A Guide To War Publications of the First & Second World War by Arthur Ward

By Arthur Ward

In WW2 info leaflets and posters proliferated. infantrymen have been bombarded with box rules, airmen with the newest updates approximately airborne early caution, bomb attractions and radio navigation and sailors with fabric that helped them establish enemy airplane and submarines and advised them find out how to function the recent send board guns to break them.

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Propaganda was not the government’s only concern of course. Getting the message across was one thing. Preventing certain information from circulating, censorship, was quite another and just as important. Little more than a week before hostilities broke out in 1914, Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, announced in the House of Commons the setting up of a press bureau with the dual task of censoring press reports and of issuing to the press what he said would be ‘all the information relating to the war which any of the Departments of State think it right to issue’.

G. Wells, published in 1933, which Alexander Korda lavishly shot in Britain in 1936. Set in the fictional British city of ‘Everytown’, the film’s narrative spans the years 1940 to 2036. The story begins by showing the discomfort felt by successful businessman John Cabal (Raymond Massey) who cannot enjoy Christmas Day 1940 because of news about a possible war. When conflict does come the depictions of aerial assault, bombing and gas attack are terrifying and went a long way to encouraging the public’s acceptance of the British government’s policy of appeasement in order to avoid such horrors.

The campaign was so effective, the Germans used their influence in the Netherlands to have Raemaekers tried for ‘endangering Dutch neutrality’. British Prime Minister David Lloyd George was so impressed by his work that he persuaded him to go the United States where his drawings were syndicated by Hearst Publications in an effort to enlist American help in the war. ’ Although of German decent, Adolph Treidler was another prolific artist working in support of the American war effort from 1917. Before this he illustrated numerous covers and also provided advertisement work for publications such as McClure’s, Harper’s, the Saturday Evening Post, Scribner’s and Woman’s Home Companion.

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