Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima came to signify everything American to the people back home
  23. 23. Movies and CartoonsO In the era before television, Movies and cartoons were a great escape for the American people. They were often patriotic, funny, or irreverent, and quite frequently mocked the enemy in the process. O Bugs Bunny cartoon from the 1940’s
  24. 24. Movies and CartoonsO In this Disney Cartoon titled Der Fuehrer’s Face, Donald Duck has a nightmare about being a citizen of Nazi Germany.
  25. 25. Movies and Cartoons O In World War II Casablanca, Rick Blaine, exiled American and former freedom fighter, runs the most popular nightspot in town. The cynical lone wolf Blaine comes into the possession of two valuable letters of transit. When Nazi Major Strasser arrives in Casablanca, the sycophantic police Captain Renault does what he can to please him, including detaining a Czechoslovak underground leader Victor Laszlo. Much to Ricks surprise, Lazslo arrives with Ilsa, Ricks one time love. Rick is very bitter towards Ilsa, who ran out on him in Paris, but when he learns she had good reason to, they plan to run off together again using the letters of transit. Well, that was their original plan....
  26. 26. Movies and CartoonsO Based on a true story, Flying Tigers, starring American favorite John Wayne as fictional Captain Jim Gordon, dramatized the exploits of Americans already fighting the enemy in the Pacific. It was unabashedly a propaganda film that was well received by a populace looking for a "flag-waver."
  27. 27. NormalcyO Throughout the war the one thing the people at home and the men and women on land and at sea wanted to keep was a sense of normalcy in their lives during this tumultuous time. Holidays, especially Christmas, were the time when they most aimed for this goal.