War through Art

A history blog highlighting "Weapons of Mass Communication," aka U.S. and international propaganda posters and imagery from both world wars and beyond.



Barbarous Hun: The Sinking of the Lusitania and the Rise of Propaganda

On May 7, 1915, the British passenger ship Lusitania was hit by repeated torpedo attacks emanating from a German u-boat off the coast of Ireland. Of the 1,960 passengers and crew on board, only 767  survived. 128 of the deceased were American citizens.

Depicting the Devil: How Propaganda Posters Portrayed Nazi Ideology

In 1925, a bellicose Adolf Hitler understood that he needed the power of mass persuasion to push his political ideology on the German people. Citing propaganda as an essential component of statecraft in Mein Kampf, he wrote that propaganda must “awaken the imagination of the public through an appeal to their feelings, in finding the appropriate psychological form that will arrest the attention and appeal to the hearts of the national masses.” In its early phases, the Nazi party largely depended on Hitler’s own oratory gifts and stage presence to gather more interest and support. This changed dramatically with the party’s rise to political prominence and Hitler’s partnership with chief propagandist Joseph Goebbels. 

Horsing Around – Depictions of Horses in Propaganda Posters

Domesticated horses have been an important component to warfare for well over 5,000 years. Heavy and light cavalry units as well as chariots and other mobilized wagons have played an important role in organized military campaigns across the world. In... Continue Reading →

Making Fun of Hitler

Even prior to the war turning in the favor of the Allies, Hitler and the Nazi regime were depicted in an often humorous fashion in the U.S. and Britain. Hitler in particular was heavily ridiculed and depicted as a bloodthirsty... Continue Reading →

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